View Full Version : Thoughts/Summary on iPhone Tech Tech Talk World Tour 2009

Oct 30, 2009, 03:05 PM
Hi everyone,

For those that attended the iPhone Tech Talk yesterday in San Jose, California, just wanted to see your thoughts/insight on the overall event and the individual sessions, as well as provide a quick summary for those unable to attend. Since there were three different discussion topics being covered at any given time, the following is based only on the sessions that I attended. Also, all this information is publicly available, on the web and in the Apple Developer Portal in particular.

Overall, I thought it was a pretty well-organized event and covered some interesting/useful information, and was worth attending. The sessions varied in terms of how technical they got, but they tended towards the more technical/coding side, which is how Apple described the event.

The kickoff presentation started off with a video that apparently was also shown at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference 2009, and covered how varied iPhone developers are and how iPhone apps are being used across different industries (like medicine, construction, consumer goods, etc.). Then, it covered the growth and development of the user base (50M as of September '09), developers and the iPhone OS SDK. Then, a few apps were singled out as examples of good apps - the takeaways were that successful apps 1) use the latest technologies, 2) go the extra mile and 3) keep things fresh.

After that, I attended two sessions on Effective iPhone App Development, which covered considerations related to data persistence, design decisions, memory management and application lifecycle. The takeaways are to know the system, magage data carefully, conserve memory, maintain the user experience and use the available tools to test your app.

Next, I attended the session on Integrating Web Content into iPhone Apps. This was an informative session, but appeared to cover more than what the title suggested. For example, in this session, the most useful thing was to be reminded about using the built-in capabilities of the code to save memory (e.g., instead of having a separate image for each button, you can use the built-in capabilities to generate a button and manipulate the image with shadowing, reflections, etc.).

Then, I attended a session on using Location/Maps. The takeaway was to choose the right degree of accuracy (e.g., GPS > Wifi Network > cell towers), and weighing with time to fetch/power consumption considerations.

The last session I attended was the Networking session. For me, the most useful portion had to do with knowing the limitations of the network and peer-to-peer communications, in particular, reachability, bandwidth, latency and security. Basically, anticipate delays and keep the user experience running as smoothly as possible.

After that, there was a wine/cheese reception, where it was nice to meet some of the presenters and some fellow developers.

One final thing that was useful is the Technical Q&A session Apple had during the entire day. If there are some sessions that don't appear as useful to you, it's a nice option to go into the Technical Q&A room, bring your code and ask some Apple representatives regarding issues/questions about your app/code. Also, they had a sign-up sheet for UI Design Review at the Technical Q&A session. I thought it would have been really great to have an Apple rep review our apps for UI design, but, as you can imagine, the sign-up sheet for that got filled up really quickly, so time ran out at the end of the day. Not sure if they'll have this in other locations as well, but make sure you keep an eye out and sign-up as soon as you can!

Any other thoughts/insights/notes from those that attended the event (or, in the future, from those that attend at other locations)?


North Bronson
Oct 30, 2009, 03:23 PM
Cool. Thanks for the update!

Did anyone tell you how long until the lectures are posted to iTunes? The lectures from last year were pretty helpful.

Oct 30, 2009, 04:11 PM
Did anyone tell you how long until the lectures are posted to iTunes? The lectures from last year were pretty helpful.

Neat, didn't realize they posted the lectures from last year to iTunes. They didn't mention posting it to iTunes this year, but it would be nice if they did. Someone did ask about posting the slides themselves, and the presenter said they'd look into it. I wonder from which session they would record and post from? Might make sense to do it from a later Tech Talk, after they work out some kinks in their presentation.

Oct 30, 2009, 11:26 PM
The Santa Jose Tech Talk sessions on Open GL ES were extremely technical and very informative to anyone trying to optimize a graphics related app (not just 3D). The session on In-App purchase included a fairly thorough walk through of the process. I also found the UI session very informative.

The best part, of course, was the chance to catch some of the Apple presenters/evangelists and ask them technical questions. (But the party-line of all the evangelists/engineers was that they had *nothing* to do with the approval process.) I also met interesting developers, some working on stealth projects, some willing to show off their latest app in development.

I found the kickoff talk too slowly paced, although not quite boring.

The box lunch was above average... my apple (the round fruit item) was fresh and crisp.

Oct 31, 2009, 06:36 PM
The box lunch was above average... my apple (the round fruit item) was fresh and crisp.

Agreed - the sandwich was pretty good and the chocolate chip cookie was solid. Not bad for a free lunch.