san francisco

WWDC Day 3

Another great day in San Francisco! Today was a fairly early one, waking up to book in for a consultation at the conference. Following that, I took a trip to Blue Bottle Coffee for breakfast (my first visit so far this trip) a much loved coffee place by Australians. Short review: Meh, tasted like Gloria Jeans coffee so nothing special.

Following that I headed to Moscone West where I met up with some fellow scholars and spent time playing around with the new iOS 10 and watchOS 3 API’s. I then had a consultation with the App Store team which ended up down the rabbit hole of business model and monetisation strategies. Following this, I attended the session titled ‘Quick Interaction Techniques for watchOS.’ It was fairly interesting.

The best part of the day for me was attending a WatchKit lab where I took in some code I’d been struggling with and had a few Apple engineers take a look and help. I truly expected these labs to be a little daunting, but turns out the engineers are great and are always willing to help. Nothing was too much trouble, and no question was too small either.

The day at WWDC ended with three more sessions:
- Designing Great Apple Watch Experiences (best session of the day)
- Focus Interaction on tvOS (incredibly boring)
- Introducing SiriKit (interesting technology, however not relevant to any apps I ship at the moment due to Apple’s limitations on the type of app that can integrate with Siri)

Dinner took place in Little Italy after a nice walk through the streets of San Francisco, and was followed by a cable car ride back to the room.

Fun fact of the day: I spoke to an Apple engineer in a lab today who told me he gets a little starstruck when he is approached by a developer who he knows and respects, and/or whose apps he uses. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks of great app developers as pseudo-celebrities.

Tomorrow’s agenda: Well I haven’t planned my day properly yet, but I imagine it’ll involve coffee at Blue Bottle (again!), then a handful of labs and sessions at the conference. The highlight will undoubtedly be the WWDC Bash - which is a concert put on for WWDC attendees by Apple each year. Great news for me, Good Charlotte are playing this year! I couldn’t possibly have asked for a better band to play and it’s going to be awesome.

San Francisco Day 2

Tourism galore!

The goal for today was to see as much of the city in as little time as possible. Call it ‘speed-tourism’ if you like. San Francisco’s warmest day in a while began for mum and I with a famous cable car ride from the Powell Street station up and down the hilly terrain to Lombard Street. The steep streets didn’t stop there of course, as Lombard street is the most crooked in the world. It wasn’t much of a challenge to descend the stairs, but it was fun nonetheless. A quick breakfast, and visit to Lombard Street later, proceeded the long walk to the Golden Gate bridge. It was at least an hour between first glimpse and reaching the start of the bridge, and the views from different angles were all uniquely impressive. After many, many photos of the bridge, we walked across then kept going to a town known as Sausalito. From here, a ferry was caught back to San Francisco that offered a great view of Alcatraz and over the city as it passed.

An afternoon meal took place at a nice seafood restaurant somewhere between Pier 39 & Fishermans Wharf (mmm, clam chowder), and then the exploration continued. This time, by walking the streets until we saw the Apple Store on Chestnut Street. Can you really say you came to San Francisco for WWDC without visiting all of the local stores? The look and feel of this store reminded me a lot of the Bondi Apple Store in Sydney.

A bus ride later, it was time to visit Moscone West again. It’s since been dressed up and is all ready for the big event. Between yesterday and today, two massive Apple logos have gone up onto the glass along two sides of the conference centre - quite a sight. Apple also have put up five banners on a street opposite, displaying the text “WWDC” for all to see.

Fun fact of the day: For about half of today the roaming on my iPhone changed from the carrier AT&T 3G to T-Mobile 3G. The experience on T-Mobile was ridiculously sub-par.

Fun fact #2: At the time of writing (10:52pm), my Apple Watch is reporting 35755 steps taken. Insane! 

Tomorrow’s agenda: Meeting up with some fellow scholars for breakfast in the morning, before heading down to the scholars orientation. Hoping to get the opportunity to meet some Apple executives at the orientation. Will keep you posted, so stay tuned!

San Francisco Day 1


So it has begun! Nearly 30 hours ago now mum and I left home to head to San Francisco for WWDC 2016.

The 17 hour journey from SYD to LAX, then to SFO was uneventful, however unfortunately consisted of no sleep. Many Podcasts, novel chapters, and failed attempts at sleeping later, we touched down in San Francisco. Tired, but determined to make the most of the day, we started with lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, followed by a walk around Union Square which included a visit to the new Apple Store. Then the walk to Moscone began. It was exciting to see the building, albeit only from the outside and mere hours before the Apple logo decoration on the outside began to go up. All the same, it was cool to see. Looking forward to attending the conference there from Tuesday onwards.

This was followed by a walk down past AT&T park - home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, then a walk up past Bay Bridge, through Chinatown and back to the hotel. It is currently 5:51pm local time as I write this and it’s now time to get some sleep. (Finally!)

A weird observation about San Francisco: It’s pleasantly surprising to see the number of technology related billboard advertisements. It just isn’t that frequent to see a tech company advertising any product in Sydney, let alone on a standing billboard or the side of a bus.

Tomorrow’s agenda: Be as touristy as humanly possible, including Lombard Street, Fishermans Wharf, Painted Ladies, Golden Gate Bridge etc. Will keep you posted!