Developing Perspective

#36: Headline News


00:00:00   Hello and welcome to Developing Perspective, the podcast discussing news of note in iOS,

00:00:05   Apple, and the like. I'm your host, David Smith. I'm an independent iOS developer based

00:00:10   just outside of Washington, DC. Today is Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, and this is episode number

00:00:16   36. So obviously the big news today is the Apple keynote. I'm recording this before it

00:00:23   happened. I'll probably do something after the show as well, but I wanted to capture

00:00:27   feelings, thoughts, things going on before it's actually announced, and then it's kind

00:00:31   of interesting to, on the flip side, to actually go back and see how that goes.

00:00:36   But basically, you know, so I have to ask, today Apple, at about 1pm, which is in a couple

00:00:42   of hours from now when I'm recording, they'll be announcing something new.

00:00:46   Why are they expected to be an iPad?

00:00:48   Probably whatever the successor to the iPad 2 is, whether it's the iPad 3, the iPad HD,

00:00:53   the iPad Super Plus, amazing.

00:00:56   The name itself I don't actually find particularly interesting.

00:00:59   It's something to think about because whatever it is, it's going to be successful.

00:01:02   And I mean, no one liked the name iPad when it first came out.

00:01:05   I mean, I remember the trending topic right after the iPad was iPad,

00:01:10   and then it was like iTampon and all kinds of weird things going on about it.

00:01:14   I mean, the name I don't think really matters.

00:01:17   I mean, Apple could call it almost anything, and it would be successful.

00:01:20   So the name I don't really care about.

00:01:22   But I was just kind of struck by this morning

00:01:25   So I was driving into work and I was listening to NPR.

00:01:29   And so on headline news, the things that--

00:01:33   if you're not familiar with NPR, National Public Radio

00:01:36   in the United States, basically at the top of every hour,

00:01:40   they have about a five minute news bulletin.

00:01:42   That's kind of like, these are the headlines, the things you really need to know.

00:01:46   And today was four or five things.

00:01:49   First was the ongoing conflict in Syria.

00:01:53   two was Super Tuesday or the primary election results from yesterday in the US presidential

00:01:58   election campaign. There was an attack in Afghanistan that killed a handful of British

00:02:04   soldiers. There was a survey about teachers being unhappy in the current economic crisis.

00:02:09   And then the fifth thing, which kind of blew me away, was that they were talking about

00:02:15   Apple probably announcing something like an iPad this afternoon. So if you think about

00:02:22   that in context. So this is one of the most respected news sources in the United States,

00:02:27   you know, National Public Radio, who is, as one of their five items in the headline news,

00:02:34   is talking about the iPad event, something that we know very little about, that there's

00:02:39   tons of speculation and people talking about and this, that and the other, but, you know,

00:02:43   it's just speculation at this point. And that makes the headlines saying that, you know,

00:02:48   they're going to announce something.

00:02:51   Apple's already won. They could just...

00:02:54   Phil Schiller could just show up on stage and be like, "Hey, here it is. It's better."

00:02:59   Throw it on the table,

00:03:00   it goes on sale in two weeks, and walk out.

00:03:02   It would probably sell just as well. It would probably even make more news if they did that.

00:03:06   I mean, it's just sort of...

00:03:08   The iPad...

00:03:10   The iOS platform generally, but the iPad specifically, has this air of inevitability

00:03:14   around it now.

00:03:15   And I don't think anything

00:03:18   short of an external major event, we'll be able to sort of slow it down.

00:03:21   I mean, you talk about it. There's another anecdote that struck me was talking to...

00:03:25   someone was talking to his hairdresser and he was wearing an Apple shirt.

00:03:29   He's a developer and he was talking to his hairdresser and getting his hair cut

00:03:32   and she saw that he had an Apple shirt and was like, "Oh, do you know when the new iPad's gonna come out?"

00:03:36   I mean, it's like totally sort of normal people in the sense of, you know, not people

00:03:40   like me or like probably many of the people who listen to a podcast like this,

00:03:44   who, you know, they live and breathe this, we focus on it, we follow it.

