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Thoughts on WWDC


GoSquared Thoughts on WWDC 08

So the new iPhone is only days away, and there are tons of rumours flying around all over the place. Let’s have a look at what’s being said, and what could be said at WWDC…

I’ve been thinking about how the keynote could go, and here’s a little idea of how the show could pan out:

< -- Begin thinking like Steve -- >


Hi folks, thanks for coming. We’ve got some great stuff for you this morning.

This is the most popular WWDC EVER. We’ve got 100s of Apple Developers on hand to help you out and chat over the week. First time we have sold out in the history of WWDC.

Today, I’d like to talk to you about our two core platforms: OS X and the iPhone.

First I would like to talk about iPhone


* A few slides about how iPhone market share has been growing (conveniently ignoring the last few months where it’s been falling).

Yes, it’s true. Today, we’re introducing the new iPhone. And yes, it’s 3G.

The 3G iPhone is here

New iPhone, runs iPhone 2.0 firmware from the box.

New iPhone is 22% thinner, and lighter than previous model. Dramatically improved battery life of over 12 hours talk time (shows figure on slide, with tiny asterisk indicating that this figure only applies when 3G is switched off). Very similar dimensions to previous device, available in black or silver. Anodised aluminium front, more like iPod Nano. Tiny iSight camera centred above screen.

Bringing 3G to the iPhone – broadband speed Internet on the go- brilliant for downloading apps and music from iTunes on the go.

Runs examples of how fast 3G Internet is with existing apps such as YouTube and Google Maps. 3G – super fast connection to Internet EVERYWHERE – video on the go. Can now stream high quality videos over the air while not near wifi. Google Maps literally “flies”.

Introducing iChat with video calling to iPhone. Face to face video conferencing on iChat on the desktop is great- really popular. Beautiful H.264 video now on iPhone. Can talk to other iPhone users and desktop iChat users. Video chat with only one person at a time currently. See who’s online in your contacts list, indication given by green signal light next to their name in Address Book.

Aside: There is a strong chance iChat may not even be referred to in the keynote, and a change of branding may occur, to fit in with the Me services Apple appears to be working on. It is interesting to note a patent filing that was made public the other day, and commented on by MacRumors, that references several “modules” (apps) that Apple wished to protect. Technology that Apple is looking to protect with the patent includes apps related to blogging, video conferencing, IM, and GPS.

GPS built in – seamless integration with Google Maps, SDK can make use of location info just like with previous “locate me” stop gap solution to location finding.

Introducing a new view for Maps – Navigator. Use iPhone as sat nav in your car. Uses Google Streetview where available to show surroundings – updates as the iPhone is moved.

Stereo speakers on iPhone – louder, much more capable, higher quality sound. Like having a boom box in your pocket. Also great for video calling without headphones.

Headphones- introducing stereo Bluetooth headset. Old headset was good, stereo is in whole new league. Voice calls sound crystal clear. Already got a decent pair of headphones? Plug them in with no additional adapter – headphone jack is no longer recessed.

iTunes Store

The new iPhone will be shipping Worldwide on June 19th. Available in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB.

Aside: It must be noted at this point that there are rumours of 2, yes TWO iPhones being announced at WWDC. This is quite possible, with one at a lower price level of just $200, thinner, with less capacity, while the other would be at a more familiar price with capacities of 16GB or 32GB. I would imagine the larger capacity, more expensive iPhone would have to have some kind of “must have” feature that is not present on the smaller capacity model (such as a front facing camera?) to make it worth spending an extra $200 of so on it. I would also find it odd that they would introduce two models of the iPhone, only differentiating them on capacity.

iPhone Apps


We’ve been working really hard with literally hundreds of developers on apps for the iPhone. Today we would like to show you just a few.

Firstly, we’ve been busy building a few ourselves:

Remote Control. Control your mac, and AppleTV with your iPhone. Same simplicity as apple remote we ship with apple tv, with beautiful graphics, and live previews of what’s on screen. Great for keynote – see next slide in your hand. Apple TV – see menus just like they are on TV, but in your hand.

Photo Booth. People love Photo Booth on their Macs – it’s a great way to easily, quickly take and share photos using their built in iSight camera. Now we have an iSight on the iPhone – why not Photo Booth! We’ve been having some fun with some really cool effects for this. Instead of me talking, I think it’s best to show you this.

