For the past couple of years, I have been hoping that Apple would resist the pressure to come out with a 5"+ phone. There are two main reasons for this now-shattered hope.
The first and most significant reason is that it shows that Apple is being directed by their competitors and detractors. I know that there are some number of iPhone users who wanted a larger phone, though I’d argue that the 4.7 would have sufficed most of them, but the vast majority of noise about Apple’s lack of a giant phone was coming from the phone manufacturers who currently make them, or from the media pundits who inherently hate Apple. It’s very similar to when you hear political party A saying that party B is doomed unless they do X. Then party B does X, and it backfires on them, just as party A had hoped. In other words, don’t take direction from your enemies. With the iPhone 6 Plus, it appears that Apple is doing just that. And that scares me.
The second reason is that they look terrible in use. I knew that if Apple were to make a ginormous phone, it would be the best-looking one in existence, but what good is being best-in-class when the whole class is hideous? I’ll grant that there are exceptions to this terrible look. If you are over 7 feet (2.13 meters) tall and can easily palm a basketball, a 5.5-inch phone might look good on you, but for most of humanity it’s just too big for a phone. An LTE iPad Micro maybe, but not a phone.
But what’s done is done. The devices and the screens on them do look amazing, and I’m sure they will sell well, at least in the short term. I just hope I’m wrong about this being a new means of setting direction at Apple.
There is one more thing I’ll hope for and that I’ll ask all of you to help with. One of the things I’ve always noticed about Apple products is that they look really cool, and people using them look really cool. So, in order to keep that picture from fading, if you do purchase an iPhone 6 Plus, please, use a headset to make calls. For the sake of Apple’s reputation as the maker of the best-looking devices — in a display and in use — please, for the love of all that is new and shiny, don’t hold the iPhablet up to your head.*
* Unless you are, in fact, over 7 feet tall.
Some of you may have noticed a sad hole in the CocoaConf speaker roster this Fall. The explanation for this was given today, over Twitter, as you may have seen. Jonathan Penn is joining Apple this coming July.
We’ve been privileged to have had Jonathan join us at 18 of our 20 CocoaConfs or CocoaConf events. Jonathan’s insight, energy, and humor really have played a big part in making the CocoaConf voice right from the start, and will not be easily replaced.
It’s an understatement to say that we’ll miss Jonathan very much, but we’re reminded of this: when awesome people — like Jonathan Penn or Bill Dudney — join Apple, the whole Apple developer community benefits. Yes, it’s sad that he won’t be on the circuit, but we’ve gained a stronger, better Apple.
We wish you well, Jonathan, and give you the heartiest congratulations that the CocoaConf Team can give.
And may the users win.
Solomon, for the CocoaConf Team
This past WWDC may go down in history as one of the most pivotal for the Apple developer community. Tim Cook stated in the opening keynote that WWDC 2014 would involve “the biggest release since the launch of the App Store.” As Matt Drance said in a recent blog post, “He was not exaggerating.”
Apple released Swift, an all-new programming language, as well as numerous improvements and enhancements to iOS, OS X, and the developer tools.
Usually, we wouldn’t be able to talk about all of this stuff until the developer NDA dropped, which traditionally hasn’t happened until after the new versions of iOS and OS X were released. This year, however, Apple seems to have let up on the NDA a bit, as section 10.1 of the developer agreement seems to bear witness to. With these changes in the developer agreement, we will be able to cover the recent improvements and developments in iOS, OS X, Swift, and the developer tools.
Since this happened so close to the end date of the Early Bird sale for CocoaConf Columbus, we are moving out the sale’s end to June 20th. This allows our speakers more time to decide what they’d like to cover from the New Shiny.™
The Columbus schedule is starting to fill in, and you can check it out here as new talks come in. We would like to mention that our iOS tutorial and Game Development workshops will be updated for Swift. We’ll also be running a Swift Kickstart workshop in Columbus*, taught by Daniel Steinberg.
There’s never been a better time to be an iOS or Mac developer, and there’s never been a better opportunity to bring yourself up to speed with the latest changes and improvements in Apple software development.
See you on the tour!
The CocoaConf Team
We’re excited to announce the first installment of the all-new CocoaConf Podcast, by Daniel Steinberg!
