With the industry shifting to San Francisco for its annual shindig at the Game Developers Conference, it's been another week of jet-fuelled jaunts at PG.biz: the home of news and views on the business of app stores, smartphone platforms, developments in mobile game making and assorted technology.

Of course, the other major event occuring in San Francisco was a certain big reveal by Apple. This was the week the Cupertino giant finally silenced all the rumours and speculation surrounding its next tablet, with CEO Tim Cook taking to the stage to unveil iPad 3 to the world.

Or not.

Arguably the biggest surprise about Apple's iPad unveiling was that the device comes without a name to call its own. The Retina Display equipped tablet – due to roll out in major territories such as the US and UK this Friday – was simply called the 'new iPad' at the event itself, and is billed as the 'third generation iPad' on Apple's website.

It's a decision that's made it difficult for journos looking to distinguish between the now two year old 'original' iPad and the latest version to do so without dropping in the words "all new" in every other sentence - a practice this writer is rather reluctant to entertain.

Not that those queuing up on day one will be all too worried about that. While the all new iPad (dammit) didn't deliver the kind of revolutionary features many were hoping for – a haptic display the most notable of late rumours – the crisp new screen and bolstered A5X chip should ensure it shifts more units than either of its predecessors.

Developer downers

The reaction from developers wasn't universally positive, however.

While big boys like Chillingo said they were looking forward to working with the new device, indies we spoke to immediately after the tablet's unveiling worried its hardware may stretch their resources too far.

"Retina on the iPad remains a pain for game developers, particularly those making 2D bitmap-based games," said Zee-3 co-founder Ste Pickford.

"Hopefully existing iPad games will simply look identical on the new Retina screen, without taking advantage of the extra resolution."

Epic's Mark Rein offered a far more positive response, suggesting the studio is having to force Microsoft and Sony to push the boat out with their new consoles, lest iPad and co. end up surpassing them in the near future.

In the view of PocketGamer.biz deputy editor Keith Andrew, however, the decision not to equip iPad with even more flashy knobs and bobs said more about the state of the Android tablet market than suggest any great foul up on Apple's part.

"As wowed as consumers will undoubtedly be by iPad's Retina Display when they see one on show on the high street, the fact Apple hasn't been forced to deviate from the original iPad's blueprint in either of the device's first two major revisions is evidence of where its rivals stand right now: firmly in the shade," he concluded.

Measuring up

Nevertheless, if rumours are to be believed, Apple's latest iPad won't be the only tablet the firm launches this year.

In a leaked report, Samsung Securities claimed a 7-inch iPad due to launch in the Q3 2012 has been as good as confirmed, with Apple looking to erode Android's share at the low-end of the tablet market.

Rumours Google has tapped up Asus to deliver its own 7-inch Nexus tablet suggests the software giant isn't in any mood to let Apple have its own way.

Both platforms will face a new challenger in the form of Microsoft's Windows 8 later this year, however, and last week saw the firm launch its official Consumer Preview. A weekend fiddling with its Metro UI resulted in dep ed Keith Andrew concluding that only now is Microsoft's response to Apple's iOS assault is becoming clear.

"The very fact Windows 8 is strapping on armour in defence of Windows Phone both signifies Microsoft's intent in the market, and the level of concern the rise of iOS and Android has brought about in the firm's board room," he concluded.

For the moment, however, the tablet market will continue to be a two horse race, just like the current contest in the smartphone arena.

On that score, Apple looks to be gaining the upper hand in its legal battle with Android OEM Motorola, with a US judge ruling information on the manufacturer's planned buyout by Google will have to be handed over to its rival on a plate.

Though Motorola could be forced to divulge the sensitive info, it contested, claiming it's not privy to the inner workings of its likely new owner: "Google's employees and documents are not within the 'possession, custody, or control' of Motorola, and Motorola cannot force Google to produce documents or witnesses over Google’s objections," said the firm's lawyers.

And the award goes to...

Google itself, however, spent the week upping Android Market's app file size limit from 50MB to 4GB – albeit via two extension files – mirroring a similar move by Apple days later designed to support the larger games heading to iPad.

Android Market will soon disappear from many Android handsets, too, with Google looking to 'do an iTunes', merging its apps, music and eBooks download services togther in one platform, dubbed Google Play.

Strategic moves aside, there was undoubtedly a celebratory tone to the week as a whole, largely thanks to GDC 2012 in San Francisco.

The event played host to the annual Pocket Gamer awards, with Halfbrick's Jetpack Joyride come out on top as game of the year, while the International Games Festival gave its top mobile honour to recent iOS release Beat Sneak Bandit by Simogo.

This week also saw the App Store passed 25 billion downloads, with the milestone hit – fittingly enough – after a user chose to pick up Disney's Where's My Water?.

PocketGamer.biz marked the monumental figure by publishing an inforgraphic detailing the key games that have driven the App Store over the last three or more years.

All bets on what games will drive the next 25 billion downloads are off. Well, games aside from Angry Birds, of course.