WWDC 2011 – Day -4 (Minus 4)

Well Day -5 was certainly very interesting and full of surprises from Apple. First of all Apple confirmed that Steve Jobs will be the Keynote speaker. Although the PR story goes on to state that Steve won’t be doing all the work this year, and that “a team of Apple executives” will help him along. Well we can only guess who these guys are, usual crowd. The one question that will be on everyone’s mind is, why isn’t Steve doing the Keynote by himself? Is he just filling in the gaps between the VPs of all the different technologies presented? Is he still too ill to actually host a two-hour keynote by himself? Let’s hope not.

So Apple officially let the cat out yesterday. iCloud. So iCloud is actually going to happen. But what is it? What will it do? Did Apple invest billions of dollars in a new North Carolina data centre so that we can all just store our music and videos there? I don’t think so. I can’t possibly see Steve going on stage on Monday in Moscone West and saying “guess what? here’s Apple’s DropBox!”. No that is not Apple. Apple innovates rather than throw something together quickly. Also we are forgetting the most important aspect here. This is after all a Developers conference and not an iTunes/iPod Media Event. iCloud will have to do more than just storage and will have to have some relevance to developers.

On a final thought, yesterday Lodsys did actually file law suits against some high profile developers that use In-App purchasing in their Apps. Personally I think it very lame of Lodsys to go after these guys, when there is a very clear licensing agreement between Apple and Lodsys. This will certainly be a breaker for Lodsys. Apple is more than certainly going to back the devs up, and Lodsys will pay and will pay well!

There are already images of Moscone West getting decorated with the usual Apple logo, but as I am not in San Francisco for another 3 days, here’s one picture from last year’s event.


WWDC 2011 – Day -5 (Minus 5)

Lion, iPhone, iOS 5, iCloud….

What ever happened to Apple TV? Do you really think Apple will just drop a “non-hobby” project in your living room and stop making money out of it? I don’t think so. As a matter of fact I think iOS 5 will be the OS to actually allow devs to start making money out of Apple TV with Apps. Well maybe not Apps, but maybe “enhanced widgets”. Over the next few days I will look more in-depth into widgets and iOS 5. Maybe Apple is combining functionality?

My feeling and opinion on the matter, is that Apple should introduce a Widget platform for developing widgets that would work across all iOS devices. Think about it, we have universal apps for iPhone & iPad. Same code but different UI. Well why not have widgets for all iOS devices (inc Apple TV) same code, different UI.

I have to say it is fascinating that there has been no mention of this anywhere, with all the rumours flying about.

WWDC 2011 – Day -6 (Minus 6)

In one week from now, 5,000 developers will be patiently lining up outside Moscone West in anticipation of this year’s Keynote speech. Everyone is wondering whether Steve Jobs will indeed make the usual appearance or not. Judging by the apparent push, by Apple Executives, to get as many journalists as possible to the event this year – I would safely say that Steve is bound to make an appearance. I mean after all, this is a major launch event. Two new operating systems, for a number of different platforms and potentially new hardware and new cloud services. COME ON! Steve will be there with bells on!

So our first rumour predication for this year’s Keynote is Lion. Well this is not really a rumour, when people like myself have installed the preview versions. It is more than guaranteed that Lion will be let free some time during June. Apple has just released another build of the upcoming Snow Leopard 10.6.8 update. One subtle addition to this build, is an improvement of the Mac App Store in preparation for Lion. Apple is certainly making Lion available through the App Store, all the previews have been exclusively available on the App Store only.

If I had to predict on something ground breaking for Lion, it would have to be something to do with Apple’s new North Carolina Data Centre (remember that one!). I have a feeling that the so called “iCloud” stuff, that Apple has been spending billions of dollars on, will be something of a glue between Macs & iOS devices.

Even though it is only very early in the morning still in San Francisco, I know exactly what I will be doing in exactly a week from now. Lining up for one of the top seats at Moscone West. See you there devs!

WWDC 2011 – Day -7 (Minus 7)

A whole year has already passed and WWDC is once again upon us. In one week from now Apple will once again open the doors of the Moscone West Conference Centre for all the eager developers. For the next two weeks I will extensively cover this year’s WWDC. I need to remind you all that with the exception of the Keynote, all other sessions are under NDA. Of course remember to follow me on twitter as I will be covering the WWDC 2011 Keynote live from San Francisco.

Day -7 (Minus 7)

Sunday 5 June is Day 0 and when delegates can collect their precious WWDC 2011 badge. Yes precious! This year’s tickets sold out in less than 8 hours, substantially quicker than last year’s 8 days. Tickets are still available on eBay, but will set you back more than twice of what Apple charged for this event.

Rumours Roundup

There are so many rumours circulating the Internet right now, on what will and won’t make it to this year’s Keynote, that is hard to know where to begin. I have hand selected some of the rumours, that I personally believe to be true. Over the next few days I will delve into more details about each one. But for now here is a list of all things Keynote!

