June 22, 2015

WWDC 2015 – a lighthearted look at the conference kick-off

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Odecee expert Luigi Colucci looks on the light side of WWDC 2015…

It’s Sunday the 7th of June and our small group has just lived it twice. We leave Australia at midday and find ourselves, fifteen hours later, checking our watches at 9am of the same day. You could call it “time traveling”; or, in this case, the unnecessary preamble to our arrival at the WWDC in San Francisco.

A few hours before the conference kicks off, Tim Cook tweets: “Rise and shine, developers #WWDC15.” Oh, we will Tim. We will…

If you’ve never been to the WWDC or a conference on its scale, you might be surprised by some of the curious phenomema we encounter as we make our way to the event. For example, the huge winding ‘snake’ of people who have camped out outside Moscone Center’s West building, all hoping to get a good spot at the big Keynote that marks the start of the event. As the minutes crawl by, the rambling queue of “15” jackets leave in their wake an ever-growing battlefield of pizza boxes, camping chairs, bags, bottles and whatever else they use to get them through the long wait.

We arrive to join the queue at about 6.30am. (Despite our comparative lack of commitment to queuing, we gain a quite respectable 4th row side spot for the Keynote – take note, next year’s attendees!). On the way, we’re assailed by a French journalist with greasy hair asking us about our Apple devices. We pretend to not understand. Je ne parle pas francais.

We’ll skip the boring description of the boring hours spent in the boring queue for the 10am Keynote in the Presidio. One remarkable note, though – after making it up the escalator to the second floor, a crowd of Apple employees claps and cheers us like we’ve just won the San Francisco Bay to Breakers, yelling things like: “You made it! Congrats! Welcome to WWDC!” A few thoughts here; first, they really know how to make you feel special – we feel at home. And second, is continuous clapping really an actual job?

We move on and head off to our 4th row seat in the Presidio. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already interested in the WWDC and/or Apple new technologies, which means you probably already know what was presented in the Keynote, which means you probably don’t need to hear it all again. You can read more about the big announcements – including Mac OS ‘El Capitan’, iOS9 and the new WatchOS – in this and future posts.

The Keynote goes smoothly and ends with warm applause and a general sense of awe emanating from the audience. The masses seem happy. Just as people go to leave, though, Tim Cook takes a deep breath and announces ‘one more thing’. Chairs start frantically moving, people sit upright in their seats and the obligatory animated whisper fills the room…

This is when Apple introduces Apple Music, a music streaming service where artists can share their material and users get music recommendations based on their tastes. Somewhere in the world, the Spotify team falls off their armchairs, spits out their drinks and faints to the ground.

A few artists pop up on stage, trying to convince the crowd to get excited about this not-quite-brand-new idea. Someone sings a song on stage, someone yawns conspicuously, someone leaves.

This was the beginning of the WWDC 2015 at the Moscone in San Francisco…Stay tuned for more!

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Categorised in: Digital, Industry

This post was written by Luigi Colucci