In my previous blog, I was talking about basic things about apple app accelerator centre in Bangalore. Today, I would like to share my one to one discussion experience with Apple experts.
By the end of December 2017, Apple had published time slots for one to one meeting for the month of January. Within an hour, all the time slots were booked and I have been added to the waiting list for the slot of 12pm – 1pm, Jan 22, 2018. We received an email from Apple that my time slot has been confirmed for an appointment which I have booked for.
In one to one meeting, we can discuss only one app. So we decided to take an App on Digital Security, which is in the development phase to discuss. Why App on Digital Security? The reason is, integrated technologies like Beacon and ARC Controllers (Microcontroller) have been used along with fully customised UI. They asked us to bring the product owner (Key decision maker), lead developer and lead designer to make use of this discussion effectively. Since App on Digital Security app client is in the US, we decided to represent our iOS Team lead to play product owner role and lead designer was already present. After finalising the roles we sent a confirmation mail to Apple.
Along with the attendee’s list, I have sent a brief description of App on Digital Security and the technologies to be discussed in the meeting. This will give them some idea of the discussion. So we ensured that high priority has been given to the important topics.
We prioritised the topics in the following order (from high to low)
- Beacon and Core location framework
- Custom UI
- Encryption and decryption best practices in iOS
- Performance improvements
- Machine learning using CoreML
How we prepared:
Since this was our first meet with Apple team, we are not clear with ideas of how to proceed to make use of this one hour effectively; so we prioritised the questions in each technology/topics.
- Prioritise your topics and questions properly.
- Your question should not be too strange.
- Read Apple documentation properly before asking doubts & best practices in any framework/topics.
- Choose a question from topic/feature which is idea phase, because if you choose questions from the feature which you have already implemented, they will give only feedback on your work. But if you bring an idea of a feature before implementing they will guide you to achieve it in an efficient way.
We reached the Apple accelerator centre by 11am itself. The receptionist followed some procedures to enrol our names. After the registration process, we are asked to wait in the developer area and had coffee too. As the people who booked the slot before we were not present, our appointment commenced a bit earlier at 11:40 am.
Three experts from Apple team were present for the discussion. Two of them are technical experts while one is a UI/UX expert. Along with 3 from the team of Mallow Tech, 6 of us are ready for the discussion.
The discussion went as follows.
- Overview of the app: I explained the concept of the app, core functionality, technologies we integrated, how we implemented, target users, and so on.
- Live demo: After explaining the project details to the Apple team, they asked us to show the demo of the app. We can’t give a demo for each and every functionality of the app, so we demonstrated only the core features. But we almost covered all features orally. From demo they asked many doubts, so we discussed those points in detail.
- Feedbacks/Suggestions: As I said before, bringing the project when it is in idea phase will be good for this one to one meeting. Since we have almost implemented core functionalities, they have said some points as feedback, alternate suggestions, mandatory improvements and they suggested some new technologies to integrate with App on Digital Security. We got many comments in UI/UX part since it’s a fully customised UI.
- QAs: Finally we discussed the questions what we have prepared. It was easy for us to discuss since we properly prioritised the topics and questions.
- General discussions: After completing all of the prepared questions, we had an open discussion. We asked some common questions such as Build time issue in XCode and development machine. Then we explained a bit about our organisation and also we showcased some of our other apps too. This general discussion was also important and we wanted to make use of this opportunity efficiently.
- Try to explain your project in detail within a short span of time. This will be very helpful for further discussion.
- Give high priority to the core functionality of an app in a live demo. Before the demo, make sure you are giving a demo with actual data, not with the data you used for testing. This will help them to understand the usage of the app in real time which is important.
- You need to connect your iPhone/iPad with AppleTV via screen mirroring. So make sure your mobile have enough charge.
- Turn off notification for remaining apps, if possible. This avoids distraction and savs a lot of time.
- As I said before, read the documentation before asking a question to them in any topic, because Apple documentation is the perfect place to learn their technologies. This helps to reduce some unwanted questions and saves time.
- Try to have a key decision maker of your app along. It may be your project’s client or project manager. This will help to take on time decision for some queries and to make use of this discussion effectively (Apple highly recommends this).
- Take your MacBook with you, if you have.
- If you want to show data in some backend service, keep it ready. Say for example if I do some action from the App on Digital Security app, it will reflect in Zoho CRM. We have opened all references pages/website in Safari.
- Have a coordination with your teammates like, who will take notes while discussing, showing demo, explaining the project and overall leading head.
- Try to reach the centre before 1-hour, since we reached earlier we gained 20 additional minutes to discuss with them. So these are the small opportunities to use. We have travelled from Tamil Nadu to Bangalore(around 640 km, up and down) for this 1-hour meeting, so we don’t want to waste a single minute.
After completing the discussion with us, they started preparing for their next session with another batch. Unlike our early arrival, we didn’t depart soon from the centre. As the team said us to be comfortable we took the word of it and comfortably exploring the centre to the fullest. As there was a 6-hour journey ahead we charged our Mobiles and Macbooks at the centre. Their smile and patience throughout made us respect them more and more. We also asked them regarding the pre-booking of time slots for future discussions. By that, we can visit for 3-4 time slots continuously.
This trip gave us a lot to learn professionally and technically. It is all about how you make the most out of the available space.