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App Developer Conversations: Speculation around Google I/O & WWDC

In this App Developer Conversations we talked about Google I/O (happening this week) and WWDC (in just a few weeks)

We focused on a few key things:

  • What do people want most out of the various conferences?
  • What can we typically expect?
  • What would be a big surprise?

Take a look and let us know in the comments what you think and what you’d add.



The Transcript:

Robi: Hi there, and welcome to another installment of App Developer
Conversations. As always, I’m joined by Ian Sefferman, CEO of MobileDevHQ.
I’m Robi Ganguly, CEO of Apptentive. We are in a new location. The same
office, but this time we’re facing out. You can see Amazon behind us.
They’re working on ‘not a phone’ over there.

Ian: Yeah, exactly. There’s no phone development happening in that
building.

Robi: No, we know nothing. Sorry, Amazon. We’d like to talk a little
bit about some conferences that are pretty meaningful in the mobile world
coming up over the next month. Next week is Google I/O, and then shortly
thereafter in June is Apple’s WWDC. It probably makes sense to talk a
little bit about the things that we expect to see or hope to see at both of
these conferences, maybe speculate a little bit, and then hopefully you’ll
have participated in the comments and tell us what you’re thinking. With
that, next week, Google I/O. Any things that you’re hoping to come out of
it, that you’d love to have them say, “Yes, we’re doing X”?

Ian: That’s a good question. I would like to see a better Nexus tablet.
The only thing that is guaranteed to me about Google I/O right now is there
will be a lot of talk about Google Glass, there will be almost assuredly a
new Android phone, and that everybody in the audience will get a shit ton
of free hardware. Those are the things that I know will happen at Google
I/O.

Robi: Pretty easy bets, that’s true. That’s definitely true.

Ian: I’m interested in seeing more of, they’ve been talking a lot about
the Google Glass SDK, open sourcing, and things like that. I’m interested
to see more about it and hopefully learn more about it from that, and I’m
interested to see how they’re tackling the tablet market.

Robi: I think of those things, the tablet would be most interesting,
because I continue to see more and more tablet usage everywhere I go. The
iPad Mini continues to show that even in an enterprise environment, I see
more people doing work on those things and bringing them to meetings. We
know a lot of product managers and product marketers out there who spend a
lot of time in meetings, and it looks like the iPad Mini is the device of
choice.

Ian: Yeah, it is. It’s [easy].

Robi: I’d love to see Android competing on that front and pushing the
barrier of what you can do. I think that the connection to Google Apps
makes it for many of those people actually a pretty compelling device,
because we know that continues not to be as good on iOS devices. In
addition to that, what do we think is going to happen with the OS? Are we
going to see more Android operating system updates?

Ian: I’m sure we will. I honestly have no idea what those updates are
going to look like. This is probably pretty sad, but since switching back
to iOS, I have long left Android rumors. I think certainly from Google’s
standpoint, I would expect to see something with Android and Google Wallet
integration.

Robi: I would love to see some more work on the play side for in-app
purchases or getting credit cards and talking about how many credit cards
they have on file.

Ian: Yeah, I would like to see that news, that update. I’d like to see how
carrier [billing] is shaping out to be. I personally think carrier billing
is a huge, huge reason that… I think they only do it for certain carriers
in the states right now, right?

Robi: That’s right.

Ian: Seeing them expand that program, I think it’s totally worthwhile.

Robi: Let’s move on to WWDC. In June, we’re going to see what’s next
out of Apple. I think we can assume a few things, like you did with Google
I/O. There’s going to be a new version of iOS, they’re going to remind the
world that they make the best PCs in the world as well, and they’re
probably going to do some refreshes to MacBook Airlines of things, and
perhaps even we’ll grab that OS in a little bit. They’re probably going to
come out and destroy us with the amount of stats and success. They’re just
going to wow us with how much better this is for developers. We can count
on those three things.

Ian: We can also count that you’re not going to get free hardware if
you’re at the WWDC.

Robi: Certainly not. It’s more expensive to WWDC, and you get nothing
for free. You don’t even want to eat there. In fact, I don’t know if
anybody knows this, last year we did a whole series of blog posts about
where to eat in San Francisco when you’re there for WWDC, and it was one of
the most popular things we’d ever done, because everybody who goes to WW is
like, “I’m not eating the food there.” Let’s do a little speculation. What
could come in the next version of iOS that would be really cool, really
important?