00:03:47   people who are Mac rumors, or on Apple inside, or Daring Fireball, you know, all these kind

00:03:51   of places.

00:03:52   You know, we live this, but the same kind of thing happened, I remember, with the iPad

00:03:57   2 launch, where I knew dozens of people who were asking and talking about, like, "Oh,

00:04:01   you know, you need to get an iPad for Christmas."

00:04:03   And they're like, "Oh, I really want to wait for the iPad 2.

00:04:06   I hear it's going to come out in a couple months."

00:04:08   It's like, that sort of level of awareness by the general population, I think, makes

00:04:17   -- I mean, as a developer, it's insane to think of all these people who can't wait to

00:04:23   get their hands on a device that I can make an app for, right?

00:04:27   There's thousands and thousands of people who are excited and will be lining up to get

00:04:32   it.

00:04:33   And I feel like that's very different than the feeling I get from the iPhone.

00:04:37   And maybe it's just we're in a different phase now with the iPhone.

00:04:41   People still line up, it's kind of a big deal. But it's almost...

00:04:45   The iPhone doesn't feel as special in a way now, where people

00:04:49   are kind of used to it. It's very similar than it has been.

00:04:53   And also I think part of it is the iPhone now is much...

00:04:57   It seems like Apple introduces new technology and new things in the iPad

00:05:01   and then brings them into the iPhone later. So the iPhone announcements are

00:05:06   less impressive I think than they would have been if the iPad

00:05:11   didn't exist. Things like when they went to their own A4 chip

00:05:16   I guess with the iPad 1, well everyone knows, well the iPhone 4 is

00:05:20   gonna have an A4 chip. They came out with the A5 chip and the iPad 2, oh it's

00:05:25   probably gonna come to the iPhone. There's a sort of

00:05:31   progression there that I think reduces some of the excitement about it.

00:05:35   I mean, it's still great, I'll get whatever the new iPhone is, I'm sure when it comes out,

00:05:40   but there's that level of mainstreamness to the iPad now that is just kind of striking.

00:05:47   And so then on the flip side of that, I was going to talk about

00:05:52   sort of what that means as a developer, and as I sit down and I think about

00:05:57   what

00:05:58   What this announcement could mean it's kind of kind of a crazy thing. I was talking to my wife last night about how the

00:06:04   It's a strange profession to be in where tomorrow. This is just soon this last night. It's in it's like you know tomorrow at one

00:06:12   the entire rest of my year professionally could be turned upside down and just

00:06:18   Yeah, it's kind of crazy that there's just you know there's a couple of guys in Cupertino who can announce something

00:06:25   and that'll just totally change. Right now I'm working on doing some retina work for my iPad apps and some updates and things. Who knows?

00:06:33   It's like Apple could announce all kinds of things that would just turn that upside down. It could be new frameworks, new platforms.

00:06:40   Say, for example, they update the Apple TV and allow apps on it. Okay, well, that's a new interesting thing that I may want to develop for.

00:06:48   And I mean it's kind of just crazy when it going from a world where I used to work at a sort of you know

00:06:53   It's a nine-to-five kind of employee

00:06:55   You know, it was very rare that things would change in terms of you know

00:06:59   What I was doing what I was gonna be working on I can probably predict six seven months out what I'm you know

00:07:03   Our projects I'd be working on where they'd be doing

00:07:05   And it's just kind of crazy to think that who knows. I mean, I remember when the iPad first came out

00:07:09   We just dropped everything

00:07:11   You know, I just just and like let you know, let let's work on as many as we can

00:07:16   Let's understand this platform. I mean that was insane

00:07:19   They the platform the device hadn't even shipped and we're you know all running around like if a simulator

00:07:24   And that was it and we're kind of like you know printing out

00:07:26   Mockups, and I think I remembering right I even found a I found one of my child children's books

00:07:34   Had the same shape and weight of an iPad and so I take that and put mock-ups on it

