Day 2: iPhone Dev Camp 2

Yesterday I learned a few lessons about live blogging.Not many people are refreshing it as much as I was.

Yesterday I learned a few lessons about live blogging.

  • Not many people are refreshing it as much as I was.
  • I should list my posts with most recent at the top instead of the other way around.

Today I am going to use the same live blog format, but I promise it will be easier to keep up with. My ever-expanding Flickr photo set is here.

7:02 p.m. As attendees leave the conference, they are asked to sign the iPhone wall:

Sign the iPhone

7:00 p.m. The barcamp has ended. People are wrapping up. Many thanks to Christopher Allen, Dominic Sagolla, and Raven Zachary. These guys ran the show.

Wrapping up

6:28 p.m. Taking a break from the computer to see what's going on around here.

6:13 p.m. Special award winners announced:

  • Best new programmer team: Fwerps
  • Best new programmer: Zac White, CopyPaste
  • Coolest: iRa
  • Most educational: Harp
  • Best open source: TouchCode
  • Most useful: Taxi
  • Best web app: GreasePocket
  • Best social app: sStich
  • Best developer helper: Redactive debugger
  • Best game: Tattle Tale3

5:42 p.m. If you can name all the products in Adobe's Creative Suite, you can win a t-shirt. Acrobat, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Contribute, Photoshop, Fireworks?

5:29 p.m. Video: Copy and paste revealed on the iPhone.

iPhone being demoed

4:55 p.m. Just witnessed copy and paste from the Cocktails app to the Magicpad notes app.

The apps

In order of presentation:

Emergency info - You can pull your personal emergency information right from your phone. You can add medical conditions, allergies, and perscription information. Ships on the App Store soon.

TaxiGuide - Have you been to Beijing before? None of them speak English. This app is an audio dictionary of common tasks that you need to get you around. A large display of characters is easily readable.

iPhone demo

TouchCode - Not a visual demo. Enables XML, JSON, and SQL features into the SDK.

Fwerps - Start out with little blog pet. If you pet him he purrs. If you shake him, he gets mad. To make him happy again, you have to rock him back to sleep. This app was built in just two days by developers who have never used Cocoa:


Hurls (From Austin, Tx.) - As you shake the iPhone the little creature on the screen gets really sick, and eventually hurls.

Gracenote - If you hear a song in a bar, you can hold up your phone and it will record a little bit. Then it tells you the name and pulls in lyrics. You can even playback songs from your history. This was made using the Jailbreak, but has been upgraded to the official SDK library.

TallyCounter - Simple tally counter. Nice sound effects. You can clear, undo, and choose either left or right-handed mode.

Kaleidoscope - Uses OpenGL. You can shake it to do a reset, or tap the screen to show the status bar.

iBoard - A micro-forum using iUI. Backend uses Rails, took two hours to build. Goto on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

MagicTable - You can build super simple interfaces with the SDK. All dynamic. You can generate this XML on the fly on a per-user interface and have them all have a different design:

iPhone demo

GreasePocket - Imagine GreaseMonkey for the iPhone. Rewrite the mobile web. It would never end up in the App Store because of obvious cross-site scripting hacks, but if it's open source, maybe developers could fix those issues.

Light Bikes - Fun, snake-type game using gestures. The plan is to give a free one-player version on the App Store, and a premium two-player version using wifi:

iPhone demo

Gap - Free, and open source tool for developers. You can call the SDK from just using HTML and Javascript. Accelerometer and geographic data also accessible.

Quicktate - Transcribes audio to text in voicemails. Uses the Quicktate API:

iPhone demo

Record-a-call - A web app where you can record a conversation between two numbers and have the words be transcribed to an email address. Also built by Quicktate.

MapFoot - Built in two days. A directory and mapping app for malls. You can find exactly where you are in a mall and see where other stores are. The "where did I park my car" feature is in the works:

MapFoot on iPhone

sStitch - Enables emergency teams to get to the scene faster. Take GPS-tagged photos and get them to the command center fast. Also very easy to tag images.

Gifter - Takes address book data to make it easier to buy gifts online. Less clicks to purchase.

Redactive debugger - A real time debugging system for the iPhone SDK. Imagine Firebug for the iPhone.

iRa - Next generation surveillance viewing and control application. Screens real-time video on the iPhone. Really easy to switch between camera. This app will cost $899!:

iPhone demo

Video demo here.

Currency converter - Uses clean iPhone interface to convert most world currencies. Took 90 minutes to write.

RSPRoyale - Play Rock Paper Scissors on the iPhone... but not really. You try to move your character around the screen and get on top of the opponents. You can play live over wifi. This group of developers met yesterday morning:


Heat Map Mobi - Ambient, location-based, wave-finding utility of finding people. HeatMap finds you:

iPhone demo

SyInk - A minimilistic 37Signals minus a whole bunch of stuff. A shared to-do list.