Ian: I don’t know how actually important this one is, but this is
something that I really want, a new keyboard. It’s time to innovate on
that. There’s so much that has gone on in touchscreen keyboards that I just
feel like Apple has dropped the ball on that one.

Robi: They still appear not to be working very nicely with our local
friends, Swype, so I wonder if they’re going to be innovating along that
axis.

Ian: That’s right. I would love to see something there. What else?

Robi: Real multitasking maybe?

Ian: Real multitasking would be interesting, for sure.

Robi: Seems doubtful, but…

Ian: It seems super doubtful.

Robi: What about a refresh on the look and feel?

Ian: I was going to say, we know all of the rumors that they’re going
flat. That’s actually really interesting because to me, that’s actually one
of the first times Apple is copying Google.

Robi: Or are we copying Google and Microsoft?

Ian: And Microsoft, that’s right. We know whatever they do, they’re going
to do it very differently, or at least we hope so. It would be interesting
to see cross-device integration, specifically, will they have new devices?
Whatever happened to the rumors of the Apple Watch? What type of stuff are
they doing with the TV in your living room and things like that? I don’t
expect any big announcements there.

Robi: I think we can look at Apple TV for potentially a precursor to
what’s going on. I continue to think that an SDK for the Apple TV would be
interesting to a bunch of developers. I know a lot of developers who would
love to play around with that, make it their own, and have it support apps.
I think that would be really interesting to see.

Ian: Quite honestly, I want to see them fix their desktop OS. OSX gets
worse and worse with every release.

Robi: Yeah, more buggy. Software is hard, of course.

Ian: It’s very hard.

Robi: The reality is the last two updates for me have been kind of
painful. I also think one last thing I would like to see is some rethinking
of the notification center. I live on an Android device, you live on an iOS
device. It feels like the way notifications is handled for me has become
less intrusive than it is being handled for you.

Ian: I would totally agree. I would go further and say that Apple’s
notification center is a shitty rip-off of Android’s.

Robi: A revamp of that could actually make a lot of people’s lives a
lot better. Most importantly, the consumer, but I even think developers,
unwittingly, are being annoying to consumers, and that’s never good, so
some help there would be awesome.

Ian: That’s right. I would agree with that. That would be sweet.

Robi: Anything else?

Ian: I think one thing that we’ve talked about in the past is AltWWDC. You
know more about AltWWDC, you pimped it out for them.

Robi: Yeah. Last year was the first time they did this because they
noticed so many developers who couldn’t get into WWDC, they put together an
event that you could actually do by coming to San Francisco but not having
a WW ticket, you could go hang out with other developers, primarily
independent developers. The format was organic. They put together some
sessions and some talks and they provided free space, WiFi, some snacks,
and some water, and it was great. I went to it all last year because I
didn’t have a WW ticket. For five days, I was meeting great indie
developers. The people behind it who put it on are some of the folks behind
Appsterdam, like Judy Chen, and some new developers like Joshua Michaels
and a few other folks. They’re a great crew. They’re very supportive of the
development community and very big fans of Apple. I think that there are a
lot of substance that happens there. If you are going to WWDC, you still
owe it to yourself. Come hang out at AltWWDC and see some people and hang
out. If you don’t have a ticket and you’re going to be in San Francisco for
it, it’s definitely a place to look into. I know they recently ran into
some size limitations, so they’ve got a wait list table, but I believe they
recently got a sponsor in RadiumOne, who is helping them expand space
further. It should be really good.

Ian: It will be awesome. I’m excited for that one. I’m on the wait list,
so hopefully it works out.

Robi: Perfect. All right, so that’s the last of our App Developer
Conversations for today. Please check out the other installment where Ian
talks about some of the activity Facebook is going to be engaging in. Be
sure to like this and share. Thanks.

Ian: Thanks.

Post by:

Robi Ganguly

Making the most of WWDC with @jmwolfinbarger

(This is part of an email interview series we’re sharing this week in advance of WWDC. Since so many people come in from out of town to attend the conference, we thought it would be helpful and fun to get some advice from long-time attendees and SF residents about how to make the most of your trip to the Bay Area)

Mike Wolfinbarger (@jmwolfinbarger) started making some additional recommendations for our post on Twitter so we invited him to weigh in with his suggestions for SF visitors. In particular, we really appreciated his field trip suggestions and thought he had a great take on the value of the conference overall.

What is your favorite place to grab a drink and run into random WWDCers?