00:07:38   I mean going through all of these things because the market is just so rich

00:07:42   It's so

00:07:44   It's not easy easy is the wrong word, but it is so possible to be successful in the iOS App Store

00:07:50   And so, you know just seeing an event like this is just so sort of reinforces that at least to me to such a degree

00:07:57   where I'm like

00:07:59   Yeah, I mean anything and whatever Apple does it's good for me. I mean

00:08:04   The only with these are a few exceptions I suppose of they closed the App Store

00:08:08   They decided actually we're going to discontinue this product, you know things that are just kind of absurd

00:08:14   But otherwise, it's only going to be good for me.

00:08:18   And that's kind of fun.

00:08:19   That's exciting.

00:08:20   And that is, I think, it is really a sign of being in the right industry, I think, where

00:08:29   there is so much excitement about the thing that you're working on that no one really

00:08:34   -- I was just thinking, like, Windows 8 had a big announcement a couple days ago.

00:08:42   And I'm sure it hit some places, but it was certainly not an NPR news bulletin.

00:08:51   I don't think it made the main page of CNN.

00:08:54   I mean, all these things that you just kind of see, it's like, it makes me worried a little,

00:09:01   if I'm honest, that for them to travel to be so successful, that at some point, that

00:09:06   seems like that's going to be sort of the pride goes before a fall.

00:09:09   at some point being so successful becomes a problem, becomes something that they have

00:09:14   to overcome.

00:09:15   That, A, the expectations are so high.

00:09:19   I mean, the whole, "Oh, I was disappointed with the 4S, it wasn't fancy and new."

00:09:23   I don't know if I really buy that as an argument because it still sells well.

00:09:27   And it's like taking a diamond and polishing it, it's still a diamond.

00:09:33   It's not like polishing it somehow makes it better.

00:09:35   It's like people would be like, "Oh, well, I want it to be better and faster and this

00:09:37   and that."

00:09:38   Well, it's starting is such an amazing thing that just polishing it makes it better.

00:09:45   But I was just kind of struck by, I just hope they can keep it up.

00:09:50   I mean, at this point, it's like I'm kind of hitching my wagon onto the App Store and

00:09:54   kind of focusing all my attentions onto it.

00:09:56   I used to do some Android stuff.

00:09:57   I really don't.

00:09:58   Every now and then I get these emails like, "Oh, but your app doesn't work so well on

00:10:02   this particular version of Ice Cream Sandwich.

00:10:05   That's unfortunate.

00:10:06   It's like this particular phone."

00:10:07   And honestly, I tell these people, it's like, I'm sorry, but there's not enough time in

00:10:13   the day or money in Android for me to track that down.

00:10:18   Like versus, you know, spending my time working on a platform where I can put in a lot of

00:10:25   effort and get a sort of a just reward for that effort.

00:10:28   So anyway, that's just some thoughts today.

00:10:30   I kind of wanted to say, I want to throw some things out before the announcement.

00:10:33   I'll probably do something either this afternoon or tomorrow based on what they announce, so

00:10:38   certainly stay tuned for that.

00:10:40   But otherwise, I hope you enjoy it.

00:10:42   It's, let's see, 1 p.m. Pacific, so if you're in the U.S. that, or sorry, 10 p.m. Pacific,

00:10:49   which is 1 p.m. Eastern.

00:10:52   I think my favorite place is to watch it, use your Macworld and Gadget, and then if

00:10:57   If those two fail, then I always go to whoever stayed up for the iPhone 4S announcement.

00:11:04   It was, I think, Gidget.com was the site that stayed up.

00:11:07   And it's just kind of a fun thing.

00:11:09   Sit down, enjoy it, and just-- I wish they streamed them still, but they don't.

00:11:16   But just sit down, watch a live blog, and enjoy being able to view history being made.

00:11:23   And otherwise, happy coding.

00:11:25   Have a chance to stay a little bit focused this morning,

00:11:27   and otherwise, I'll talk to you later.

00:11:29   Thanks.