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Indie Dev Weekly #17



This a crazy and unforgettable week.

WWDC Night

Just returned from Beijing two weeks ago, and in my previous blog, I mentioned that I should participate in more offline developer events in Beijing in the future. Unexpectedly, an opportunity presented itself.

SwiftGG had announced the "WWDC23 Night" offline event more than a month ago, but at that time, I didn't think I would be able to attend. However, after my recent trip to Beijing two weeks ago, experiencing the convenience of transportation between my home and Beijing, it suddenly occurred to me the day before the event that I could actually participate. Moreover, the event ended late at night, so I saved on accommodation expenses. Unfortunately, the tickets had already sold out, so I asked the event organizer, 47, the day before the event to help check if there were any remaining tickets or if anyone was willing to transfer theirs. Thanks to 47's help, I managed to get a ticket.

After buying the ticket, I immediately booked a high-speed train ticket to Beijing. The event started at 23:00 on Monday night, so I left my home at 20:00, arrived in Beijing at 22:00, and then took a taxi straight to the venue. The plan was perfect!

The event was held at the Bytedance headquarters. When I arrived, it was nearly 23:00, and I saw many people just getting off work... As soon as I entered the office building, I immediately felt the atmosphere of an Internet company, and memories from many years ago started flooding back. For a brief four hours, I also had a Bytedance work pass.


At the event, I finallymet 47 and Dai Ming. I also finally had the chance to meet Eric and Chen Dahao offline. Meeting various developers in person was the most attractive aspect of this event for me. About half of the attendees were university students, ranging from freshmen to graduate students. It made me realize how young they were. These young people were so impressive. Two seniors sitting next to me started discussing job offers. A asked, "Did you receive an offer from Bytedance?" B replied, "No, I only received offers from Kuaishou, Baidu, and Alibaba..." I couldn't help but feel inadequate in comparison. Surprisingly, there were not only developers but also many investors at the event. I didn't expect this year's WWDC to be so attractive to them.


Before WWDC started, there were originally two technical sessions scheduled, but due to time constraints, only one session took place. Although I couldn't fully understand it, I was greatly amazed. The depth of technology mastered by frontline developers in big companies is beyond comparison for independent developers like me, who have been working alone in the wild. I lamented the lack of communication with the outside world over the years, realizing that I had been working in isolation.

After the technical session, I sat next to Chen Dahao throughout the entire WWDC, watching and discussing together. I learned a lot from him. Both he and Eric are people I greatly admire, each managing dozens of apps with extraordinary energy and capabilities, while I'm struggling to keep up with just two apps.

When StandBy was introduced, Chen Dahao and I exchanged smiles because we both have clock apps, and we didn't expect Apple to betray us like this. However, when iOS 17 announced the Journal App, we exchanged another smile, realizing that my Minimal Diary app was now in jeopardy. At that moment, I thought, someone at Apple's headquarters should quickly pull the plug, we can't let it continue 😜.

As expected, the crowd had the biggest reaction to the "One More Thing" announcement, and the whole venue erupted in cheers. I had previously bought a Pico G2 4K (which I sold on a secondhand platform after collecting dust for half a year), but I knew nothing about AR/VR technology, so the various demonstrations of Apple Vision Pro seemed like magic to me.


The Pico G2 4K had three pain points for me, and I hope Vision Pro can address them:

  1. Glasses: Although the device can be used while wearing glasses, it's still uncomfortable, and it's easy to scratch the lenses of both the glasses and the device.
  2. Weight: Pico tried to address the weight and balance issues by placing the battery in the head strap, but it still feels heavy overall, and it can't be used while lying down.
  3. Breathability: After wearing it for a while, the area around the eyes starts to feel hot and humid, especially in the summer.

WWDC23 Sessions

here were a total of 181 sessions at WWDC23, but I have only watched 12 so far. I haven't watched any sessions about VisionKit and spatial computing; instead, I focused on some sessions about SwiftUI because they are more relevant to my app. The presenters in several sessions were older individuals with white hair or white beards. If this were in China, these people would have definitely been optimized long ago 😂.

Now, let me briefly discuss three sessions that were particularly interesting to me.

What’s new in SwiftUI

There were so many updates to SwiftUI this year. Except for SwiftData, I can apply most of the new features to my app, especially the animations and small components.


The two presenters in this session had great chemistry, with expressive faces, just like performing a comedic dialogue 😂.


Meet StoreKit for SwiftUI

The new StoreView, ProductView, and SubscriptionView introduced in StoreKit make it much easier to build product purchase pages, especially for independent developers without designers or those who struggle with design. Apple has paid attention to every detail, including buttons for "Privacy Policy and Terms of Use."

In contrast to other enthusiastic presenters, the speaker in this session maintained a calm demeanor throughout the entire presentation.


Discover String Catalog

Developers who have worked with localization in Xcode know how troublesome it can be. Although there are some third-party tools available, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. This time, Xcode introduced the new tool String Catalog, which perfectly solves various issues with multilingual localization (it would be even better if it included translation). Now, there's no need to worry about misspelling a LocalizedKey.

The presenter in this session was incredibly beautiful, a bit like Catherine Zeta-Jones.


WWDC23 Tech Salon

SwiftGG and SSpai jointly held a four-day online tech salon. The live streams on the first two days had some issues with recording, and they were not very relevant to actual development, so I didn't watch them entirely. However, the live streams on the last two days were filled with valuable content. I watched them from start to finish and gained a lot of knowledge.

Unfortunately, I didn't win any prizes in the lucky draw. It was another year of accompanying others (it's unbelievable that someone won three prizes in one night).

Flash Visit to Beijing

This time, in order to attend the WWDC Night event, I took the high-speed train at 22:00 on Monday and headed straight to the venue. After the event ended, I took a taxi directly to the train station and boarded the first train at 7:48 a.m. on Tuesday to return home. The entire time spent in Beijing was less than 10 hours.


I thought the train station was open 24 hours, but when I arrived at 3:40 a.m., I found that the train station doesn't open until 5:00 a.m. It was also troublesome to find fast food restaurants and convenience stores that were open 24 hours in the near. So I decided to wait there until the station opened. First, I played "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" under the moonlight, and then I wandered around while listening to audiobooks. Fortunately, it was hot in Beijing that day, so it didn't get cold even in the late night.

I wasn't the most unfortunate one. There were many people waiting outside the station, and the earliest arrival was a lady who had been waiting at the entrance since 22:00 on Monday night... Due to lack of sleep, I fell asleep as soon as I sat down on the train, and I woke up just a few minutes before reaching my destination.


Have you ever seen Beijing at 3 a.m.? Well, I have! 😜


Final Thoughts

Previously, I always thought that offline events like these were out of my reach. Every time I saw w2solo organizing offline activities or some developers gathering, I couldn't help but feel envious, especially events like the accelerator program held in Shanghai. Now, even our small city has a high-speed train connection, and I can finally break free from being a homebody and go out to see the world.