Already passed the mid-point of the conference, day 4 continued the pace with a continuous stream of interesting talks. There are so many simultaneous talks it is simply not possible to see them all, however, I took note of any talks that looked interesting or relevant to watch at a later date.
Throughout the conference there have been numerous talks heralding the improvements to watchOS 3. Up to this point I’ve managed to resist the lure of the Apple Watch. With all the hype and being around so many other developers with a watch, I could resist no more! I found myself parting with $349 at the Apple Store on Union Square. The jury’s still out on the wisdom of this decision – I’m still in the honeymoon phase.
On Thursday evening Apple hosted ‘The Bash’: a concert consisting of a fairly unusual mix of electronic music mixed by DJ Qbert, followed by Good Charlotte, a pop-punk band from the early-naughties. I met up with a programmer from New Zealand who I’d met previously at the keynote speech. We discussed famous music acts from New Zealand (a short conversation) and the merits of IPA beer (a much longer conversation).
As the smoke of battle cleared on Friday morning, the crowds of WWDC were starting to thin. People had begun their journeys home and the others – casualties of the night before. I spent Friday morning with Apple engineers in the labs. The Core Location lab turned out to be extremely useful and I was able to get some answers that our development team have along with ideas on improving our own technology. The engineers were also keen to learn how we’d been utilising their technologies. I also found it valuable just to hang around and listen to the conversations that other developers were having with Apple staff.
I finally succeeded in booking a highly-coveted UI design critique session with one of the UI Designers from Apple. We covered best practices for app design whilst using one of RNF’s own apps as a point of discussion. This proved to be an enlightening session and one which I’m positive we’ll benefit from in the long run.
All in all it’s been an exciting, enriching and rewarding week. With so many useful and interesting talks it has been an amazing experience. Although the talks are available to steam online, most people are unlikely to schedule a week of their time to watch them hot off the press. The time spent with Apple engineers in the labs has been a valuable exercise as has the opportunity to network with my industry peers. With a week’s worth of knowledge and experiences to process, I turn my back to Moscone West and WWDC 2016 and begin the long journey back to the UK.