Developing Perspective

#130: WWDC Final Impressions.


00:00:00   Hello and welcome to Developing Perspective. Developing Perspective is a podcast discussing

00:00:04   news of note, development, Apple, and the like. I'm your host, David Smith. I'm an independent

00:00:08   iOS and Mac developer based in Virginia. This is show number 130. Today is Friday, June

00:00:14   14th, 2013. Developing Perspective is never longer than 15 minutes. So let's get started.

00:00:19   All right, so I'm wrapping up my week here in San Francisco for WWDC. I'll be leaving

00:00:24   this morning to go back. But in the meantime, I thought it'd be interesting thing to kind

00:00:29   of bookend the show I did on Monday, where I had my first impressions about WWDC with

00:00:33   some of my last impressions about DC, WWDC and really want to see more things they've

00:00:39   been announcing things that I really can't talk about in terms of NDA stuff, the things

00:00:43   that I can probably give some high level impressions on and hopefully give you give you give some

00:00:47   context and help people kind of try and navigate and kind of sort out all the things that are

00:00:51   were announced this week. Apologies for my voice as you'd expect being at WWDC all week

00:00:55   I've had spent a lot of time in loud places yelling loudly. So yeah, it's like more raspy voice, but just bear with me

00:01:01   But generally yeah, so the first high-level impression I have about WWDC this year is that it feels very

00:01:09   Aggressive very

00:01:12   Ambitious maybe is even a better word that I think Apple is really coming out this year and and saying you know what we are gonna

00:01:20   do all kinds of things on lots of different fronts and really ensure that everyone knows that nope,

00:01:26   we're still the king of the mound.

00:01:29   Nobody can do it this way that we do. We'll do a lot of different things. We'll improve the user's experience.

00:01:33   We'll radically change a lot of stuff in iOS especially.

00:01:37   But generally speaking, we're gonna do things that only we can do and that we're gonna really execute hard on that.

00:01:44   Now as a developer who makes their money for who makes their living from the platform or someone who just wants to

00:01:50   do things on the platform, that's good and bad.

00:01:53   I think Apple is coming out and doing these,

00:01:55   there's a lot of change, a lot of work.

00:01:57   There's a lot of movement in this right now.

00:01:59   And that certainly creates some sense of

00:02:01   maybe Vegas anxiety for me in terms of,

00:02:04   anytime there's radical sweeping, whole cloth changes

00:02:07   to a lot of significant things,

00:02:09   that's always a risky thing.

00:02:12   It may not necessarily be risky in a broad sense.

00:02:15   I think overall, I was really very successful.

00:02:17   All the changes are very positive.

00:02:18   I think most users will get used to them very quickly

00:02:22   and then appreciate the enhancements

00:02:23   that they're getting as a result.

00:02:24   But the reality is there is certainly a slight bit

00:02:28   of anxiety that'll come out of that,

00:02:29   where all of a sudden, instead of having the stability

00:02:33   of the last six, seven years, things are up in the air.

00:02:36   And that's good, I think, I think especially for people

00:02:40   who are interested and willing to get into,

00:02:42   to engage with that and really try and sort of get

00:02:45   on the bus, drink the Kool-Aid and just go for it.

00:02:47   I think there's a lot of opportunity.

00:02:49   I think, and I'll talk about that mostly

00:02:50   towards the end of the show.

00:02:51   But generally speaking, it's just great to see

00:02:53   that they are not resting on their laurels,

00:02:55   they're not taking it easy in any way.

00:02:57   They are really executing at a high level,

00:02:59   and as a result, I think the developers

00:03:02   will have a really interesting next three or four months.

00:03:06   Couple of things that I just wanted to point out

00:03:08   that are slightly more tangential.

00:03:10   Apple, in addition to all the hardware stuff,

00:03:12   or sorry, all the software stuff,

00:03:14   the OS level things, iOS and macOS,

00:03:16   They're also doing a bunch of changes to just policy and improvements to iTunes Connect.

00:03:23   The most specific one I think I've seen widely reported is the app transfer program, which

00:03:27   is an excellent thing that I'm very glad to see Apple doing, where it's possible now to

00:03:31   transfer applications between developer accounts.

00:03:34   That's one of those things that I think allows applications to finally be somewhat more commoditized

00:03:41   in a good way, in that before it was very complicated to transfer an application should

00:03:46   it be acquired? Should it be, um, you know, should someone for whatever reason, when a

00:03:51   cell says, sell an app to someone else. And that is now something that is much more easy,

00:03:55   much more possible. Um, this is, you know, still some things that they're not quite there

00:03:58   yet, but they're definitely heading in that direction. And that is a big win and it makes

00:04:02   me very happy. And not a lot of largely just because I think as a developer who makes,

00:04:08   they're living for making apps, it is good when the thing that you make, you have the

00:04:11   much more flexibility and leverage on how you're rewarded for that, for creating that

00:04:15   thing in the first place. And if the only way you can make money is from putting ads

00:04:18   in a putting ads in it, or selling it or selling directly to customers or selling in app purchases.

