To me, VR and AR had always been somewhat of a cheesy gimmick. What would possibly have changed my mind in just 5 minutes? I found myself eagerly watching the big screen at NSLondon, an exclusive nomadic developer gathering with only 60 coveted spots free that often vanish within minutes of the waitlist opening. Did I mention there was free beer and pizza? I sat watching the Apple WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) keynote – also known as iOS developer Christmas, that reveals new Apple software and teaches developers how to build amazing things with it months before it’s released. However, rarely do physical, shiny new products from Apple get announced at “dub-dub”, the developers’ abbreviation of the 8-syllable tongue twister that is dub-bull-yew-dub-bull-yew-dee-see. Believe me, it’s even tricker to say mid-bite when consuming beer and pizza.
WWDC 2015 has come round again and I’m lucky enough to be in San Francisco attending again! So what’s the tradition? Well I’ve just scoffed down a huge pile of pancakes down at Mel’s Dinner and just picked up my badge and legendary WWDC ’15’ jacket. You know the developers are in town as these jackets decorate the streets of San Francisco just like the huge colourful Apple banners that appear down 4th street.
There’s such a lively vibe going on as 5000 developer gather in one spot to learn the latest stuff happening at WWDC. In less than 24 hours we’ll all start queuing at 3am in the morning to get into the main Auditorium for Apple’s big keynote at 10am. Yes that’s a good 7 hours but the people you meet in the queue during this time can easily become life-long friends – anyone who’s met me at 2am in the morning, jet-lagged, freezing cold on a chilly San Francisco morning and still doesn’t want to throttle me by the end of it is deserves to be my friend!
The epicenter of change
This is easily the highlight of the developer year, iOS 9 is hugely expected as well as the next version of OS X with the associated XCode tools. For iOS 9 I’m hoping for big improvements to Siri and Apple Maps. Apple Watch should feature heavily in the sessions too but most of this is all under-wraps until the keynote tomorrow so this is all just speculation. In the mean-time, I’m hoping to head down to the mothership – Apple 1 Infinite loop before a few beers tonight with my fellow attendees at the ThirstyBear Brewery Co. If you’re in town see you there. Here’s hoping tomorrow’s announcement will be just as exciting as the build-up!
This is a heads up for anyone who does iPad or iPhone development; Apple have made available their awesome WWDC 2012 sessions videos to developers! iOS 6 features such as Passkit, maps and Facebook looks interesting as does the new Game Center functionality such as “Challenges” along with a whole host of new APIs and technologies. More information can be found on the Apple iOS 6 site and the developers’ iOS 6 overview site.
You should also look at the new OS X technologies in the soon-to-be-launched Mountain Lion release. Notification Center seems like such a natural addition that I’m surprised Apple didn’t add it in back in the early days of Mac OS X and Game Center will be exciting to play with on the Mac. I just hope it doesn’t distract me too much from work!
Of course most of it is still under a non-disclosire agreement so only blog and comment about the publicly announced WWDC stuff but this will good to play with over the summer when it’s too hot to be outside.
I’m writing this in a hotel room from a block adjacent from the Moscone West Conference center, here in San Francisco, CA. The atmosphere is incredibly lively and for many developers it’s as close to the developer-version of Christmas you can get. Ha ok I know that sounds a bit over the top but there is lots of optimism about Steve Jobs’ keynote tomorrow. You can feel it!
So today I picked up my WWDC attendee badge and hitched a ride on the small army of buses that Jeff LaMarche had arranged to go to Apple’s HQ in 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA. It’s such a historic place in tech history and I was there! Not only has it been the main home of Apple since Steve Jobs returned to Apple but also features on the front of the Google Map icon on every single iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Me outside Apple HQ
I got my photo taken and chilled in the oddly named BJ’s bar opposite. I also visited the company store there and bought some Apple gear, I just need to work out how to fit the coffee mugs into my suitcase now! Just about to grab some food and chill in a bar with a number of other iPhone developers before getting an early night. Some people recommended getting up at 3am to get a good seat. Mmm, if only I hadn’t just tested out my new coffee mugs…