I don’t have a particular favorite. Anywhere I can catch up with friends. The View lounge on the top floor of the Marriott Marquis is small, but has great views of the city. I usually visit Foley’s Irish Pub at some point during the week.

If you could lead a field trip for 15 WWDC attendees where would you take them?

We’d walk across the Golden Gate bridge. From the far side, it’s not a terribly far hike into Sausalito, where you can catch a ferry back to the wharf.

I’d also take them to the Muir Woods to see the coastal redwoods. It’s a remarkably peaceful place to visit, especially after a few days in the city. http://www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm

The ruins of the Sutro Baths near Point Lobos are interesting and a good excuse to see the coast. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutro_Baths

We could probably spend a whole day in Golden Gate Park. It’s a nice break from the city and has a variety of attractions. http://www.golden-gate-park.com/

Any engineer should enjoy a visit to the Cable Car Museum, located in the Washington-Mason powerhouse and carbarn on Nob Hill. You can learn about the history of cable cars in SF and see the engines that drive the cables. http://www.cablecarmuseum.org/

The Wharf is one of most touristy places you can visit in SF. But if you go, take the cable car and visit Pier 39 to see the sea lions. http://www.pier39.com/SeaLion/index.htm

Where is the best beer in San Francisco?

I don’t know, but I like to try local brews wherever I visit. I’m partial to unfiltered wheats and hefeweizens.

Have you found a coffee shop worth working in and skipping WWDC sessions for? If so, where is it?

I prefer to focus on the conference during the day. I try to avoid working while I’m at WWDC. For me, it’s a week to think about technology without thinking about my job. I try to forget about that stuff, get reenergized, and come up with new ideas and perspectives.

What’s the best meal you’ve had in San Francisco and where did you have it?

Lots of good places to eat, but no one place sticks in my mind. I mostly remember SF for the conference, for time with friends and family, and for seeing the sights.

What’s the most fun thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

Get away from Moscone West and Market Street and experience the rest of the city. Read one of Christopher Moore’s books that are set in the city before you go. For some reason, I felt more in tune with the city after reading his books.

What’s the most unique thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

Walk the length of the Golden Gate bridge.

What one thing do you bring home from SF every time you visit?

At least one black t-shirt. If I’m lucky, new ideas, new inspiration, and new ways of thinking about old problems.

Thanks Mike, these are great suggestions!

Want to see advice from other friends of ours? Check out tips from:

Buzz Andersen

Jonathan Barbero

Ryan Nielsen

Andrew Wooster

Ash Ponders

Justin Williams

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Post by:

Robi Ganguly

Making the most of WWDC with @justin

Photo of Golden Gat Bridge

Sure it’s touristy, but what a sight to see in person

(This is part of an email interview series we’re sharing this week in advance of WWDC. Since so many people come in from out of town to attend the conference, we thought it would be helpful and fun to get some advice from long-time attendees and SF residents about how to make the most of your trip to the Bay Area)

We pinged Justin Williams (@justin) for his thoughts on the topic. As a long-time WWDC attendee we figured that he would great insights into what to do when coming into town for the week.

What is your favorite place to grab a drink and run into random WWDCers?

Blue Bottle at Mint Plaza or Samovar Tea at Yerba Buena Gardens. I am not much for hanging in large crowds, so getting together with just three or four people I haven’t seen in a couple months in a much more relaxed atmosphere than an unruly bar is more my vibe.

If you could lead a field trip for 15 WWDC attendees where would you take them?

Whenever I have guests in town, I almost always take them to get a couple scoops of Humphry Slocombe ice cream in the Mission.  On a nice day, there’s usually a line out the door, but the crazy flavor concoctions they come up with make it more than worth the trip. If you do go, get the Cinnamon Brittle or Secret Breakfast. If you’re more daring, give the Salt & Pepper a whirl. It’s pretty good if you’re in the mood for something daring.

What is the best cocktail you’ve had in San Francisco and where did you have it?

I am a big fan of the Burritt Room. It’s still in the downtown area, but far enough away from Moscone that it has a decent mix of locals and out-of-towners. If you want to make a trip to the Haight, it’s hard to go wrong with the Alembic.

Where is the best beer in San Francisco?

Beer? Beer is gross, dudes. Wine or champagne first. Cocktails second. Never beer.

Have you found a coffee shop worth working in and skipping WWDC sessions for? If so, where is it?