* Shows demo using new iPhone taking stupid, but funny, photos of his Steveness with arcade effects. Can also manually alter photo by touching and pinching – shake to undo. Really simple, really fun.

We’ve also made a few more, but we don’t have time to show you them all here today.

* Shows screen displaying icons for Dictionary, Chess, Calculator (Updated), RSS.

Update on iFund.

One company that’s been working on a really cool iPhone app is Last.fm

Last.fm CEO takes to the stage to show off Last.fm iPhone app – knows what’s playing on iPod and updates Last.fm profile accordingly.

Another company that’s been with us from the beginning on iPhone is Google.

Google Rep takes to the stage to show off native versions of:

Google Reader

Google Docs

Google Calendar

Google still continuing to develop web apps for iPhone, also notes expanding mobile markets, and Google’s work on the Android Platform.

Steve then invites a load of game developers up, just like at the introduction of the SDK, including EA. Over 50 games coming to iPhone when App Store is released.

iTunes syncs everything

We’re really looking forward to getting these apps in your hands in a few weeks. We are fully on track to have the App Store launched by the end of June, as promised.

Along with the new iPhone firmware update, including App Store and some other great apps, we will be releasing iTunes 8, enabling all the great stuff we’ve talked about today.

OS X Snow Leopard


We are pleased to report that Leopard has been our most successful OS release ever. Tiger was great, Leopard has been “off the charts”.

Steve talks some more about percentages of Apple’s install base on latest OS.

Today, I’d like to talk to you about the next version of OS X. We’re still fairly early in devlopment, but we want to get this in your hands as soon as possible. Does not refer to next version of OS X as “10.6”, but says for now we’ll call it Snow Leopard.

Leopard has been great, but we want to focus on dramatically improving the speed and stability. Leopard is quick, but we can make things even quicker.

Increasing support for Cocoa – phasing out Carbon UI.

Aside: It has been rumoured from several sources that the next version of OS X will have wrap everything in Cocoa, leading to the rumours of “Pure Cocoa”. This does not mean completely dropping Carbon apps, but perhaps dropping Carbon UI elements. It has also been rumoured that the next release of OS X will discontinue support for PowerPC chips. Perhaps an aggressive move by Apple, seeing as G5 PowerMacs are still extremely powerful machines. I suppose you have to draw the line for support somewhere…

Better integration with iPhone, tying things together. Most noticeable interface change is scroll bars and buttons to iTunes style matte design.

* Steve invites some OS X Devs on stage to show off various speed and stability increases, plus some other cool core improvements that make building amazing apps easier. iPhone has really pushed the bar for app design, want OS X on the desktop to become even better.

We’re going to push the bar for developers in this release of OS X, by doing the same for the Desktop as we did for the iPhone. Introducing Desktop App Store, fully integrated into OS X.

Desktop App Store

Desktop App Store works just how App Store for iPhone works: Beautifully. Software Update will be integrated, so you have one place to go for keeping track of all your applications, and staying up to date. This also means developers can have an even easier path to get from code to customer.

Desktop app store will help to build a safer experience for users on the OS X platform. We’re not going to have all the same rules as we do for the iPhone App Store – Apple aren’t going to approve or deny apps before they’re made available, the community can do that. *Shows screenshot of Desktop App Store with user ratings for an app, with comments and number of downloads.

We’re really keen to get the next version of OS X in your hands as soon as possible, so we’ve got a seed ready for you, and it’ll be available to download from the ADC site this evening.

So, those are the 2 main platforms I wanted to talk about today – iPhone and OS X. We think we’ve created the best way for developers to build and share their apps with customers.

One More Thing

But there is one more thing…



Today, is a sad day. Today, we will be saying goodbye to .Mac

* Cheers from crowd.

We currently have the 2 greatest developer platforms – OS X and the iPhone, but there not integrated enough. Me is all about bridging the gap between desktop and mobile.

Saying Good Bye to .Mac

You have your contacts, your email, your photos, your appointments, everything on your computer. You also have them all on your iPhone. What about when you’re not on either? When you’re at school, at work, or on holiday, people want to access their life anywhere.

Me brings Address Book, Mail, iCal, iPhoto, and more online. But then we asked ourselves: “Why is all this information so separate to the information on our phones?” People want to communicate regardless of the medium – it doesn’t matter if it’s by email, SMS, phone, IM, or, now Video – you can communicate with anyone using Me however you want.

