There's a lot to see, do, and talk about beyond the doors of Moscone. After Apple's keynote, Rene, Peter, and myself are off into the wide world of WWDC 2015 week, speaking at Layers and AltConf, chatting with developers, recording radio plays, and maybe even singing a little karaoke with The Beard. And we're doing it all live. We'll be updating this post periodically with our thoughts, funny photos, strange insights, and whatever else we find on the ground at San Francisco.
[Editor's note: You'll find new entries at the top of this post.]
Thursday, June 11
Ren: Layers is over (sniff), Rene is off at WWDC, and I'm finally sitting down to ponder the contents of this week. I've got a long list of things I want to write about, so it's nice to have a day to actually sit down and do that. You don't get a lot of downtime during WWDC week — there's always something.
Wednesday, June 10
Ren: That was one of the most fun musical experiences I've had in my life. There's nothing quite like getting to sing with a bunch of fantastic musicians and smart folks and doing it on the Mezzanine stage in front of hundreds of Layers/WWDC attendees.
My favorite part of the evening took place long before we took the stage, however: For the hour or two before the doors opened, we just all sat around in the green room, jamming away on classic rock songs, Billy Joel crooners, and ukulele lullabies. Calling it now: We should have more spontaneous sing-alongs and jam nights at WWDC next year.
Ren: I'm going to be playing with James Dempsey and the Breakpoints tonight! I loved Conditional Breakpointing on the ukulele for "The Liki Song" at Yosemite earlier this year, and am super-pumped to do it again.
Ren: I'm at the last day of the Layers conference all day today, while Peter is off at AltConf and Rene is diving deep into WWDC sessions.
In addition to enjoying the design conference's other excellent talks, I've got two presentations to do at Layers today: One's a performance with The Incomparable Radio Theater On the Air, and the other is an Apple Pundits panel with Wil Shipley, Marc Edwards, and Arnold Kim. Excitement!
Tuesday, June 9
Ren: WWDC week goes far beyond the sessions: There are parties, events, live recordings, get-togethers, and all sorts of wonderful revelry to fill un-conferenced evenings.
Tonight was one of those nights: Rene and I had the pleasure — and the surprise! — of seeing Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller on stage at the Talk Show. Daring Fireball's John Gruber almost always gets a great guest or two for his live Talk Show, but this one took the cake and then some: How often do you see one of Apple's top brass siting on a stage not rented by All Things D or Re:code?
Though Schiller likely had some pre-show question prep, the actual back-and-forth was wonderfully candid. There were the cracks at Apple's reputed press blacklist: "PR rules: If you ask me something I don't like, you'll never get invited to anything ever again."
Schiller also teased Marco Arment about his accidentally-inflammatory piece on Apple's software quality before legitimately diving into the core problem. "I'm in this job for one reason: I'm a customer like all of you," said Schiller, who made very clear that the company wants the feedback, and it's something they do internally at every level. "Is [the product] changing lives? And if it isn't, beat us up until it is."
On Apple's recent pushes for diversity and the on-stage WWDC keynote presentations from two female Apple vice presidents, Gruber jokingly asked if it was time to apply a "Finally!" to the end of Apple's all-male presentation streak. Schiller shook his head: "It's a start."
The end of the show saw Gruber reminiscing about his first email from Schiller — a sly dig at the 2004 New York Yankees's playoff loss — and thanking the man for a truly incredible interview.
If you're curious for more (and why wouldn't you be? It's Phil Schiller), we pulled out additional highlights from the interview elsewhere on iMore, and you can listen to it in full on Daring Fireball.
For me, seeing Schiller up on stage reminds me that the Apple of 2015 is drastically different than the Apple I started covering in 2010: The company may still be secretive about its products, but it's also making huge strides to open up on important matters like diversity, accessibility, and the environment. By doing so, Apple's giving the world at large a peek into what makes the company so special — and spoiler: it's not just chamfered edges and sapphire glass.
Monday, June 8
Ren: Well, that was a thing! We just did a podcast live at AltConf; now Rene's off at the Developers' State of the Union (the more technical version of the keynote, designed exclusively for developers), I'm watching the stream and digesting everything we saw this morning. Some incredible stuff. Can't wait to dive in.
Sunday, June 7
9 PM PT — Enter the zebra watch!
Rene: Long story short: I have a space black Apple Watch. Matthew Panzarino from TechCrunch has a polished stainless steel Apple watch. We swapped links, and the zebra Watch was born.
Yes, your hatred of us is warranted.