I suppose Blue Bottle, but I usually don’t look at WWDC as an opportunity to get work done. The work I am usually doing is in the sessions or meeting with other delegates at the conference. The code you need to write can wait until next week. This week is about educating, inspiring and (of course) having fun.

What’s the best meal you’ve had in San Francisco and where did you have it?

I have been here five months and have had my fair share of awesome food experiences. The one thing this city does not lack is excellent restaurants. If you are in the SOMA area, I just recently went to Coco500 at 4th and Brannan and had an excellent time. The fresh catch is always amazing no matter the day. Their desserts and cocktails are awesome too. Even better is that it’s not a loud restaurant, the waitstaff is attentive and personable, and the portions aren’t so big that you feel like you need to spend the rest of your trip at the hotel gym.

If you’re looking for a lunch spot, my favorite quick salad is a couple blocks away at Mixt Greens on Mission or Ayola on New Montgomery. Their Sparta Salad is my favorite.

What’s the most fun thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

Hop in a cab (or an Uber if you want to be a true San Francisco douchebag), have them take you to one of the neighborhoods in the city not named “Tenderloin” and just get dropped off. There’s plenty of touristy stuff to do, but my favorite activity is to just walk around, go into shops, try random restaurants and just experience the city for all it has to offer. It’s only a 7 mile stretch of land, but each neighborhood has its own unique personality and character.

I hated San Francisco until I started leaving the Moscone area and seeing what else it had to offer.

What’s the most unique thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

Grab a ridiculous amount of silver body paint and cover yourself in it. Head down to the Fisherman’s Wharf and try to give those silver guys who stand still for change a run for their money (pun!). Actually, don’t. I’m not really sure what to do that is unique.

What one thing do you bring home from SF every time you visit?

Well, I live here so there’s not much for me to bring back home that i don’t already have access to. I suppose I always bring home that WWDC jacket they give us. I never wear them though. I’m saving them for the day one of my few Android developing friends see the light and come to the nice, blue waters of Objective-C.

Thanks for sharing Justin!

Want to see advice from other friends of ours? Check out tips from:

Buzz Andersen

Jonathan Barbero

Ryan Nielsen

Andrew Wooster

Ash Ponders

Post by:

Robi Ganguly

Making the most of WWDC with @buzz

(This is part of an email interview series we’re sharing this week in advance of WWDC. Since so many people come in from out of town to attend the conference, we thought it would be helpful and fun to get some advice from long-time attendees and SF residents about how to make the most of your trip to the Bay Area)

A photo of the Sutro Baths ruins in San Francisco

The Sutro Baths Ruins

We pinged Buzz Andersen (@buzz) for his thoughts on the topic. As a long-time WWDC attendee, former SF resident and established food and drink connoisseur we knew he’d have a great set of recommendations for us. We’re sad he won’t be making the trip this year but we’ll frequent a few of his favorite haunts in his honor.

Are you going stay near the Moscone Center when you’re in town for WWDC?

I usually stay with my brother, who lives in the Mission–partly because it’s cheaper, but partly because it’s a more interesting neighborhood. I think it’s kind of a sad thing about San Francisco that most of the hotels are in places (generic SOMA, the crack-addled Tenderloin) that don’t give visitors the best impression of the place.

What ONE place would you say WWDC attendees from outside of the Bay Area have to go?

As other people have said, I think it really behooves WWDC attendees to try to get out of the SOMA/Tenderloin area at least once. To a lot of people who attend WWDC year after year, that area basically *is* San Francisco, which is too bad because the city has a lot more to offer.

It’s hard to pick one thing, but when I was working for Square and flying out to SF every 6 weeks or so, I had kind of a tradition of taking the N Judah out to Ocean Beach every Sunday to have a cappuccino at Trouble Coffee, brunch at Outerlands, check out a few shops I like out there (General Store and Mollusk Surf Shop), and then walk along the beach up to the Cliff House. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even walk back through Golden Gate park and catch the N in the Haight. It’s exactly the kind of uniquely California experience you want out a visit to SF.

What is your favorite place to grab a drink and run into random WWDCers?

That’s a tricky question, because a lot of my favorite bars in SF aren’t exactly the best places for mass socializing. Rickhouse, which is run by the same people who own craft cocktail institution Bourbon & Branch, is a good bet not too far from the Moscone Center. It offers quality cocktails and great bartenders, but has enough space for casual group socializing.