00:04:24   There are some limitations on exactly how far you can go with that. And that's I'm glad

00:04:27   to see that you can now potentially, if you create something, and especially I think there's

00:04:32   a lot of this level, a lot a lot of implications for older backup catalog kind of applications,

00:04:36   things that I have a couple of these, where I think with the right with the right owner,

00:04:40   could be very successful or they could be very significant. But for the normal, you

00:04:46   know, it's like for the right owner, they, they, who could really invest in it, that

00:04:49   would be useful. But for me, I just don't have time or energy or the ability to really

00:04:52   invest in it. And so it creates this weird tension for, hey, you know, it's not a great

00:04:55   experience for users. It's also not a great experience for me as a developer. So I'm excited

00:05:00   to see that. And there's a few other little things that changed in iTunes Connect that

00:05:03   I can't talk about, but you should definitely check out the iTunes Connect talk at WWDC

00:05:07   DDC and you'll think towards the end, especially, you'll be excited to see some of the things

00:05:10   they're finally allowing you to do.

00:05:12   All right, so I'm going to get into a little bit of iOS 7.

00:05:16   And specifically, I would say, in the most conversations that I had this week with developers,

00:05:21   especially iOS developers, there's a revolves around a lot of the concept of what am I going

00:05:26   to do?

00:05:27   It's, you know, there's a lot of work, there's a tremendous change, both aesthetically, functionally,

00:05:32   in terms of the way that you want the user experience to look on iOS 7.

00:05:36   And so what do you do with that?

00:05:37   The changes that they announced on Monday

00:05:39   and throughout the week, there are a lot of changes

00:05:42   that are going to be going into this.

00:05:43   There's a lot of work.

00:05:43   If you have an existing app, and if you have a new app,

00:05:46   in some ways you can take advantage of it.

00:05:48   But you still have these questions of compatibility,

00:05:52   about exactly how far you embrace that, that aesthetic,

00:05:55   that user interaction.

00:05:57   I had tons of conversations like this all week

00:05:59   with different developers.

00:06:01   I would say, generally speaking, I

00:06:04   think the theme that I'm going to try and push for in the

00:06:08   coming weeks, and I think will do serve most developers well,

00:06:11   is to understand that iOS seven is a discontinuity. It is not

00:06:15   simply the evolution of the the previous OS is in the way that a

00:06:19   lot of them were your iOS six was basically just an extension

00:06:22   of iOS five, iOS five was many ways just an extension of iOS

00:06:27   four. I was seven feels very discontinuous. It feels like

00:06:31   this is a new operating system that happens to share a lot of code and a lot of frameworks

00:06:38   with something else.

00:06:39   And I mean that mostly from the top down.

00:06:41   The bottom, there's a lot of great improvements that are done under the hood.

00:06:45   There's a lot of things I'm very, very excited about.

00:06:48   New APIs, new ways of doing things that I think will really help make apps feel much more responsive,

00:06:54   much more real-time and much more useful to users.

00:06:58   But the reality of that is, is you now, from about the middle up, the user interaction

00:07:05   model is changing dramatically.

00:07:07   And honestly, we only even know what it is for iPhone.

00:07:09   I don't think iPad, we've even really seen how they're going to change the UI, how they're

00:07:14   going to drive people in that way.

00:07:16   But the reality is, if because they're doing that, because it's such a whole cloth change,

00:07:21   all of your UI is probably going to have to be either rewritten or dramatically restructured

00:07:26   to feel good and native on that environment, unless you're completely customer ready.

00:07:32   The reality with because of that is that you're going to have this decision point of do you

00:07:39   want to try and support iOS 6 and have backwards compatibility and all those types of things,

00:07:45   while at the same point trying to embrace fully the promise and the opportunity of iOS

00:07:50   7.

00:07:51   speaking, I don't think I don't think that that that 10 that

00:07:55   tension is going to resolve itself promise in a good way

00:07:59   from for a lot of developers. I think the effort it's going to

00:08:01   take to be on iOS six and iOS seven at the same time, in a

00:08:06   reasonable good customer facing way is going to be very

00:08:08   difficult. And so generally, I think, you know, we'll have to

00:08:12   see exactly how it is when I'm actually coding it when I

00:08:14   actually see how hard it is to support both platforms. I think

00:08:17   there's a very good chance that I'll be going iOS seven only

00:08:19   for a lot of my applications for a lot of the things that I

00:08:21   I do, it's just going to be easier and better for me to go there fairly off the bat.

00:08:28   The things that I'm doing that haven't been launched, there's a very good chance that

00:08:30   they'll either be launched as iOS 7 only this fall or designed to be iOS 7 only.

00:08:37   Maybe launch on iOS 6, but very quickly be adapted to iOS 7.

00:08:43   So obviously the tricky part of being iOS 7 only for a new app is that means that you

00:08:46   can't launch until some indeterminate time this fall.

00:08:49   But generally speaking, that's probably a platform that I think makes sense.

00:08:52   And I think coming at the development of, let's optimize for iOS 7, let's really embrace

00:08:57   this, and then let's see what it looks like on iOS 6.

