WWDC09 Countdown

Francis Phan WWDC09

The time has come as developers from all corners of the globe are beginning to converge in San Francisco in advance of the Apple World Wide Developer Conference for 2009 from June 8-12.   For one week, the Moscone Center will be the mecca of all things Apple as it relates to developing software on Apple platforms, which of course includes iPhone Cocoa Touch Development.

I’ve had the benefit of being here for almost a week already, hanging with friends and family in the Bay Area, and following through on a few connections here.  There’s been a lot of hype leading up to the conference and I’m doing my darndest to not get too caught up with things, but already I’m reading tweets of attendees planning on getting in line at 4am for the 10am keynote, and Steve Jobs isn’t even going to be attendance!  Is it me or is this nuts?  Or am I running the risk of not being able to get into the standing room only hall if I don’t come early enough?

There’s plenty of technical issues I hope to get answers for in the next week as well as hopefully get insights on more abstract ones.  If you’re so inclined, you can catch me on twitter through out the week, as I’m sure there will be no shortage of play by play updates from WWDC land.

The Andrew Swaine Portfolio iPhone App

For years I have known fashion photographer Andrew Swaine. He had done photo shoots for recording artists I’ve worked with, namely Iyeoka Okoawo and Omega Red. When I was trying to determine a “first” iPhone application to submit to the Apple iTunes store, I wanted to rapidly develop an application that would allow me to explore the inner workings of the iPhone SDK. As I’m focused on creating marketing type iPhone apps, it seemed logical to go with Andy as he had high quality content on hand.

Andrew Swaine iPhone App Gallery Table

Although this application appears to be relatively simple, there are a lot of implementation details that were definitely non-trivial. As an iPhone developer, you have to be mindful of limited system resources on the device. As Andy had over a 150 photos to display, I had to create a memory buffering scheme to load photos, otherwise the app’s memory could be maxed out and then the application could crash, which of course is something that should be avoided.

As a C++ developer, learning Objective C was a relatively straight forward although admittedly there were some new ways of doing things I needed to get used too. It turns out that a lot the great hurdles new iPhone developers have to deal with relate to the iPhone App Store itself. There’s an obtuse sequence of steps required to provision and securely digitally sign your application in which if you mess up any part of the process, you’re up the proverbial creek! It’s amazing the number times I’ve come across the word “voo-doo” to describe this process when I was researching this on the web.

Also frustrating is the approval process for application submission to iTunes in which there are no formal guideline requirements. Unfortunately as of this post, the application above is not available on iTunes yet and I submitted the app 12 days ago! The only feedback I’ve gotten back thus far was that things were “requiring unexpected additional time for review”. Fingers crossed that it will be approved the first time through, because I would hate the prospect of having to go through another round of this. In the mean time, I do have the video reel above. It’s a screen motion capture of the application running though an iPhone simulator provided by the iPhone SDK. I promise, there were no pixels photoshopped in this process!