One of my personal favorite bars in SF, Mr. Lew’s Win Win Bar & Grand Sazerac emporium appears to be closed for a reboot – Bill Couch and others from Twitter recommend Local Edition in its stead. They take walk-ins but reservations are recommended – make them here.

Smuggler’s Cove, a tiki-ish bar near the Civic Center (and thus a bit further afield for WWDC attendees) is also becoming a perennial WWDC favorite, and justifiably so. It’s a decent sized place and thus can accommodate large groups, and umbrella drinks always guarantee a high fun (and drunk) factor.

If you could lead a field trip for 15 WWDC attendees where would you take them?

I did help Daniel Jalkut lead a large group of people on a Mission taqueria run one year at WWDC. I guess if I did it again, I might even go for a full-on taqueria crawl and hit up all my old favorites: Pancho Villa, Cancun, El Farolito, Taqueria Vallarta, La Palma Mexicatessen, Papalote (editor’s note: best salsa ever!), etc.

What is the best cocktail you’ve had in San Francisco and where did you have it?

I can’t choose just one! In terms of “invented in SF” cocktails, I’d have to say my three favorites are:

  • The Laphroaig Project from Bourbon and Branch (but also available at Rickhouse): Basically a Last Word variation with Laphroaig scotch. Incredibly well balanced and delicious. Actually manages to make scotch refreshing, warm weather affair.
  • The Single Village Fix from Beretta: A simple combination of Mezcal, lime, and pineapple gum syrup. Wonderfully, smokey, a little bit sweet and a little bit tart.
  • The Supernova from Nopa: A champagne cocktail with vanilla tincture and just a few drops of the insanely, over-the-top smokey Ardbeg Supernova scotch. A brilliant idea.

Where is the best beer in San Francisco?

Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for Poppy Jasper Amber, which is made by El Toro brewery in Morgan Hill, just south of San Jose. It’s usually available at SF outdoor drinking mainstay Zeitgeist and tastes incredible with a plate of carnitas.

As far as beer destinations, everyone will tell you the Toronado in the Lower Haight, which is great (if a bit loud and crowded). I haven’t been there yet, but Jasper’s Corner Tap, which is actually close to Moscone, looks like a really solid bet.

When I worked for Square, one of my favorite things to do was go get a sandwich at the incredibly awesome (and I say this as a sandwich snob New Yorker) Deli Board and take it to the nearby City Beer Store to eat with a beer. They have a great selection and a license to serve beer on premises.

Have you found a coffee shop worth working in and skipping WWDC sessions for? If so, where is it?

This is kind of an insane question for SF, because there is probably no city in America with a higher per-capita concentration of excellent coffee places. The question is whether you’re looking for the best cafe to work in, or the place where you’ll get the best coffee, because they’re not usually the same place.

For the former, I’d recommend Coffee Bar. I suspect there’s no better coffee shop for work in America. Wifi is consistent, outlets are plentiful, coffee is decent, good food and non-coffee beverages are also on offer, and you’re guaranteed to feel productive in the middle of an entire cafe full of startup types writing Rails code. The only problem is that Coffee Bar is that the original Coffee Bar is in a bit of an inconvenient location (out in the Potrero), but I’m told there’s a new location not far from Moscone.

Epicenter is also very much on the SF “coffice” map and is mere blocks from Moscone in SOMA.

As far as the best places to get amazing coffee, I’m always partial to Sightglass. I know the owners from the early days of Square (Sightglass was the original Square testbed) and they’ve gradually built an absolutely stunning space since opening. It’s not far from Moscone, and as far as SF tech celeb spotting goes, it can’t be beat.

Four Barrel, in the Mission, is also a coffee destination worth a visit–partly just because it’s a great place to soak up the Mission neighborhood vibe.

Blue Bottle is probably the closest good coffee option to Moscone, and one of my SF rituals for years has been to stop by at least once a trip for a cappuccino and their excellent belgian waffle (two great tastes that taste great together).

What’s the best meal you’ve had in San Francisco and where did you have it?

I’ve always loved the burger on the late night menu at Zuni, which is kind of a classic of the SF restaurant scene. The beef blend is fantastic, it’s served on delicious house made ciabatta, and accompanied by shoestring fries.

I also absolutely love Pizzetta 211, a tiny, hidden gem of a Neopolitan-style pizza place way out in the Richmond. Their menu changes constantly depending on what fresh, local ingredients they can get that week, and it’s always a pleasure. Who says SF doesn’t have good pizza?

