As always at the WWDC there is a lot going on and a lot of information to try to digest to make the trip worthwhile. But this year there also appeared to be a lot more attendees than the last 2 times I’ve been, which lead to a lot of queuing! It took a couple of days for Apple to get on top of this, but by the end of the week we were organised into orderly lines.
The sessions, which I can’t talk about as all attendees are under an NDA, were good and new topics covered in enough detail to get you started. I get the feeling that the vast majority of attendees are now purely iOS focused rather than OS X, which means the iOS sessions tend to be packed. This lead to the annoying habit of a lot of people leaving 5 minutes before the current session finished, which seemed really rude, not only to the presenters but to the rest of us trying to actually listen to the last 5 minutes.
I met a few new developers and caught up with some from previous years, which I find really helpful. As I’m a freelancer I tend to work on my own most of the time and having a network of fellow developers to communicate with helps with your sanity.
The end of the week finished with a lunchtime talk by ????????? (sorry NDA), he is an amazing and funny story-teller, I really wished that Apple recorded those sessions as well. Something that struck me during his talk, he used to make super 8 films when he was a kid, and I got the impression that other kids in his school thought of him as weird and geeky and therefore not in the “popular/cool group”. Which reminded me of me when I was a kid, computers were very very geeky back in 1981 and the ZX81, and most other kids thought this a bit “weird”. Now days with everyone using apps on a daily basis, showing there friends these cool apps they are using, doesn’t that make us geeks the cool kids?
What I’ve taken away from this year…
- Watch last years videos, make time in my weekly schedule to actually watch the videos, there is a lot of information in them, some of which won’t of changed much this year
- Make time to work on my own projects, client work is very important, it pays the bills, but I also need to be creating my own work
- Have faith, I love what I do, I need to put that love into what I create
- Watch this years videos, when they come out
- Start saving for next years!
This year Apple have asked for feedback on the sessions, but I’ve given this general feedback for the conference as a whole…
- The sessions tend to be 80% talking and 20% demo, I’m sure we could get a lot more out of them if it was the other way around. Rather showing as a line of code on the slide, telling us what it does, this could be done while creating a demo. Seeing things work is more informative, we can always download the demo code afterwards?
- “Lines” seemed to be a real issue this year, spent a lot of time queuing just to get into sessions which left little time to have a break between sessions
- WiFi coverage was very bad
- This may seem like a silly thing, but it would be great if the WWDC app could have a playlist of the tracks that are played before sessions start. I know a lot of developers (including me) use Shazam to find out the names, that must stretch the WiFi and also kills our data plan
Before I went to WWDC I came up with the following wish list of improvements/features that were hopefully going to be announced this year…
- Ability to run apps on the Apple TV and use your iOS device as a controller, including multiple devices at the same time
- Open up Siri to 3rd party apps, although how they work out which app gets to answer the question could be interesting
- NFC, this could open up some interesting projects
- Allow companies to create internal documentation using iBooks and give them a secure way of distributing those documents to staff
- Increase the number of testing devices that can be used
- Improved battery life on the iPhone
- 4G iPhone, but at the moment I’m not fussed either way, being based in the UK
- A nicer gift, like a limited edition iPad (I can dream)
- Move away from Google Maps
- Ability to use maps offline
So how did I do…
- Apps Running on Apple TV, turns out you can already do this, but its by using the Second Screen feature that is in iOS. I just need to think differently – YES (sort of)
- Siri to 3rd party apps – YES (I think I remember that from the Keynote?)
- NFC – NO
- Internal iBook Documents – NO
- Increase the number of testing devices – NO
- Improved Battery Life – NO
- 4G Phone – NO
- Nicer gift – NO, I now have a black jacket with a number 12 on it to go with the one that has a number 10 on it
- Move away from Google Maps – YES
- Offline maps – NO
So thats a grand total of 3/10 and one of those I could of already of done!