August 1 Evening: The camp started with more than 300 people attending the opening session on Friday evening to get started. People discussed app ideas, development plans and formed teams. iPhone users ranging from developers to user interface specialists and even photographers joined in to brainstorm. The organizing team (thanks Raven & Dom), volunteers and Adobe staff were exceptionally helpful to participants coming in. A lot of energy and high spirits. I was impressed with the number of sponsors (60+ sponsors) and supporters for the DevCamp, all interested in encouraging this open community around the iPhone phenomenon.
August 2 Morning: It is Saturday morning now and the DevCamp is already buzzing with activity. After breakfast, sponsors were introduced briefly by Raven and Dominic. Right now, the keynote forum with Merlin Mann is in progress. Mann, introduced as a “maker of fun” and iPhone evangelist, talked about the excitement the iPhone has generated and a major itch to scratch according to him has been “email”. Mike Lee of Tapulous and Brian Fling of Leaflets are the other two keynoters. Fling talked about the new version of Safari and leveraging the latest features to build interfaces for the iPhone. When the panel was asked about the some of the killer apps that make the iPhone really worthwhile, they listed Surfline.com, iChat, Twitterific, Games, Safari and Remote. The keynoters also discussed about were killer interactions that make iPhone apps highly usable, user habits (i.e. how do users use the iPhone vs. iPod / iTouch), interactivity of web apps and making UIs friendly and usable on iPhones. Usability suggestions included not having to scroll up and down unnecessarily, having short sequences to perform actions, remove splash screens from apps, not using video on splash screens especially on games. The last part of the forum is Q&A between the participants and keynoters. Interestingly, user interfaces that got flagged by users as needing improvement for iPhone like interfaces included Amazon.com, and some Google services.