What’s the most fun thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

Living in New York now, I think the thing I really appreciate about SF is availability of wonderful outdoor experiences right in the city. Central Park is beautiful, but it feels a manicured English garden. Golden Gate Park is wild, and places like Land’s End, Ocean Beach, and the Presidio feel like the ends of the Earth. When I go back to SF now, those are the kinds of experiences I’m craving.

What’s the most unique thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

Aside from the Ocean Beach trip I recommended earlier, I’ve always loved the Russian Hill Stairway walk. It takes you through some great hidden spaces and offers incredible views of the Bay at points.

What one thing do you bring home from SF every time you visit?

Probably either a bag of Sightglass coffee beans, a bottle of some local spirit I can’t get in New York (like St. George Spirits’s lovely Rhum Agricole), a jar of Papalote’s crack-like salsa, or a box of vegan donuts from Pepple’s Donuts at the Ferry Building (for my fiancé Briana, who has a dairy allergy).

Thanks for sharing Buzz – you’ll be missed this year!

Want to see advice from other friends of ours? Check out tips from:

Jonathan Barbero

Ryan Nielsen

Andrew Wooster

Ash Ponders

Justin Williams

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Post by:

Robi Ganguly

Making the most of WWDC with @ashponders

(This is part of an email interview series we’re sharing this week in advance of WWDC. Since so many people come in from out of town to attend the conference, we thought it would be helpful and fun to get some advice from long-time attendees and SF residents about how to make the most of your trip to the Bay Area)

We pinged Aptfolk founder Ash Ponders (@ashponders) for his thoughts on the topic. As a long-time WWDC attendee and an accomplished world traveler, Ash knows how to make the most of the week (and he’d like you to know he wrote these answers while eating a popsicle).

Are you going stay near the Moscone Center when you’re in town for WWDC?

No, I prefer to stay in areas that reflect a more lived in ambiance. This year I’ll be staying in a town home on Nob Hill.

What ONE place would you say WWDC attendees from outside of the Bay Area have to go?

Mission Dolores Church, which is as far as I can tell, the oldest building in the city. I’ve spent more than one dusk there, enjoying the sounds of the Mission as the work day ends.

What is your favorite place to grab a drink and run into random WWDCers?

It used to be the Tempest, a bar I wandered into a 5 or so years ago looking for the party raging at the Chieftain. These days though it’s so crowded after dark, one can barely hear. Actually, that’s a real trouble at almost every bar around the Moscone Center. All except the St. Regis. The St. Regis is the calm sitting bar I’m always looking forward to after a long day of walking about to and fro. It was well attended last year, and I’m sure this year it’s charms will be shared with even more folks.

If you could lead a field trip for 15 WWDC attendees where would you take them?

The Streets! SF has some of the most wonderfully tall hills; nothing delights me more than riding a bike up and down Russian Hill or the Twin Peaks. A fierce climb or 12 would be a great way to wake up and oxygenate your brain before a long day of learning at WWDC.

What is the best cocktail you’ve had in San Francisco and where did you have it?

Oh that’s tough, I’m bunting. I’ve had a particularly memorable Corpse Reviver #2 miles & miles north at Cyrus. The restaurant and bar are renowned around the world, but still seem to be hidden gems every time I go. Their cocktail program is focused on the freshness of their garden, and their seasonal drinks give me heart ache when I can’t visit to try them.

Where is the best beer in San Francisco?

Toronado’s Pub. Belgian ales might be my Kryptonite. If Kryptonite made Superman preposterously happy and a little tired. If you’ve got legs though, go for a run up to Santa Rosa and try out Russian River.

Have you found a coffee shop worth working in and skipping WWDC sessions for? If so, where is it?

Last year by Thursday, my liver began to rebel. I spent the day playing “Hey, That’s Jack Dorsey!” in sunny uncrowded Mint Plaza. The coffee at Blue Bottle is worth the (preposterously, literally out the door and around the corner) line; the food is ample and delicious enough to get my liver to agree to terms. It was a wasted day, but a beautiful and enjoyable one, so perhaps all was not lost.

What’s the best meal you’ve had in San Francisco and where did you have it?

Dol Ho is basically the best bang for your buck in the whole city. Tremendous value and tremendously tasty Dim sum. Warning: It’s not the most clean place in the world.