00:08:59   Let's see if we can do a few kind of concession things there to make sure it isn't totally

00:09:05   broken.

00:09:06   It's going to be a much stronger position.

00:09:08   Obviously, your business needs, your environment, those types of things will change, and sort

00:09:12   of whether that makes sense or not for you.

00:09:15   But generally speaking, I think focusing on iOS 7, if you can go in iOS 7 only, is going

00:09:18   be a great opportunity. I think there's a lot of going to be a lot of upheaval and change

00:09:24   in that way. And I think be sort of anchoring yourself to the past, to a user base who is

00:09:31   necessarily going to be diminishing as a percentage of users is never is going to be sort of put

00:09:37   an anchor around your neck that you're going to be dragging around for a long time. And

00:09:42   so that's kind of my high level gut is that really try and embrace strongly and fully

00:09:47   the new stuff, and really look at it as saying, you know what?

00:09:50   I'm going to-- my users are going to be happier on iOS 7

00:09:57   if I'm really focused in-- rather than trying to split

00:09:59   my attention between both, if I'm really making sure

00:10:01   that it's really solid for them there.

00:10:03   I've heard a few things, but that's kind of the vibe

00:10:06   that I think would make sense for a lot of users.

00:10:08   Because I think you can-- I was looking at a published

00:10:10   article about this myself a couple weeks ago,

00:10:13   and I was looking at upgrade numbers.

00:10:15   And right now, I mean, for point releases of iOS 6, we're seeing 60% adoption of a point

00:10:21   release, you know, so 6.1.3, for example, give us just about 60% in just two weeks.

00:10:26   I don't know what iOS 7 adoption will be.

00:10:28   But if we're anything in that ballpark, and we're going to have new iPhones, new iPads,

00:10:31   all these things coming sort of this holiday season, you know, almost certainly they'll

00:10:34   be announced, you know, end of September, October, something like that.

00:10:37   And there's going to be tremendous, you know, the speed at which that that is going to happen,

00:10:42   it will be true will be rather impressive.

00:10:43   And I think that will behoove a lot of developers to just be on the front of that wave rather

00:10:48   than trying to catch up with it.

00:10:50   All right, I think that's it in kind of sort of my high-level impressions and thoughts

00:10:53   for WWDC.

00:10:54   I think, like I said, there's a lot of opportunity.

00:10:56   There's a lot of change.

00:10:58   I think trying to make sure that you're on the front of it will be a good opportunity,

00:11:01   will be sort of developers.

00:11:03   If you're someone who's been thinking about making an app, if you've been thinking that,

00:11:07   you know, I wanted to do an app, I don't have time, I don't have energy, I think this is

00:11:11   specific and I want to encourage you that this is a specifically

00:11:14   good opportunity to do that, that if you are have this idea

00:11:18   for an app, you iOS seven only, you launched in day one, you'll

00:11:22   have a rare opportunity to be distinctive to stand out and to

00:11:27   have an opportunity to potentially do well in the

00:11:29   store. That is something that hasn't happened in quite a while

00:11:33   since the App Store launched. And we had it when the App Store

00:11:35   launched in the iPad launched, I think there'll be another

00:11:38   discontinuity here where there's a much more upheaval where

00:11:41   with users in terms of exactly what they're going to do,

00:11:44   how they're going to settle down in this new paradigm,

00:11:46   in this new UI.

00:11:47   So if you've been thinking of an app that you want to do,

00:11:49   I think this is an excellent time to do it.

00:11:51   Try, get in there, and just start building something

00:11:54   and see what it's like.

00:11:55   Really get to know iOS 7.

00:11:57   You may really like it and be able to take advantage

00:11:59   of new technology or new frameworks

00:12:01   in a way that creates new possibilities that

00:12:03   don't exist before.

00:12:05   All right, that's it.

00:12:07   As always, if you have questions, comments, concerns,

00:12:09   or complaints, I'm on Twitter @_davidsmith.

00:12:11   I'm on appnet@davidsmith.

00:12:14   If you want to reach me via email,

00:12:16   I'm david@developingperspective.com.

00:12:18   Otherwise, I'm not sure if I'll do a show next week.

00:12:20   I'm going to be traveling a bit with my family.

00:12:22   But otherwise, I'll be back with some vague NDA-neutered

00:12:26   discussion, I suppose, or working through the keynote

00:12:29   and kind of seeing if there's things that I can talk about.

00:12:31   We'll be in kind of a funny phase with iOS 7 NDA stuff,

00:12:35   because I can't talk about it until it launches this fall

00:12:39   for anything else that wasn't announced.

00:12:41   But generally, if you have questions or thoughts about what's going to be happening going forth

00:12:45   with this fall, if you have questions, definitely let me know.

00:12:48   I'll try and help it out.

00:12:49   I've been through a couple of these.

00:12:51   And so hopefully I can give some context, give some useful advice for people engaging

00:12:57   into it.

00:12:58   But otherwise, have a good weekend.

00:12:59   Happy coding.

00:13:00   I'll talk to you later.

00:13:01   Bye.

00:13:01   Bye.