I’ll give the extended version after the jump, but for those of you in need of a sound bite I’ll summarize.
It was very cool. I loved getting to talk to so many great people, especially folks who I’ve long known by their email address but not face to face! It was also neat to take part in something I’ve heard so many people rave about. I saw some very interesting things and got some excellent insight into the Apple market. All in all a very satisfying experience. Plus San Francisco is great so how could I go wrong!
So, on to the details…
Minor Disclaimer: As I write, please understand that we are first and foremost a mobile software developer. There was lots of amazing desktop stuff going on, but my focus (naturally) was on the mobile market. That said…
Companies and Products
There were a number of great mobile software companies there, some of whom we’ve known for years. Among these were our good friends at WebIS. What I did notice, however, was that for all the mind-share the iPhone has among consumers, that mind-share was not reflected on the floor of the dealer’s halls. There are lots of possible reasons for this, but it was something that stood out for me.
Real Contacts with Virtual Friends
It was GREAT to see some of our “virtual” friends in real life. In particular, we got to hang out with Steve Sande from TUAW and Jeff Scott from 148Apps . Both of these guys (and their sites) have been very helpful to us, and we really respect the work they are doing for the community as a whole. 148Apps has some exciting plans for the future. We look forward to their continued success. We also got to do a Podcast/Vidcast interview with Steve from TUAW. That was a lot of fun!
The Apple Presence
Obviously Apple’s presence was a big deal, including the “giant-black-cube-of-power” that dominated the south dealer’s hall. I’m not, however, as convinced as the media outlets that folks are O.K. with Apple leaving after this year. Folks were handing out “Bring Back Jobs” fliers on the street and there was just this sense that people almost didn’t believe that Apple wouldn’t be back.
As for the presence of iPhone amid the official Apple stuff, the “giant-black-cube-of-power” had one of three sides devoted to iPhone + iPods. There was a nice table with a bunch of iPhones and iPod touches on it.
Events and Parties
There were a number of great get-togethersI got to partake in. Stand outs include the iPhone Intelligence Party at Harlot and the TUAW get-together at the Thirsty Bear. It was also at the Harlot even that they announced the winners of the BestAppEver Sadly, we didn’t win, but just to get nominated in SO many categories was amazing. You guys rock. Thanks to everyone who nominated and voted for all your help!!
Other Cool and Fun Stuff
Of course I got to see something in person I’d only seen pictures of before…the eWallet icon in the Apple store window!! How cool is that?! I asked if we could have it when they were done with the display, but sadly the powers at Apple require that they destroy any display materials when the promotion is over. Ah, well.
And then there’s Beard PaPa, one of my favorite things about San Francisco. Mmmmmmm – fresh cream puffs. Although if anyone out there can explain to me the connection between delicious cream puffs and an old, smoking sailor, I’d love to hear it! (“Arrr! There be nothin’ like bakin’ cream puffs after a long day at sea!”)
All in all, a great conference and a ton of fun.