What’s the most fun thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

The same thing as anywhere, meet new friends and catch up with old friends. That’s the whole point of WWDC, right?

What’s the most unique thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

I’m a big fan of ditching the city (can you tell?). There’s a small sea side farm near Muir Beach called Slide Ranch. I love jetting up there before dawn and watching the sun come up. It’s tremendously relaxing and inspiring. There’s even a geodesic dome… if you need a geodesic dome for something.

If you had one picture from SF to share, what is it?

I keep my memories in my head. Fewer people are embarrassed that way.

What one thing do you bring home from SF every time you visit?

A tour of coffee: Ritual, Sightglass, Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, to share with my coffee fiend friends.
And a loaf of bread from Tartine for my baker friends at Panne Bianco.
And an odd toy or two from Chinatown for my kid brother.
Other than that, I’m a strictly memories only kind of traveler.

Thanks for sharing Ash!

Want to see advice from other friends of ours? Check out tips from:

Jonathan Barbero

Ryan Nielsen

Andrew Wooster

Buzz Andersen

Justin Williams

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Robi Ganguly

Making the most of your WWDC visit with @ryannielsen

(This is part of an email interview series we’re sharing this week in advance of WWDC. Since so many people come in from out of town to attend the conference, we thought it would be helpful and fun to get some advice from long-time attendees and SF residents about how to make the most of your trip to the Bay Area)

We pinged Tumult co-founder and SF Resident Ryan Nielsen (@ryannielsen) for his thoughts on the topic. As a long-time Apple employee and WWDC attendee, Ryan knows how to make the most of the week.

What ONE place would you say WWDC attendees from outside of the Bay Area have to go?

I’d say the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market. It’s a bit off the standard tourist path and, if it’s not foggy, offers fantastic views of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island. It also gives a fantastic look at the “real” Bay Area – there’s a wide selection of locally grown and produced food, often you’ll see local artisans or performance artists, and San Franciscans from all walks of life will be wandering the market.

What is your favorite place to grab a drink and run into random WWDCers?

I can’t really say there’s one… The Chieftain is great just for how close it is to Moscone West; you’re almost always guaranteed to run into WWDCers hanging out there any time of the day. The View, at the top of the 4th St Marriott, probably has fewer WWDCers hanging out at any given time, but it’s aptly named – you’ll have a fantastic view of SF while you chat with those who are there. Finally, the House of Shields is a perennial “last stop” where many attendees end each night.

If you could lead a field trip for 15 WWDC attendees where would you take them?

It’s important for anyone attending WWDC to see SF outside of SOMA. With that goal in mind, I’d lead the group on a tour of SF’s many city parks.

The larger parks each have their own character and community, and helps give the visitors a wonderful sample of everything SF has to offer. I’d probably kick things off by heading south to Dolores Park. We’d then probably wander clockwise over to Corona Heights, taking them through the Castro and up to a wonderful view of the city. Then we’d head down to Alamo Square – what tour of SF is complete without seeing the Full House house? – and then work our way from Lower Haight up through Upper Haight and into Golden Gate Park. Continuing down Golden Gate, we’d go through either Sunset or Richmond and hit Ocean Beach. From there, you have to visit Lands End, with the Sutro Bath house ruins and the Legion of Honor. The Presidio and Crissy Field are next, and we’d work through the Marina into North Beach, with Washington Square Park. Finally, we’d end up at Sue Bierman Park, right across from the Ferry Plaza Market.

With this tour, the group would have seen almost all of the major SF neighborhoods, could have sampled many of the restaurants, bars and cafés in each of those neighborhoods, and would have seen almost all of the famous landmarks. Most importantly, they’d see SF as most of us living in SF see it, by hanging out in parks and wandering through the neighborhoods.

What is the best cocktail you’ve had in San Francisco and where did you have it?

Captain’s Grog – Smugglers Cove

(For cocktail locations, I also nominate Alembic, Rick House, Orbit Room, Clock Bar, Beretta, Elixir, and my personal go-to, Club Deluxe.)

Where is the best beer in San Francisco?

Toronado. (Also accepted: City Beer Store)

Have you found a coffee shop worth working in and skipping WWDC sessions for? If so, where is it?

Sightglass is probably the best place that’s close to WWDC for both working and coffee. Blue Bottle’s hard to work at, given how packed it often is, and spots in the Mission – Ritual, Four Barrel, Coffee Bar – are a haul from WWDC. If you’re willing to forego coffee and get your fix from tea, then you’d have a hard time beating Samovar Tea Lounge. It’s a fantastic location that overlooks Yerba Buena Gardens, is almost always sunny, and will often have other WWDCers hanging out.

