On the Sunday before WWDC 2013 was spent in good company, on a road trip to Cupertino. But before we took that, we got ourselves registered. Apple successfully pioneered a new system to streamline the registration process.
This year’s Pilgrimage to the Apple Headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino is of the DIY variety. In past years Apple would have updated the Company Store website with information about extra opening times for WWDC tourists, but this year they didn’t.
Traditionally there were several busses organized by Scott Knaster. I don’t know if his reason for not doing it this year was lack of a WWDC ticket or lack of confirmed opening times. Either way his professionally organized tour did not come to pass this year.
7 days (and change) before the WWDC 2013 Keynote presentation Apple released the official app to accompany the conference. Due to the (sudden, unexpected, surprising) sell-out of the conference Apple decided on several changes.
For starters the WWDC app allows all registered developers to log in and provides benefits even for developers who did not score a golden ticket. In previous years – if I remember correctly – the app would only let you see its contents if you had an activated WWDC to your name.
WWDC 2013 is even more highly anticipated than any previous Apple event due to the widespread notion that Apple is doomed if they don’t announce many big and impressive new things. For lack of anything better to pick apart, let’s do a bit of tea-leaf-reading on the WWDC 2013 app.
I scoured through the Cocoanetics blog for all the individual ZIP files of sample apps that I had made to accompany some of my Apple bug reports.
When I attended my first WWDC in 2011 there was one gender-related observation I made which deeply troubled me: For the first time ever I had to queue in front of the male toilets. Up until this point I had been holding the belief that queues can only form in front of the female toilets.
As with any belief your brain is filtering the world to find reasons and explanations. So my own working theory had been that this toilet queue conundrum must be due to a male anatomical advantage, being able to “shoot from the hip”. Of course – given the same number of people – ladies would take longer, having to sit down, be more carefully washing their hands, powdering their noses and doing a bit of idle conversation. Men on the other hand would go pee like a SWAT team. In, Shoot the Fly, Out, done in 60 seconds. Washing our hands? Not necessary, we are engineers, we hit our targets.
Not me, of course. I had never been aggressively domesticated by women to sit down for number 1. So I typically wash my hands because I don’t have the urge to prove to myself that my aim is flawless. Even though I like to believe it is.
Apple announced WWDC 2013 on the day after the quarterly earnings conference call with analysts. The gist of which has been generally interpreted as “loosing steam”. Tim Cook seemed to imply that Apple would not be releasing any significant hardware products before the fourth quarter of 2013. This was further underlined by Apple giving guidance that sales would be slow for this current quarter.
Last year WWDC sold out in under two hours, much to the chagrin of many developers from the west coast of the USA because it was all other before many of them could get out of bed.
Much had been speculated how Apple would counteract an even faster sell out of tickets for WWDC 2013. One unexpected move had been Apple inviting a few select companies to send people to key Apple subsidiaries for design and tech reviews of their most important apps. They did that instead of doing a road show, which had served as a “WWDC Mini” for many people.
Fascinated by the Cingleton talk given by Michael Jurewitz (full video) on pricing elasticity I decided on a new project for my Lab Friday. Those are the 20% time where we try to explore something else than the nitty gritty we are working on all the other time.
It was in May four years ago that Apple had rejected my original MyAppSales app for scraping Apple’s site to get sales data. Shortly thereafter I started a Petition for Apple to give us an official API for downloading sales data. The bug report rdar://6807195 is still in status “Open” ever since April 20th 2009, its the oldest open Radar I have in my list.
Apple finally caved (a little) when they released the Autoingest.java tool for downloading some forms of reports in early 2012. Which I promptly decompiled and rewrote in a sensible language: Objective-C.
You want to be first in line when WWDC 2013 finally go on sale? That should happen any day now. Now there are many ways how to get informed. Homebrew or professional, your choice.
Last year I relied on WWDC Alerts which promised to send SMS as soon as their ticket detection script saw that tickets have gone on sale. I did get the SMS, but about an hour late. Thankfully my friends on Twitter informed me in time to grab one of them. Besides their reported unreliability the makers of WWDC Alerts so far have not responded to my inquiry if they are planning to track this years WWDC sales as well.
Then there is a new professionally organized alert service which I like the most.
If you are like me, then “all of the above”.
You might have noticed that Apple didn’t do a tour of Tech Talks last year as they had been doing traditionally in the past. The reason for this had been a sea change in the ranks of Apple’s evangelism team, headed by John Geleynse. Up until last year Apple’s unofficial motto had always been “treat everybody the same”.
The popularity of iOS has brought with it an unprecedented explosion in number of developer accounts and so Apple decided at a secret board meeting held at the beginning of January to change their credo. One suggestion had been “don’t be as evil as Google”, but this was struck down by Tim Cook who feared that this would taint Apple’s reputation as it would have lowered them to their competitor’s level.
But joking aside, Geleynse came to realize that Apple just cannot muster the man power it would need to hold the kind of Mini-WWDC that these Tech Talks represented all around the globe. When I interviewed him at the last Tech Talk in London he told me that doing a Euro-WWDC would be too much of a financial burden on the company. I have no idea how such a statement fits together with frequent reports of Apple having problems finding which mattress to stuff their cash into next.