The CocoaConf Podcast features members of the iOS and OS X community offering tips, insight, facts, and opinions for other iOS and OS X developers. You'll recognize many of the voices from the CocoaConf speaker roster. Daniel will be your host.
In the pilot episode, Daniel talks with some familiar folks in the Apple developer community. You'll hear from people like Jeff LaMarche, Chris Adamson, Ben Scheirman, Saul Mora, Jonathan Penn, and Josh Smith.
The CocoaConf Podcast is available on iTunes. You can also follow @CocoaConfCast on Twitter, and subscribe to the RSS feed to be kept up to date with the latest awesomeness from the CocoaConf Podcast.
The CocoaConf Podcast is a still a project in the making. If you have any thoughts or questions about the podcast, please write to Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
The CocoaConf Team
Our thanks to the awesome folks at GitHub for sponsoring our 2014 Spring Tour. We really appreciate their support of CocoaConf and the Apple developer community as a whole.
You’re probably already using GitHub, but if you aren’t, now is a good time to fix that and a good place to start is their features page.
We’ve had the privilege of having three members of the GitHub for Mac dev team — Danny Greg, Justin Spahr-Summers, and Josh Abernathy — join us this past Spring tour. Watch for them this Fall, as well. :)
Thank you, GitHub!
Our spring tour has been going great! It has been so cool to see so many passionate, engaged Apple developers meeting, learning, and sharing ideas. We’ve often said that it’s not just our awesome speakers that make CocoaConf so great; and it’s not even the cream of the crop attendees that come to join us; it’s the magical combination. Bring them all together in one place for a weekend, and great things just happen! We have been seeing that again this spring.
Part of what has made our events so exciting this year is that each event has been sold out. Now, we cap our attendance, so sold out doesn’t translate into overcrowded, but this does make for a lot of great connections and discussions! In fact, our last six CocoaConf events have sold out, starting with Boston last fall.
To help meet the growing demand, we are adding two new cities. This fall, we will be returning to Columbus, Boston, and Atlanta, and making our first stops in Seattle and Las Vegas! It is going to be one exciting fall conference season!
We already have some great speakers lined up for each of our events, and we will be adding more of your favorites in the coming weeks. But while we’re doing that, you can register now to guarantee your spot at the city of your choice. The full schedule is below and they’re all going to be great. So, choose the city closest to you, or the city you’ve been itching to visit. If you have trouble deciding, you can always come to more than one.
As usual, we are kicking off registration with a limited number of Early Bird tickets, which can save you $150. But on top of that, today only, we are holding an Opening Day Sale! Save an additional 20% by using the promotional code “Opening-Day”. This code is only good until tonight at 12:00 midnight PDT.
Columbus, Ohio – August 8-9
Las Vegas, Nevada – September 19-20
Seattle, Washington – October 17-18
Boston, Massachusetts – November 14-15
Atlanta, Georgia – December 5-6
This is a great opportunity to save some money and ensure that you don’t miss out on CocoaConf this fall. Because a waiting list is a very lonely place to be.
See you on the tour,
We’re excited to have Itty Bitty Apps, the makers of Reveal, sponsoring us this tour.
Reveal is like Firebug for your iOS applications. It shows you your application’s view hierarchy with 2D and 3D visualizations at runtime, allowing you to debug your layout issues in seconds.
Several of our speakers use Reveal and love it. Here’s what a couple of them have to say:
“Reveal is now a part of our daily workflow when developing and debugging the UI for our apps, and worth every dollar.”
— Stewart Gleadow
“Reveal is some black magic debugging voodoo. It’s one of those tools I always wished I had in the back of my head, but never thought it’d exist. So awesome.”
— Justin Williams
And from the CocoaConf Team:
“As a newcomer to iOS development I was able to get real value out of this tool within moments of launching it. In addition to being invaluable for bug-squishing, there’s something simply magical about seeing the UI of your app laid bare in 3D space.”
If you don’t have a copy of that magic they call Reveal, they have a cure for that at revealapp.com. Get yours today!
Thank you, Itty Bitty Apps!
