Behind the Curtain of WWDC

Scott Francis
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If you’re interested in a view behind the curtain of WWDC and Daring Fireball, this interview between John Gruber and Phil Schiller of Apple, is it. I recommend skipping the profanity laced introduction, however.

For those who prefer to read rather than watch/listen, a full transcript has been posted here.

Interesting how Phil handled the feedback on software quality:

Try to be magnanimous, and you somehow step in it. So, there’s no doubt. With every release there’s bugs, and there’s things we hit on, and there’s things that the team’s passionate about getting out there and fixing.

But we’re also very careful about tracking crash logs, and AppleCare calls, and Genius Bar visit, and we even have a tool that is able to follow a lot of user forums to ascertain what the complaints are, and try to really gather a good metric, set of metrics on all the issues.

And in this case, I do think the storyline isn’t really accurate with the reality. Not to say there aren’t bugs, there aren’t things driving some people crazy—there are. Of course there are. But it isn’t a change. In fact, if there’s any change, I think the biggest change in Yosemite—truthfully—over the last year, was that we had a faster adoption rate of OS X than of any Mac in history.

And so you saw a larger number of users, faster in the release cycle, in more diverse networks and environments, in different uses, and that surfaced even more things that would kind of happen over a slower ramp.

And so, there were things to chase out and go work on, no doubt about it. But I wouldn’t say it’s systemic to some issue, or some wider thing going on. Not in any way

And how Apple approached the split view on iPad for iOS9:

And it actually took a couple years of development to get to this. It wasn’t, like, someone woke up six months ago and said “Hey, let’s do multi-window, multitasking on this.”

It took a while to, for example, put out last year the size classes and auto-layout in iOS so that people can develop ostensibly for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but we knew that by doing that work, we were laying the groundwork to make this happen with El Capitan as well.

I loved John’s response:

like, the most mixed reaction from the audience—was when Craig said, “You’ve already done the work, if you’ve been listening to us and done this Auto Layout and the Size Classes, you’ve already got it.”

And there was this really mixed reaction, where it seemed like half of the developers were like, “Yes!” And they totally understood how Twitter maybe came in and did 50 minutes of work and got it working, because they already had it.

And then the other half of the developers were like, “Aughhhhh…”

It’s really interesting what you can learn from following how a company like Apple behaves in the market and works with it’s partners. Why, there might even be a method, or dare I say, a process, to the madness…

 

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