What’s the best meal you’ve had in San Francisco and where did you have it?

San Francisco has hundreds of restaurants worth eating at, dozens that are award winning and pioneering, and a few that are the best in the world. In Japan Town, you’ll find fantastic sushi at Ino, or classic hand made cold udon noodles at Maki. The Mission has burritos (of course) but also boasts some fantastic American eateries like Maverick or Range. The French restaurants in the Marina and Cow Hollow are all wonderful, and you can’t go wrong with almost any of the Italian places in North Beach.

Choosing the best meal I’ve ever had is basically impossible… I’ve had too many phenomenal meals to call one the “best”. What I can say, however, is that I consistently look forward to grabbing a “Don Giovianni” pizza and a greyhound at Club Deluxe. I’ve never once been disappointed by Giovianni’s pizza (I’d even say it’s some of the best pizza in the country), and the neighborhood atmosphere of Club Deluxe helps complete the meal. It’s not a meal that’d earn a Michelin star, but it’s a meal that’s uniquely SF.

What’s the most fun thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

Wander the more eclectic neighborhoods. Grab a drink at a bar in the Castro, explore the shops in Upper Haight, grab a burrito in the Mission, relax with the natives on Dolores Park, see some popped collars in the Marina, and burn your tastebuds eating a Sichuan dish in China Town.

What’s the most unique thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

Crossing the Golden Gate – ideally by walking! – is the obvious answer. Also, check out this amazing photo of the GG bridge by Duncan Davidson

Less obvious: this city’s got character unlike any other city in the world; get out of SOMA and experience some of it.

What one thing do you bring home from SF every time you visit?

A hangover.

Thanks for sharing Ryan!

Want to see advice from other friends of ours? Check out tips from:

Ash Ponders

Jonathan Barbero

Andrew Wooster

Buzz Andersen

Justin Williams

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Robi Ganguly

Making the most of your WWDC visit with @wooster

Andrew Wooster's favorite SF picture for Apptentive's WWDC post

(This is the first of an email interview series we’re sharing this week in advance of WWDC. Since so many people come in from out of town to attend the conference, we thought it would be helpful and fun to get some advice from long-time attendees and SF residents about how to make the most of your trip to the Bay Area)

Today’s WWDC recommendations come courtesy of Apptentive co-founder and SF Resident Andrew Wooster (@wooster). As a long-time Apple employee and WWDC attendee, Andrew knows how to make the most of the week.

What ONE place would you say WWDC attendees from outside of the Bay Area have to go?

Anywhere outside of the Moscone/Metreon/Westfield gravity well. The rest of the city is more interesting.

What is your favorite place to grab a drink and run into random WWDCers?

Mostly I watch Twitter and see where things are happening. The last couple of years that’s been cocktail bars like Burritt Room, Clock Bar, Rickhouse, and Smuggler’s Cove. However, closer places like The Chieftan and Tempest still attract a lot of people and are a good bet for meeting interesting folks.

If you could lead a field trip for 15 WWDC attendees where would you take them?

If the weather is nice, Biergarten.

Where is the best beer in San Francisco?

Pitchers of Death and Taxes at Zeitgeist is about as good as it gets.

Have you found a coffee shop worth working in and skipping WWDC sessions for? If so, where is it?

Honestly, Moscone is a lot better place to work out of than any of the nearby coffee shops.

What’s the best meal you’ve had in San Francisco and where did you have it?

That covers a lot of ground. For lunch, do yourself a favor, skip the food at Moscone, take a nice walk, and go grab a sandwich at Deli Board or Sentinel.

What’s the most unique thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

Honestly, there’s a lot. Some of my favorite things to do are to go to the Ferry Building during the Farmers Market (Tuesday and Thursday) and grab some lunch and something to take home from Boccalone Salumeria, go for a long run in Golden Gate Park or visit the Academy of Sciences, or watch the sunset over Golden Gate Bridge from Battery Spencer.

What one thing do you bring home from SF every time you visit?

Nduja from Boccalone. It’s fantastic.

 

Want to see advice from other friends of ours? Check out tips from:

Ash Ponders

Ryan Nielsen

Jonathan Barbero

Buzz Andersen

Justin Williams

 

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Post by:

Robi Ganguly