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November 13, 2011

iOS 5 Tech Talk World Tour in Rome

On October 20, Apple announced the dates and cities for its iOS 5 Tech Talk World Tour 2011, giving developers from around the world the opportunity to speak with and learn from Apple’s own engineers in nine cities on three continents. The nine cities include Berlin, London, Rome, Beijing, Seoul, São Paulo, New York City, Seattle, and Austin. iOS Developer Program members only and limited to those who got a confirmation from Apple.

This week I attended the iOS Tech Talk in Rome (at the Marriott Park hotel) and it’s been a very exciting chance to learn from Apple and other developers. Here’s a little report on the talks I attended.

9:00-9:50 AM
iOS 5 Tech Talk Kickoff
Recommendations and key insights for iOS 5 development. Examples from Apple Design Award 2011 winners.

Push for excellence, work hard, be creative, exceed expectations. Change things.
Stay hungry! Don’t settle for the status quo.
Stop holding back, move things forward.


10:00-10:50 AM
iPhone and iPad User Interface Design
About the user experience design and best practices for optimizing the user interface for the unique characteristics of iOS devices.
Software analysis according to Apple:

  • Tell a great story
  • What app do?
  • Who are the users?
  • Where they will use it?
  • How the app will feel?
  • Look beautiful!
  • Define style of your app (Entertainment vs. Utility)

Recommendations (in open order):

  • Reduce visual noise!
  • Pay attention on each element
  • Design touch centric apps. Focus on touch experience.
  • The answer to life the universe and everything is 44 points (comfortable minimum size).
  • Some iPhone tips. Cell title: bold, 17 points. Subtitle: 15 points. Preview text: 14 points. Detail body: 15 points.
  • Use non integral rows to indicate additional data.
  • Don’t hide functionality.
  • Focus on determining what is essential.
  • Fun UI. Make fun experience for user.
  • Customize Game Center.
  • Is it Apple quality?
  • Software development process according to Apple: prototype and iterate, prototype and iterate, prototype and iterate…
  • When you have bad reviews, people may not coming back. Be polished from the beginning.
  • Tell a great story!


11:00-11:50 AM
Adopting iCloud Storage — Part 1
Practical understanding of how iCloud storage works and how to take advantage of it. Key-Value Store and UIDocument working with iCloud to store app’s documents.

11:50-1:00 PM (Lunch)

1:00-1:50 PM
Understanding AV Foundation
Introduction to the AV Foundation framework, its core concepts, controls and flexibility.

2:00-2:50 PM
Modernizing Your App Architecture with UIKit
iOS 5 introduces enhancements in UIKit to customize the visual presentation of views and controls using new Appearance APIs. Great talk about how to architect an app to use View Controller containers. Jake Behrens has been the speaker of the day!

3:00-3:50 PM
Modern Tools and Techniques for iOS App Development
Practical understanding of the latest techniques and best practices to get the most out of Xcode 4.2. Interesting demonstration on how Storyboarding can help get from concept to a running app faster than ever.

4:00-4:50 PM
Maximizing Location Awareness on iOS
Geofencing, Core Location framework, region monitoring and geocoding to create a narrowed location-relevant experience for users. Best practices and testing techniques.

5:00-5:50 PM
Your iOS App Performance Hitlist
Make the app feel fastThe best iOS apps are not only beautiful and well designed, they also launch quickly, present a highly responsive interface, and use memory efficiently. Recommendations on the techniques to diagnose and fix common performance problems and the performance hit-list to apply before an app goes out the door.
“Stay safe, stay low”

6:00-7:00 PM (Wine and cheese)

Impeccable organization, interesting technical talks on the newest innovations in iOS 5, the feeling of being for a day at the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), but especially an incomparable chance to talk, exchange views and discuss with other developers.

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