Report: Apple to Host Secret iOS Developer Summit

| Rumor

Apple will be hosting a secret iOS developer summit next week, according to a report from Dan Frommer at BusinessInsider. The report said that an (unnamed) industry source spilled the beans on the meeting, which will run for three days, and will present a small number of developers with some face time with Apple engineers ahead of the release of iOS 4.2 in November.

Mr. Frommer stipulated that it’s not known who’s invited, or even how many developers or publishers might be invited. It’s also not known what kind of sessions will be offered to those in attendance.

Some intelligent speculation would suggest, however, that Apple could use such an event to offer top developers a hands on opportunity to ready new apps for iOS 4.2, or to make it easier for newspaper, book, or magazine publishers to bring their offerings to the App Store and/or iBooks.

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Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

If Apple wants to make it easier for newspaper, book, or magazine publishers, they’ll ask these publishers what their workflow and business concerns are. Listening rather than dictating will make it clear to Apple that they need to repair the Adobe relationship and not be paranoid about developers/publishers wanting to deploy cross-platform from one source base. As a developer or publisher, you’d be stupid to lock yourself into one platform by tool choice. Cond? Nast figured this out earlier this week.


To a certain extent, they have listened, no? Apple’s concerns with app publishing don’t revolve around people being able to produce content with third party development tools per se. They revolve around third party cross-platform development tools not evolving to handle Apple innovations in a timely fashion and therein restricting popular apps from taking advantage of new features that Apple creates to differentiate their platform from clone OSes. It has the potential to slow development to the pace at which Android can copy iOS, which eliminates Apple’s ability to capitalize on innovation.

While that may be good for some segment of developers, it doesn’t provide Apple’s customers (and thus, Apple) any real benefit. Apple’s goal is to make a profit by providing something of value to customers that they can’t get somewhere else cheaper. If a significant portion of developers are using tools that don’t allow them to provide “can’t-get-this-anywhere-else” features then Apple is left developing a feature set for the rest of the device industry without the benefits of being there first.

Worse still, if some developer comes up with a killer app that an iOS update breaks, customers are going to lay the blame for that with Apple and not with a slow developer. In my field, you can see this with Avid. Our A/V department can’t update software or hardware until Avid says they can. There’s lock-in, but suddenly it’s not Apple’s lock-in. Apple has seen this material before and they know it’s going to be on the quiz; they’ve planned for it. They know they have a thin line to walk.

An obvious exception is a feature like FaceTime, where sharing the technology increases the value of the network and thus, the usefulness of the feature.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

The problem with your argument is that Apple cannot supply all the content and applications its customers want. It can attempt to intermediate, but if publishers and developers have to incur special expense to allow Apple to be an intermediary, they’ll evaluate whether the expense is worth the potential payout and what the likelihoods of that payout are.

That’s exactly what you see with the Cond? Nast path. They took a chance early, even spent a big chunk of change to adapt to Apple’s Adobe-ban in the Spring. They weren’t at all happy about having to alter their production cycle to get on iPad when there was no reason other than an arbitrary, capricious decision by Steve Jobs forcing them to do it. So now (see my link above), they have announced whose side they are on. Steve’s arguments obviously rang hollow. And they should. Publishers are not in business to make Apple look good.

On your Avid situation… Apple’s controlling ways would do nothing to alleviate it if applied to the Mac. Here’s a smaller example… I have had customers who would ask me—when a major Windows update comes along or they want to get new printers or some such—if the software will work on these new configurations. I tell them that I don’t foresee problems, but if they want me to validate their new configurations for them, they can pay me to do it. And since I’m not guaranteeing that the software will continue to work as it has, if it doesn’t, then they can pay me to fix it or they can wait until the next version and see if it got fixed. I have had customers with mission critical setups that needed to know things would continue to work if they upgraded hardware, OS, and drivers. And they paid to have the assurance. Unfortunately, you don’t get around this multi-party upgrade problem through APIs and tools standards, especially in high performance computing, where Avid plays. And over the past decade, there have been far fewer compatibility problems on the Windows side due to its more evolutionary API and underlying hardware structure.


Apple will be hosting a secret iOS developer summit next week

You know, I was interested in this phrase. Why do they organize a “secret” summit? Are they afraid that somebody steal their ideas or what? Of course, today Apple with a great speed penetrates in all aspects of human’s life and they don’t want lose their positions but whatever such news looks rather strange for me.

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