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Apple introduces "Ask Apple" for developers

Ask Apple Icon Grid

Apple generally has one big event in June aimed at Developers called World Wide Developer Conference, or WWDC. WWDC is designed to provide developers information about the operating systems that will be coming in the fall. At WWDC Apple introduces new frameworks, APIs, and

One aspect of WWDC is what is called "Labs". Labs are a way of being able to meet with actual Apple engineers and get answers to questions, code level assistance, and just general knowledge. These labs are with the developers who are creating the actual frameworks, so answers you get come directly from the source.

Labs are popular and well received, however WWDC is only once a year and sometimes developers need information more often than that. Today Apple is introducing a new way for developers to get a labs-like experience. Apple is calling it "Ask Apple". Ask Apple consists of two parts, Question & Answer and Office Hours.

Question and Answer

Ask Apple "Question and Answer" Icon Grid

The Q&A portion will, according to Apple, "focus on optimizing experiences for new platforms and hardware, from supporting new features like Dynamic Island to migrating to Swift and SwiftUI". This will be conducted over Slack and will be in English. The highlights will be translated into Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese. Beyond this, there will be Community Channels for Japanese and Korean at 10pm Pacific Time, and for Simplified Chinese at 11pm Pacific Time each day from Monday, October 17th to Thursday, October 21st.

On the Q&A website, you can see a schedule for the questions and the time that they will be covered.

Office Hours

Ask Apple "Office Hours" Icon Grid

The "Office Hours" are more akin to the WWDC Labs where you can request a 25-minute one-on-one consultation. Apple says that you can use the Office Hours to "Ask for code-level assistance, design guidance, input on implementing technologies and frameworks, advice on resolving issues, or help with App Review guidelines and distribution tools". The Office Hours will be conducted in various languages and timezones, so there is likely to be one that is convenient for you. Office Hours will be conducted over Webex, just like the WWDC Labs have been the last few years.

Both of these sets of sessions will be running from October 17th, 2022 to October 21, 2022. You will need to register for either the Q&A sessions or for the Office Hours. There is no charge, but registration is required. You can register for Q&A or Office Hours by using the Apple Developer app, or on the Apple Developer site.

My thoughts

I think this is a good service for Apple to provide, even if it is only once or twice a year, outside of WWDC. Both the Q&A and Office Hours take up engineer time that does pull them away from their other projects. Even so, I do think it is something beneficial to developers. I do not think I will be participating, because I do not have a reason to, but if there is a reason in the future I may partake if it is offered again. If you think you might need this, it would be good to register particularly for the Office Hours.

Source: Apple Newsroom