* Shows demo of the new fully integrated Me service in Safari, calls Phil Schiller.

Pretty cool, huh?

Aside: It is almost certain that .Mac will be replaced with new services at WWDC. Steve Jobs last year commented that Apple would be “changing that” in response to a question on why .Mac sucked. The “Me” name is not pulled out of thin air, either. As found by John Gruber a few days ago, and confirmed by many other sources, and by looking at the WHOIS records, Apple now owns the me.com domain. It is thought that a domain of only 2 letters, and that actually makes sense, could fetch 10s of millions of dollars if sold in public. This leads many to believe that Apple has a very thoroughly planned online strategy that they have been heavily investing in for some time. Also, Apple filed for the trademark “MobileMe” at the beginning of 2006.

Locate Me


Now that iPhone knows exactly where we are, wouldn’t it be cool if we could see where our friends are? What if my iPhone gets stolen? Wondering whether your daughter kept to her promise of going to the cinema this evening? Locate.Me lets you find out. Using GPS in the new iPhone, and cell tower triangulation when GPS isn’t available, Locate.Me lets you know where you, and any of your contacts are, displayed using the familiar Google Maps interface.

Locate.Me is already available in the SDK for iPhone, and now we have GPS, there are even more possibilities. Me enables the location services of the iPhone to become available to developers on the web and OS X. We think this is going to be a fantastic way for people to stay in touch, and to meet up with people they know.

Steve will also note that Locate.Me can be switched off at any time. Parental preferences can disable the ability to turn Locate.Me off. For enterprise users, using the same control panel as you would to remote wipe an iPhone, Locate.Me can be switched on.

Mobile Me

Mobile Me

Mobile.Me allows you to access all of the Me services from your iPhone, designed for iPhone.

Mobile.Me is great for developers – it means your apps can make use of ‘cloud’ services. We’ve been working really hard with Google to enable the use of some of their great APIs to enhance your apps. You can now utilise storage on Me servers, and build powerful apps that integrate with OS X and your desktop apps via sync.

In fact, Mobile.Me enables iPhone syncing over the air, so no longer do you need to be tied to your desk to sync your iPhone. We spent a lot of time looking at how people use their iPhones, and found that 70% of syncs are to transfer small amounts of data like contacts, notes, bookmarks, photos, and emails. So for 70% of the time, you no longer need to be at your desk to have your iPhone and Mac in perfect sync. For times when you need to sync large files, such as music and video, you can still use the dock connector for super fast USB syncing.

When you think about it, over the air syncing makes life so much easier. Your Mac, when switched on syncs any changes to Me, so they can be accessed online anywhere in the world. And your iPhone simply syncs with Me. This means you can be on holiday, on the other side of the world, and your Mac’s Address Book will know the number of your new girl friend as quickly as your iPhone. In fact, I’d like to show you a demo of this right now.

* Shows demo, with several instances of “Boom” when new contact appears in iPhone’s Address Book.

More Storage, New Price

We’re really pleased to announce that Me is going to come with at least 15GB of storage. We think customers are going to love the ease of keeping their lives organised around Me, with the same simplicity that people have come to expect from the Mac and iPhone.

Now… How much is it gonna cost? You will be able to sign up to Me tonight, using your current .Mac address, or you can get a new Me address. We will start with 15GB of space as a minimum for all accounts. If you’re a current .Mac member you’ll be upgraded over the next 2 weeks.

* Still pausing for time on announcing the price.

So, Me will be made available tonight, and we have decided to introduce a new pricing structure. Me is going to cost nothing. Me will be free. (Fair usage applies, payment after a certain usage level necessary). Thanks to our partnership with Google, we can now build on Google’s powerful platform on the web to enable everyone to experience a fully integrated digital lifestyle with Me.


So thank you all for coming, I think we’ve got some great stuff here that I am sure you, the developers, can really build on to create some amazing things.

< -- End thinking like Steve -- >

Just to clarify, these are only wild predictions (backed up by what’s been going round in the rumour community) of how the WWDC Keynote on June 9th may go. The whole thing could be completely different, and we could even see some other surprises like a new tablet Mac (but I don’t think so).

I hope you enjoyed the read.

Written by
James is CEO and one of the co-founders of GoSquared. He also likes to talk about design.

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