— Solomon, for the CocoaConf Team
Over the past three years, at the fifteen CocoaConf events that we’ve been privileged to put on, we have been totally blessed to have the help of such awesome speakers. Without the help of people such as Daniel Steinberg, Chris Adamson, Jonathan Penn, Josh Smith, Jaimee Newberry, James Dempsey, Ben Scheirman, Mark Pospesel, and so many others, CocoaConf wouldn’t exist. We are grateful to them all.
This Spring, most of your and our favorite CocoaConf speakers will be returning to the following cities:
March 7–8 (Sold Out)
April 4–5 (Sold Out)
Joining them will be several new (or newer) additions to the CocoaConf speaker roster. So, I just wanted to introduce you to some of them. We are looking forward to hearing from them and we’re sure you will be too!
Mike Ash — Mike is the author of the bi-weekly Friday Q&A, a blog series focused on deep technical topics related to Mac and iOS programming. He’s been developing for the Apple platform for over 20 years, and he’ll be joining us at CocoaConf DC.
Matt Drance — Formerly a developer evangelist at Apple, Matt is the owner of BookHouse Software. He’s co-author of iOS Recipes for the Pragmatic Bookshelf. Matt will kick off CocoaConf San Jose this coming April.
Mike Rundle — Mike Rundle is a iOS developer and designer in Raleigh. He's the creator of Interesting for iPhone, and the author of Building iOS Apps From Scratch. He’ll be making his debut at CocoaConf Mini Raleigh this May.
David Smith — David Smith is an independent iOS developer. He’s the creator of apps like Check the Weather and Pedometer++ and of services like Feed Wrangler. He’s also the host of a weekly podcast, Developing Perspective. You can find him at CocoaConf DC.
Sam Soffes — Sam is a developer and designer from the Bay Area. He currently runs Full Package and has worked on applications like Hipstamatic and Cheddar. He’ll be joining us for the first time at CocoaConf San Jose.
Mattt Thompson — Mattt is a software engineer at Panic. He’s also the creator & maintainer of AFNetworking, and writes about the obscure & overlooked parts of Cocoa on NSHipster. He’ll also be speaking at CocoaConf San Jose.
Ray Wenderlich — Ray is a iPhone developer, instructor, and the founder of Razeware. Along with the iOS Tutorial Team, Ray has provided a host of articles and tutorials for iOS development at raywenderlich.com. Ray and his wife, Vicki, will be joining us at CocoaConf DC.
Dave Wiskus — Dave is the third guy at Q Branch, the makers of the celebrated Vesper note-taking app. He’s an interaction designer and podcaster, and legend holds that he’s also the owner of an adorable canine. He’ll be joining us at CocoaConf DC.
Marcus Zarra — Marcus is the co-founder of Empirical Development, which recently merged with MartianCraft. Marcus is the author of Core Data for the Pragmatic Bookshelf. He’ll be joining us at CocoaConf San Jose.
We hope to see you on the tour!
You know what they say: “The harder the winter the nicer the spring.” Well this year that’s true in more ways than one. The CocoaConf Spring Tour schedule is filling out and looking amazing!
We are very excited about the many great speakers who are joining us, and some of the sessions they are planning will blow your mind!
And right in line with us getting the schedules mostly finished is the end of the Early Bird sale. This Friday — Jan. 31st — will be the last day to get these great prices on CocoaConf tickets.
So if you’ve been thinking about registering but weren’t quite sure, now would be a good time to take a closer look at our schedules and sign up for your favorite city. Or maybe your top two. :-)
We look forward to seeing you this Spring!
The CocoaConf Team.
That was the cardinal rule of CocoaConf speaker emeritus Bill Dudney. Every time he gave his Core Graphics workshop at a CocoaConf event, he reminded his students to avoid this heinous crime. Of course we agreed wholeheartedly and cheered him on, while trying not to think about how we were doing just that with our website, cocoaconf.com.
So, finally, after two and a half years of business, we broke down and hired a designer to help us redo our site. Wow! I can't stop kicking myself for waiting this long. The difference is amazing!
Of course, it’s very new yet, and will likely have a few glitches. After all, us mere mortal programmers still had to implement the design. :-) But we are very pleased with how it’s looking so far. Please check it out and if you find any issues, drop us a line at email@example.com.
And remember… “Never ship programmer art!” — @bdudney
I hope to see you on the Spring tour,