Tattle Tal3 - Recreates the game Two Truths and a Lie. Only works on the iPhone on Safari. The network is building:

Tattle Tal3

iPhone Microsites - A Wordpress install mixed with an iPhone interface. Basically, if you choose, you can navigate every Wordpress site with the same look and feel. It makes reading blogs easier.

Wildcard - Freeform gaming space. On one iPhone, you can have a deck of cards scattered one way, shake them around and the new formation will show up on another phone.

PushUp - Counts pushups. While doing pushups, you put the phone in front of you and use your nose to count:

PushUp iPhone demo

Video demo here.

iMusicMash - Web app. Basically your iTunes library super-charged with a mashup. Uses Yahoo's boss API to return photos. Uses to get lyrics. Pings the YouTube API to return a bunch of videos of your favorite artists. And finally, it uses the API to help you find similar artists to the artists you select. Uses iUI framework. Backend uses Perl:

iPhone demo

Hot iPotato - Mr. Potato Head jumps from phone to phone. The music makes the experience enjoyable.

Bar Trivia - Built with no existing code, no head start, no outside help, no calls to Apple, and absolutely no sleeping. Just as you'd expect... it's a bar trivia game. It also has a multi-player Bonjour-networked version of the game so you can play against other members in the bar. The code is linked up here.

Harp - Educational music app. Melodies are very natural:

iPhone demo

DudeZap - Zap your phone number from one phone to another. You can use a four pin number that you give to the other person so that any random stranger just can't zap into you. Kinda cool, but if you are gonna give someone four digits, why not just give them seven or ten?:

iPhone demo

Neighborhood Map Project - Easily identify neighborhoods in many cities:

iPhone demo

PaddleBall - A Physics major from Ohio State built this. Why go out and buy real paddles and balls when you can just use a $300 cell phone?

Taxi - Focuses on better methods for hailing taxis. Get a taxi wherever and whenever with just one app. Uses location-based technologies to find where you are to find all the taxi companies near you. It also shows what intersection you are near so you can tell the taxi driver:

iPhone demo

Taxi app is fast too:

iPhone demo

CopyPaste - Open source framework for developers to use copy and paste from one application to another. Right now it's just text, but images and rich media are possible.

iPhone demo

4:20 p.m. So many iPhones:

iPhone demo

3:12 p.m. Dom and Christopher are discussing technical issues:

iPhone demo

2:20 p.m. The best shirt of the conference features all of the Adobe CS3 logos:

Adam's new shirt

2:12 p.m. The official iPhone Dev group shot is posted here. Link from Adam Jackson.

2:10 p.m. Satellite dev camps pose for a photo:

iPhone Dev group photo

2:08 p.m. Struggling to get in the shot:

iPhone Dev group photo

2:07 p.m. iPhone chaos:

iPhone Dev group photo

2:05 p.m. Setting up for the group photo:

iPhone Dev group photo

1:59 p.m. The judges are making their final cuts:

iPhone Dev group photo

1:50 p.m. Enric Teller didn't finish anything in time to be eligble for the Hackathon contest, but he learned a few weeks worth of iPhone tricks in just two days.

Enric coding

1:40 p.m. Christopher Allen asks the satellite dev camps if they have submitted their apps on time. The deadline is in five minutes.

iPhone MC

Medialets defines mobile advertising and analytics

1:17p.m. When the App Store opened on July 11, Apple really didn't offer any stats or tools for the developers. At iPhone Dev Camp today, a panel of mobile ad startups spoke, but Eric Litman ruled the show.

Raven introducing the panel

Imagine a company that will do this for you, and help you communicate with possible advertisers. Medialets provides analytics and advertising for native applications on iPhone and other emerging platforms, helping developers figure out the right way to make money with their applications while working directly with advertisers.

Only a few weeks into the App Store and there is a lack of information. Besides Apple, the only source we have are a few startups that are still learning how to do this.

What do we know so far about the success of the iPhone platform? How do we know?

We are still trying to get a handle on what's worth measuring in this market, but two metrics are very interesting: user dynamics and engagement.

Web developers have the ability to have a deep understanding about what their users are doing. Fire and forget. You hope that the end user is using the app the way you thought. Especially in gaming, there is a risk about that miscommunication.

“We want developers to have the instrumentation to be able to get a handle on their analytics in a very specific way.”

Litman owning

It's difference between a hit counter and Google Analytics. Today, you aren't gonna build a business on the hit counter. You need to go way above that if you are going to sustain your business.

"Because we are using native apps, we have much more power to track stats better than Google can do in a web browser," said Litman.

Medialets does a good job of adding value on top of the metrics.

There haven't been any pay-per-click text ads yet, but we might see those start popping up.

Medialets is the only company with up-to-date, public analytics. They also have RSS feeds for new apps, top free apps, top paid apps, and updated apps. This is a lot better than Apple could ever do.

You can also see apps tracked by price.