  1. OS X Lion
  2. iOS 5
  3. iCloud
  4. iPhone 5
  5. Xcode & SDK Updates

The above list of course is only what I think will be addressed at the Keynote session. Of course more will be revealed once Apple sends out this year’s session list, the more “session to be announced” slots, the more new stuff to cover!

Maybe, just maybe Apple will introduce the iPhone 5 at the WWDC.

Image, courtesy of Ed Johnson.


WWDC 2010

In just over 24 hours, a few meters from were I am sitting, Steve Jobs will be showcasing the next greatest technologies from Apple. It is amazing what kind of attention such an event attracts. It is almost like a pilgrimage for a lot of people. Numerous people of my flight to San Francisco from London are attending as are hundreds of guests at my hotel. Right now (1 hour before registration opens) there is a handful of people waiting to collect their badges. As I am sat on the steps of Moscone West on this fresh San Francisco Sunday morning, I couldn’t help but wonder, that all these people are affecting the lives of millions around the world in profound ways. They might not be curing cancer or helping the hungry but in a way they are creating technologies that have the potential to do that. All I can say is let the games begin!!!

iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 4

As expected, Apple today released its fourth Beta version of the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0. As mentioned before I can’t mention the new features/changes due to the NDA. You can find them pretty easily if you just Google. My prediction is one more beta prior to this year’s WWDC 2010 and launch sometime in mid/late June.

Future of Flash!

Flash here to stay or not? If Apple and Microsoft had their way, Flash will certainly be on its way out. After all, do we really need Flash anymore? For any new piece of technology to be successful, there needs to be a real problem that it can solve. That is exactly what Macromedia (remember them, before Adobe bought them out) did back in 1996 (yes!) when they launched FutureSplash Animator, quickly followed by Flash 1. Back then browsers (IE & Netscape) could just about manage pictures, let alone animation and sound. In 1996, Internet Explorer was at its infancy and Netscape wasn’t that much ahead, while we all had to use really slow modems! Browser rendering engines were limited to basic text & image positioning. Modems couldn’t cope with large amounts of data and scripting languages didn’t exist.

Macromedia had an idea, “what if we could make things move, interact and make sounds but still download quickly?”. And that is exactly what they achieved by building a client rendering engine (Flash Player) that could work inside browsers, yet at the same minimise data transfers by using a proprietary compressed binary file format. It was great, the web became alive. Suddenly we could all play games and watch movies. The arrival of course of home-made videos, YouTube and the cheap availability of fast broadband connections meant that Flash was more in demand than ever.

It wasn’t though only the connections and hardware that became better in all these years of Flash domination, the browsers became exceptionally sophisticated and capable at managing pretty much any type of content. New kids on the block (such as WebKit) made sure that browsers could really and truly tap in to the power of modern operating systems and their graphics stacks. This meant that suddenly there is no need for smaller downloads, nor the need for an extra layer (Flash Player) to achieve something that your browser can do pretty much better and straight out of the box.

As I said in the beginning, any new piece of technology is successful if it solves a real problem. Flash did just that for over a decade. Now that problem that does not exist anymore as browsers have natively taken over, therefore I think it is time for Flash to respectfully leave the party on a high!

WWDC 2010 – Sold Out!

>In only 8 days, this year’s WWDC in San Francisco has been sold out! This is the third year in a row that the conference is a sell out. This year though it was in only 8 days and not in a month like last year. I think this clearly demonstrates that the iPhone OS platform is a very serious platform and that more and more developers are seeing its potential. In only 2 years, Apple has fundamentally changed the developer world. Only a small percentage of developers would have ever considered developing apps for the Mac platform using Xcode and Objective-C, but 2 years on, that is not the case anymore. Developers are realising the potential and power of this new platform, and are flocking by the thousands to events like the WWDC.

This of course fundamentally changes the potential of developing not just for the iPhone OS platform but ultimately for the Mac OS platform. Could this be a repeat of what happened to Apple after it launched the first iPod? Before Apple launched the iPod and iTunes, the company was pretty much bankrupt. Users started liking the iPod and eventually thought, and rightly so, that “if their iPod is this good – then their computers must be too”. Apple very cleverly lured people away from PCs & Windows to the simplicity of the Mac. Could this be happening now for developers?

I couldn’t help but wonder, could this really be a time of major shift in developers? Could we see more and more developers shifting to the Mac/Objective-C platform? After all, “if it is this easy to develop for the iPhone OS – then it must be easy to develop for the Mac platform”. It is not easy for any developer to switch to Objective-C, but it is easy enough for a developer with the right foundations. Anyone with good understanding of object-oriented concepts and C could do the jump quite easily. The rest is simply just syntax! A good creative author that writes novels in English can write equally good novels in French, they would just need to learn French.

It is certainly an exciting time for all of us. I think that people who choose to ignore the Mac and iPhone OS platforms are doing so at their own peril.

See you all 5,000 developers in San Francisco in exactly one month from now!