Chatting the Snaps at WWDC

What an exciting time it is in the world of Apple! My name is Connor; I’m what my colleagues like to call the “Millennial in Residence” on the AgileBits team, and I spend most of my time doing development and support for 1Password for iOS. Some of my team members and I were lucky enough to make the trip out to San Francisco recently to attend Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, otherwise known as WWDC. We spent the week watching presentations, participating in labs, and planning all the exciting things that are on the horizon for our iOS and Mac apps.

My trip started in the early hours of Sunday morning in Toronto’s Pearson airport, where I took the five-hour flight to San Francisco. From there, I was whisked by BART into downtown where I quickly checked in to my hotel and made my way to the Moscone Convention Center to begin the week. I was lucky this year to win Apple’s WWDC Scholarship, which got me a ticket to the conference and a chance to participate in some student-specific activities throughout the week. The first thing on the agenda was student orientation, where Apple presenters gave us their thoughts on what makes an app “great” and some amazing stories of how their lives led them to a coveted position at Apple. We then gathered for a giant group picture—there were 350 of us! The illustrious Tim Cook even joined us to take selfies and sign our badges (talk about an amazing souvenir).

Monday morning brought with it the ever-exciting keynote presentation, where Tim and his team of executives took the stage to introduce all of the hard work they’ve been doing during the past year. We saw some great updates to all of Apple’s operating systems, including watchOS, tvOS, iOS, and the newly renamed macOS Sierra. We saw how Apple is continuing to make its platforms work hand-in-hand with features like shared clipboard, Siri on the Mac, proximity unlock for Apple Watch, and many other awesome improvements. They also gave us some great improvements to 3D Touch which I am personally very excited about. The team and I were inside the Bill Graham public auditorium with several thousand other developers and members of the press as these announcements were made, and I can tell you that the energy in that room was incredible, especially since it was my first time experiencing an Apple keynote.

I spent the rest of the week in what Apple calls the labs: expansive areas covering most of Moscone’s first floor, dedicated to Apple engineers helping developers like me in one-on-one (and often fairly lengthy – thanks Alex!) sessions. I got the chance to improve my code, familiarize myself with new frameworks and language updates, and of course give feedback to the very engineers that built the tools we use every day. We also got an in-depth look at those new development tools; an extra helpful Xcode engineer even helped me with a build configuration problem that would have had me running in circles for the entire afternoon.

Many of us engaged in various “skunkworks” projects, where we took some of Apple’s new frameworks and attempted to bend them to our will in 1Password. While I can’t make any promises that they’ll ever see the light of day, I will say that we were very intrigued by the possibilities created by iMessage apps, Home screen widgets, and watchOS 3. It was also great for us to run the current version of 1Password on the developer preview builds of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. I’m happy to report that it runs well! I also attended awesome talks by Apple engineers about advancements they’ve made in watchOS, the UIKit framework, and the Swift language. I learned more during the conference than I could even process at the time, so I’m glad I took notes throughout the week :)

It was also great for us to run the current version of 1Password on the developer preview builds of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. I’m happy to report that it runs well!

The other hugely important, exciting, and just plain fun aspect of “Dub Dub” was the chance to meet dozens of people who use the software we write. I had so many people walk up to me and ask about the various 1Password shirts I wore through the week.

Chatting the Snaps at WWDC 2016

Everyone I met was super friendly and had things to say about 1Password that really warmed my heart, like, “I’ve been using 1Password since my very first Mac,” or, “This is the first app I download every time I get a new phone.” Things like that are why my team and I work so hard to make 1Password great. We know that you really rely on it every day, and it was a truly humbling experience to talk to so many of you in person.

All in all, it was an amazing week. From teaching my cough more age-abundant co-workers how to use Snapchat (or in their words, how to “chat the snaps”), to the wonderful people we met, to the great new tools and products that Apple unveiled, it was an incredible experience for the entire 1Password team.

6 replies
    • Connor Hicks
      Connor Hicks says:

      It’s my pleasure! I had a ton of fun, and it’s great for me to get the chance to document my memories and share them with the world!

  1. Dave Teare
    Dave Teare says:

    Thanks for sharing, Connor! I wish I could have joined you this year – next year for sure!

    And as an “age abundant” individual myself, I’d appreciate a tutorial on chatting the snaps. Perhaps you can do a webinar for us? Just remember to talk slowly :)

    • nik
      nik says:

      Hi, Bill! Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. Sorry to have kept you waiting. I know this is a cool feature that would make some folks really happy, but we’re not sold on it yet.

      1Password makes it easier to practise safe digital living and we love adding features of convenience when they make sense. But our primary concern has always been your security and privacy. We have yet to find a way of doing this that meets our high security standards.

      In addition, we would need to create and maintain unique recipes for each website. We’d probably start with the top 100 websites, but you’d still need to change your password manually for others. Now I don’t know about you, but almost every time I log in to my credit card websites, they’ve changed something! It’s hard for me to keep track as a customer—I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be to keep track as a 1Password developer.

      That said, I’ve never been of the opinion that we shouldn’t do something just because it’s difficult. If it’s worth it, and it doesn’t jeopardise customer security or privacy, we should consider it. But I do think it’s important to weigh the pros against the resources it would take to implement, test, and maintain any feature. With millions of frequently changing websites out there, I’m not sure this would be the best us of our time when there are so many other cool things we can be doing that would benefit a greater number of customers.

      Right now, this feature hasn’t bubbled to the top of our to-do list. We always love to hear customer feedback, it’s how many of the improvements we’ve made to 1Password over the years became a reality. This is something that we get asked on occasion, but it’s not one of our most popular requests. Maybe one day it will be and we’ll be happy to re-evaluate.

      For now, thanks for writing and for using 1Password! Please drop by our discussion forums to continue this conversation or start a new one. Have a great week. =)

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.