9 AM PT — Pickup pinking up!
Rene: Badge pickup for developers started at 9am PT this morning and there was already a crowd gathered by the time to doors opened. Unlike previous years, there weren't any big iOS or OS X banners hung from ceiling insider — maybe to keep the typeface a surprise? — but there was a huge WWDC mural across the back wall.
Apple is using Passbook for the tickets, so what lines formed quickly inside moved quickly as well. Soon enough developers were leaving with their brightly colored badges in one hand, and this year's version of the WWDC jacket in the other.
The event itself kicks off tomorrow, 10am PT with the keynote. That's where we'll see iOS 9, OS X 10.11, and perhaps the next version of Watch OS, . As always, there have been a lot of rumors, but Apple's also good at throwing curve balls.
I'm going to go take a look around. Back later!
8 AM ET — Westward Ho!
Peter: I'm the last of the iMore crew to head westward this year. Rene and Ren are already on the ground in the Bay Area, and if all goes according to plan I'll be there by early afternoon. Right now I'm 35,000 feet above the American Midwest, typing this on my iPad 3, which I recently resurrected with a complete reset and paired to an Apple Wireless Keyboard in an Incase Origami Workstation.
My early morning arrival at Boston's Logan Airport didn't quite feel like WWDC until I saw Paul Kafasis of Rogue Amoeba sitting at the gate. He and I have had the knack of being on board the same outbound flight to WWDC for several years running. It gave me a pleasant sense of continuity that I needed after a fitful day and night before where I didn't get much rest. Traveling always fills me with anxiety.
If you haven't already checked it out and it's of interest to you, I highly recommend checking out Rogue Amoeba's Audio Hijack. It's pretty magical Mac software that makes short, easy work of complicated audio workflows — indispensible for podcasters and others looking to record, edit and filter audio with their Mac. The 3.1 release adds back a silence monitor and actions that make it easier to edit, share and catalog your audio files.
Traveling fills me with anxiety. No anxiety at all is what I feel about Apple's WWDC keynote. It's going to be great. Speaking of anxiety, I'm happy to say the keynote will be shown at AltConf after all. There was some drama last week involving AltConf and Apple, which told them they couldn't show the keynote then abruptly changed course. Whatever changed Apple's mind, I'm glad they did.
Looking forward to seeing some of you in a few hours, and looking forward to reporting much more on WWDC throughout the week.
Saturday, June 6
6AM ET — Flying by the wave of your wrist
Rene: I love traveling with the Apple Watch. It takes my love of traveling with the iPhone a step further. Now, not only do I have my cards and passes in one neat digital place, that place is extended up onto my wrist. And that keeps my hands free.
More often than not location services puts the appropriate pass into notification center for me on the Watch, and then it's just a quick tap to bring it up. When it doesn't — for example, when boarding pass trumps Starbucks card in the airport location lottery — I just open Passbook while I'm waiting in line, and then jump back to it when I'm about to pay. Merchants managed.
I like mango juice before I fly. It's like drinking liquid sun. Now that they have scanners at the airport Starbucks, it makes things even faster and more convenient. Case in point: I paid for my juice with my Apple Watch and was out of there before the person in front of me finished putting her wallet away.
Friday, June 5
11PM ET — Packed and ready!
Rene: Keynotes mean the big camera bodies and the big glass, so once again I'm packing up the DSLR Pro backpack with all the gear, cables, and accessories I need. It's already past midnight and I have to be at the airport for 5am, so let's do this!
10PM ET — In the air...
Ren: I'm in the air and on my way to WWDC! This is one of my favorite times of the year for a bunch of reasons: I get to see all my old friends from San Francisco, hang out with developers and journalist buds I've made over the last few years, and most excitingly — get a preview of all the goodies the folks in Cupertino have been hard at work on over the last year.
I love the rush of joy that comes over people when they finally get to talk about their projects, and doubly so when it's also an excuse to break my phone and iPad with pre-release software. (I'm one of those dummies who tests on some of my production devices. It's a very bad habit. But I love QA testing and new goodies too much not to do it.)
I'm very very excited about the keynote on Monday. Even with rumors of the new Apple TV being held for another event down the line, there's still a ton of stuff the company can talk about. Not only that, but I get to cover the keynote live for the second year in a row. Last year's WWDC was my first ever Apple event in the room, and I'm absolutely thrilled that I get to go back and do it all over again — this year, with iMore.
Whoop, time to power down my laptop. See you all in San Francisco!
7PM ET — And the banners are waving!
Friend of iMore Marc Edwards snapped some great shots of WWDC banners-in-progress. It's starting to feel SO REAL.
- Apple starts decking out Moscone West ahead of WWDC 2015
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