Thoughts on WWDC 2013

Nope, I’m not going. I’d like to, but for a variety of reasons, I can’t.

I just wanted to point out a few things I think Apple did correctly this year.

First, pre-announcing the event is the right way to go. Granted, it’s only a day in advance, but it shows they heard the cries of developers that got shut out last year. The usual Apple theatrics — the rumors, the speculation, the leaks, the invitations, shutting down the Apple Store — all that is fine and good for product announcements, but they need to be straight and fair with their developers. Even Steve Ballmer understands how important developers are.

Second, WWDC has turned into a big media event for Apple because they usually use it announce a new major product. This year, as Ars Technica pointed out, Tim Cook may have deflated WWDC a bit by mentioning there would be no new products until later this year. If this was the intent, it was a good move. Last year, I heard there were attendees who were only there only for the keynote and had no interest in developer talks. Once again, it’s good if Apple is trying to emphasize the “D” in WWDC.

Third, they are making videos of the sessions available during the conference. Once again, this is something Microsoft is good at and is important to developers. Some of the best things I’ve learned about Xcode and iOS development have come from past WWDC videos.

One more interesting thing. If you didn’t have a a developer account at the time of today’s announcement, you’re out of luck. Last year was the first year they required paid developer accounts in order to get WWDC tickets and I’m sure there was a spike in registrations in the 2-hour span tickets were on-sale. In fact, I was all set to go last year, but didn’t have a paid account that morning and by the time I got my account upgraded, it was too late. I was in the midst of developing EasyRoute, but was holding out on the upgrade to a paid account until I actually needed it.

So, no WWDC 2012 or 2013 for me. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for 2014.

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