Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference always sells out, and lately in less than an hour. So today, when Apple announced the even will be held June 2 through June 6, instead of selling tickets immediately, potential attendees have to register for a lottery ticket. A limited number of developers will win the right to pay $1599 to attend the event.
I use my MacBook Pro to develop apps, so I'm constantly taking it with me when I visit clients and colleagues, and even to Starbucks, which means frequently unplugging it and plugging it in. So I decided to get a docking and charging station in order to simplify my life. I was looking at the Thunderbolt docks from Belkin and Matrox, but at upwards of $300, it's hard to accept that price just for the convenience of using a single cable to connect all of my devices. A great compromise is the simpleDock ($119.95) from Kanex.
Apple TV has long been a "hobby" for Apple, with perennial rumors of something bigger. However, Google, Roku, and now Amazon have been putting out attractive competitors without waiting for Apple to get serious. The $35 Chromecast from Google brought smart TV features to the masses. Now the $99 Amazon Fire TV offers higher-end features, comparable and even superior to the Apple product.
My oldest daughter grew up on Knowledge Adventure's PC games, so I was excited to see their mobile offerings. The same daughter loved How To Train Your Dragon, so when Knowledge Adventure released an iPad app based on that movie, I was all over it!
SmartWatches are all the rage, even if Apple hasn't jumped in to the pool, yet. I've owned SmartWatches from Pebble, Martian Watches, i'mWatch, and more, and so far, none has met all of my requirements. One watch might have good battery life while another has a better screen or more apps, etc. So I'm happy to see more options.
King, the Dublin, Ireland based game developer, has a great symbol, KING, on the New York Stock Exchange, and at least one very popular app, Candy Crush Saga (free), in a portfolio of 180 apps. Candy Crush represents 75 percent to 80 percent of King's revenue, but usage has peaked and is in decline.
In an article posted by Apple Insider, an analyst estimates that 20 percent of Apple's profits could come from iTunes and the App Store by 2020. Now that includes music, movies, and TV shows, but it's worth remembering that Apple originally had no plans for the App Store. When the iPhone was introduced, Steve Jobs' response to requests for third party apps was to recommend web apps using Safari. But Apple changed gears a year later and the App Store was introduced. The world has never been the same.
With the success of independent game apps such as Flappy Bird, it was past time for Apple to highlight independent developers and small firms creating some terrific games. Now, iTunes has a button that takes you to a curated list of such developers, labeled Indie Game Showcase. As Apple says, "Often made up of just a few dedicated members, independent studios prove that what really matters is the size of your dream. In each Indie Game Showcase, we celebrate a popular game and its creative team, highlighting the developer's titles along with their favorite games from other studios."
Back in college, at Carnegie Mellon University, one of my professors posed the question, who was richer? Our choices were historical figures like King Louis, Julius Caesar, Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon, George Washington... and ourselves. The answer was each of us... None of those ancient figures could access any movie on demand via NetFlix or iTunes. None of them could communicate instantly with someone across the world, by video no less. They couldn't "see" star systems and planets as we can with apps like StarWalk. Modern technology makes our lives richer than the wealthiest people long since gone.