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.
The iPhone 3G was launched on July 11 (only 20 days ago) and Apple sold a million units in the first 3 days. I got my 3G on launch day. And this time the lines were even longer (cheaper phone, more demand) while unlucky customers faced a network infrastructure jammed with simultaneous requests to set up AT&T contracts for each phone. Despite initial difficulties, iPhone fans persevered and got their shiny new objects.
And those fans who hack are ready for this weekend’s iPhoneDevCamp 2 in San Francisco. This year’s organizers — Raven, Dom, Chris, Blake — have done a phenomenal job pulling in sponsors and handling logistics, volunteers, speakers and developers.
Developers, testers and hackers will gather at Adobe’s offices tomorrow to start designing and building code for the iPhone and iTouch through the weekend. They’ll use the iPhone’s SDK as well as web technologies to build cool iPhone friendly apps. A hackathon contest will be held on Saturday and Sunday (August 2-3) to promote open source community values of sharing, contributing and openness while churning out some serious code. At the end of the contest on Sunday, each app will be demonstrated and qualified participants will win cool prizes. I can tell you from experience, the prizes are really neat (developers even won iPhones last year).
To top it off, the excitement doesn’t stop in San Francisco. With satellite events happening concurrently in Austin, Chicago, Colorado, Portland and Seattle and internationally in London, Paris and India (Yeh!) , this weekend will buzz with activity.
Can’t wait to see the fun begin tomorrow evening! See you there.
The iPhoneDevCamp this weekend (July 7-8) was an absolute hit! The hack-a-thon to develop iPhone applications resulted in 48 apps and websites being demonstrated. Some great collaboration took place! Creative enthusiasts, developers, designers and testers all worked together to have some fun creating neat iPhone Apps. However, FOSS people like me do feel that the iPhone platform should be opened up to encourage lots of useful apps to be developed by talent outside Apple. The web sites and applications created at the hack-a-thon are available here.
My thanks to the organizers – Raven Zachary, Whurley, Chris Allen and other team members for a tremendous job managing logistics, press and the sub-events. And Adobe’s venue was perfect for the camp.
Here is the group photo of some of the attending iPhone owners. I missed it. Hopefully, better luck next time.
Is this cool or what? An iPhoneDevCamp starting today at sundown through Sunday (July 6-8) in San Francisco at Adobe’s offices at 601 Townsend St.
Many companies and individuals have pitched in to make this camp happen. My friend, Danese Cooper said about the camp – “It’s a great example of a spontaneous community forming around really compelling technologies,” in an interview with the SF Chronicle about the upcoming DevCamp.
There are 400+ designers, developers, testers and iPhone owners signed up already. By the end of Sunday, there will be some cool web apps and sites which are even iPhone friendly. If you’re in the area, sign up, bring your laptop or iPhone and join in. See you there this weekend.
The world has changed.
We’ve all been hearing about the iPhone for months now and its finally out. And unexpectedly, while watching the waves of eager customers line up to enter the Apple Store along Palo Alto’s University Blvd., my friends and I got bitten by the iPhone bug too. So there I found myself standing on opening day (June 29), in a line that was surprisingly fast moving, and got myself an iPhone. The gadget is sleek. It’s glamorous and it’s just plain cool. What a beautiful user interface. Very easy. Very, very intuitive. It’s got maps, music, movies, email, weather, stocks, wi-fi, camera, and a quad-band phone – everything a professional needs. The integration of Google maps, YouTube, Yahoo weather, iTunes music and movies is fantastic. This gadget sets new standards for convergence and raises the bar for all handheld devices to aspire to.
The only thing I don’t like is the bundling of a 2 year mandatory phone service contract from AT&T. The user should be able to select their own voice carrier and have more flexible monthly plans available. But, on the positive side, the bundled data service is unmetered. That’s a revolution for the US market. Unrestricted data connectivity will assure iPhone’s success because the network apps and features can be accessed at any and all times without being nickle and dimed to death.
But the iPhone whets my appetite and expands my wish-list for a comparable open source software solution. I want to see an ‘openPhone’ with the same level of integration from the OS to the GUI. Perhaps Red Hat with its ‘mugshot.org‘ will aim to achieve the samelevel of integration from the OS to the GUI. Perhaps Red Hat with its ‘mugshot.org‘ will aim to achieve the same standard of integration and do a ‘Fedora Fone’.