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Podcast #30 – NSConferencing

Episode #30, recorded Saturday March 24th, 2012. “NSConferencing”

First time visit to NSConference. Apple implements design that Steve Jobs called shit 5 years ago. And they sell more than 3 Million new iPads in 3 days.

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Show Notes

Kevin Dent reports that Apple have begun to reject and pull apps that are accessing the unique device identifier. He claims that this was confirmed by multiple sources now. I have not been able to confirm this as of yet, several of the ad network libraries that we are using need the UDID for counting unique devices and so far there where no complaints.

Nevertheless Apple has deprecated the public API in iOS 5. This usually means that it will cease to exist on devices that are using the next major iOS version, iOS 6 in this case. Now this causes some problems for people who need to have a device-wide unique identifier, say for ad targetting or unlocking restricted content. The best method I have seen so far is used by paid component MyID. The approach there is to create a GUID and put it on a private pasteboard. This way the identifier is available to all apps knowing about this pasteboard and still globally unique.

On the third day after launch of the new iPad Apple revealed that they had already sold three million. Looks like the move to Retina display and US-crippled LTE was sufficient to trigger these record-breaking sales. Well, I have to admit I convinced myself too that I needed a “test device” and so I bought my new iPad in London while traveling to NSConference.

Don McAlister from Screencasts Online points out that with the 3 million new iPads that Apple sold in the first 3 days they also sold 3 million of 1080p video capture & editing devices. Add to this the millions of iPhone 4S – which nobody wanted – and you can see how Apple revolutionized the video camera market just the same as they took over the photo market before. Do you remember those statistics that show the percentage of certain cameras used by people uploading to Flickr? The iPhones are still in the lead. There is a camera that is apparently catching up to the iPhone … the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Although this is a $2000 camera a 21 MPix DSLR. So no real danger there for a camera phone that costs way less.

ImageOptim.com has done a case study on Tweetbot for iPad. They took the Tweetbot for iPad bundle, uncrushed all contained 978 images totalling almost 50 MB in original form. The default crushing via Xcode reduces this to about 26 MB. Their ImageOptim algorithm resulted in a size of 17 MB. And by converting to PNG8+Alpha with their ImageAlpha algorithm AND using ImageOptim they got the total needed file size for images down to 9 MB. These are quite impressive numbers. To have these compressions stay in effect you have to disable Xcode’s crushing though, because this would undo them. ImageOptim’s benchmark also showed a significantly reduced time for decompression which would – in theory – make PNGs thus optimized on par with JPGs.

Speaking of file sizes, Apple has officially confirmed the raised 50 MB file size that’s downloadable over cellular data. Nothing new there, but now it’s official.

If you have a server-based system that sends push notifications Apple has the following tips for you:

The Apple Push Notification Service provides a high-speed, high-capacity interface, so you should establish and maintain an open connection to handle all your notifications. Connections that are repeatedly opened and closed will affect the performance and stability of your connection to the Apple Push Notification Service and may be considered denial-of-service attacks. You should also connect regularly to the feedback service so you don’t send notifications to devices that no longer have your app installed. Learn more about connecting to the Apple Push Notification Service.

Obviously push notifications seem to be at an all time high which is why Apple wants to make sure that nobody abuses the service to the detriment of others.

A former Apple employee named Michael Margolis was – in his own words – responsible for implementing the AppleTV 2.0 interface. That was the new interface on the first AppleTV hockeypuck that ran on iOS. About the new design for the new 1080p AppleTV menu he wrote:

“Fun fact – those new designs were tossed out 5 years ago because Steve Jobs didn’t like them. Now there is nobody to say ‘no’ to bad design”

Many people who see the new design seem to think it is worse than the previous one. Do we have to fear that Apple lost their design sense now? Is this the beginning of the end?

Speaking of hell freezing over, Apple is finally giving in to pressure from shareholders. Apple announced plans to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program. The $10 billion repurchase program is expected to be executed over three years, with the primary objective of neutralizing the impact of dilution from future employee equity grants and employee stock purchase programs.

Apple CEO Tim Cook stated:

“We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure. You’ll see more of all of these in the future. Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program.”

Historically a dividend was a way for large established companies to give shareholders an incentive to hold onto their shares as opposed to constantly trying to buy them low and sell them high. Apple probably wants to send shareholders the message that they now like to see themselves more as an established titan than as a constantly changing startup. Suggest stability and firm believe in the skills of the CEO to keep the cash rolling in to an extend that they can distribute some amongst the shareholders.

The company plans to pay out $2.65 per share per quarter. With a current stock price around $600 this means that an investment in Apple’s shares will be paying around 1.7% which is way more than most savings accounts.

Disclaimer: I own Apple stock and I am happy about the dividend as well as the growth.

App Store Review Weather Report: Of iOS submissions 92% of new apps and 95% of app updates were approved within 5 business days. The review weather remains friendly with only 5-8% of infrequent showers.

I visited my first NSConference this week. More details on my blog. But the gist of it: I loved to meet the European iOS developer all stars. That was one of the good things. I also loved to pick the brain of CoreData super star Marcus Zarra which I was able to do on a lab that went on in parallel of the single stream of talks. That was the one thing I didn’t like, the organizer Scotty made it all to easy to sit through talks even though you weren’t really interested in them. But he is quite aware that the talks themselves are only part of the value of such a conference and instead people go there to learn from each other and to often meet each other for the first time. Read my article on more details, it also has links to 3 write up blog posts written by Alex Blewitt who acted as the inofficial resident journalist.

I love to hear from you, you can email me at oliver@cocoanetics.com or tweet me @cocoanetics. If you want to give me feedback or have some interesting comment for me to play on the show please call my Google Voice mailbox:  (415) 860-4324


Categories: Podcast

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