12:21 p.m. A king of iPhone development Zac White is plugging away. Yesterday he demoed the first ever copy and paste on the iPhone.

Zac White hacking

12:03 p.m. A new magazine will be coming out soon called iPhone Life.

New iPhone Life magazine

11:56 a.m. The final schedule is posted for the day. Apps must be submitted by 1:00 p.m. or they don't count for the contest. There is a talk on analytics, monetization, and virality at 12:30.

Stat sheet

Sunday Keynote

11:42 a.m. Neil Young worked at Electronic Arts from 1997-2008 and Virgin Games 1992-1997. He worked on games like Alladin for Sega Genesis, Majestic, Lord of the Rings, The Sims 2, and even the upcoming Spore.

iPhone is >

He gave it all up to start an iPhone games company. But why?

Back in the early 80s, there were no games in the UK for a little kid to play. For fun, you could play with sheep, morris dancing, or could do gerding (the art of pulling a strange face). In 1982, all that changed.

The ZX Spectrum kickstarted the gaming community in the 80s. It was a wonderfully engineered piece of hardware. It had full color — meaning 8 colors. It had sound with a built in BEEP command. Massive RAM - 16K or 48K... you get the idea.

Something strange happened. A combination of this device that people became very passionate about, along with England's really shitty weather — produced a wealth of games and game makers. Pretty much anybody could make a game.

Anybody can make a game

An industry was built from nothing. This rubber keyboard-looking thingy inspired a community of developers to create games from aggressive publishers and deliver great software to customers that inspired them and fueled growth into that business.


1000+ apps in the first three weeks. The mission it to build a product where you can create, fund, publish, and focus on games specifically for that device.

We can learn a lesson from Nintendo. They used hardware and software to be one of the best portable games systems. The dual-screen was key because developers could be more creative with their game design.

They took a game like Brain Age to pull in new customers.

They did it with the Wii because they knew social trumps performance.

If Nintendo made the iPhone, what would they do?

  • They would build game that can "only be iPhone"
  • The designs would be progressive, discontinuous and would have the user's context always in mind.
  • They would have great underlying game design with native device functionality at the core of the experience
  • Multi-touch, accelerometeres, my media, my camera, GPS, voice, messaging...

iPhone >

iPhone gaming has the potential to really engage users.

  • How can we learn from the compulsive Twitter?
  • How do get learn from Facebook's profile summary and mini-feed?
  • What can we learn from other social gaming platforms?

If this device, with it's community of developers, its progressive publishers, its great iPhone games can inspire and engage customers at new levels, we will be able to capitalize on this experience.

Neil Young

You can follow Neil's company at the ngmoco blog.

10:33 a.m. Christopher Allen starts giving the rules of the hackathon:

Christopher A

The inspiration for this contest came from MacHack in the early 90s.

MacHack '93

Here are the values of a true hackathon:

  • Contribution: by assisting the commons, offering value, and in general by being useful.
  • Sharing: by offering help, sharing code or expertise, or by assistance in testing or debugging.
  • Openness: by asking good questions, by answering them, by being open to people and ideas, open sourcing your code.

1:00 - Entry deadline 1:30 - group photo in front of the stage 1:45 - Satellite entry deadline 2:00 - Hackathon Show 4:45 - Break 5:00 - Special Awards 5:30 - General Prizes 6:00 - Get out!

Special Awards

  • Best New Programmer App: Messenger back (Axio), Earphones (Etymotic) & VMWare Fusion
  • Coolest: Backpack & TruPower, iV charger, and VMWare Fusion
  • Most Educational: Messenger Bag, Adobe Dreamweaver & VMWare Fusion
  • Best Satellite App: JBL iPhone SPeakers
  • Best Open Source: Apple gift card for the value of a 3G iPhone
  • Most Useful: Apple gift card for the value of a 3G iPhone
  • Best Web App: Adobe Creative Suite 3
  • Best Social: $500 Apple Gift Card
  • Best Developer Tool: 2.1 Ghz MacBook (White)
  • Best Game: MacBook Pro

In general, apps must be fun and cool. They value simplicity and elegance. You have an advantage if you built the app at iPhone Dev Camp. Apps don't have to be finished to win, they'd rather have an app that does something really well, even if it's not complete.

You can install the red:green app to influence judging as well as even Twittering your thoughts @iphonedevcamp.

10:31 a.m. Stage is set:

The stage is set

10:24 a.m. Full schedule is posted. Today is the hackathon!

Sunday schedule

10:15 a.m. Developers hacking away with unlimited coffee and pastries:

Developers hacking

10:12 a.m. Dom Sagolla setting up the computer for the day's presentations:

Infinite Doms

10:10 a.m. Neil Young's keynote will be pushed up to 10:30 a.m. This gives me some time to snap some pictures.

9:10 a.m. Left my camera at home so I had to run back to get it. Had to cross a marathon twice:

Marathon runners

Here is a link to Day 1's coverage.


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