When WWDC went virtual in 2020 and Apple replaced the in-person labs with virtual ones run over WebEx, the sound of everyone wishing that virtual labs and one-to-one sessions could become a year-round feature of the Apple developer programme was deafening.

It looks like Apple may be taking a step towards making that wish come true with their announcement of a new service this week, Ask Apple.

The service sounds very much like the virtual WWDC labs we’ve had for the few years, but … year-round? Isn’t that exactly what we wished for? 🎉

It seems like it! The only question is how often and for how long these will run. Apple has said that this service will run “for the first time” between the 17th and 21st of October (yes, that’s this Monday), which certainly implies that this isn’t a one-off, but they haven’t given any idea how regularly they might repeat. We should celebrate every time developers can get better access to help and guidance, though, even if this event only runs a few times a year.

Like at WWDC, there will be Slack Q&A labs covering specific technologies such as Augmented Reality, Accessibility, and Design. There are also Office Hours, a much more open-ended and real-time conversation about anything you’d like to cover, from code-level problems to App Review issues.

One improvement to the labs run via Slack during WWDC that I’d love to see is for Apple to capture and summarise the content from the Q&A sessions. The amount of information from these sessions during WWDC was fantastic, but it was left to the community to summarise and archive that valuable knowledge. If Apple does tackle this improvement, I’m sure everyone would be happy to have it labelled with wording similar to “this is an archive of a Q&A rather than word perfect and peer-reviewed documentation”.

Registration is already open, and I’d expect demand to be high, so don’t delay.

Dave Verwer  






iOS SDK Developer @ Stream – Do you want to work on an open-source chat SDK used by hundreds of high-profile companies and startups that impact billions of users? If you are a product-minded engineer and care about software quality, apply on the link below. – Remote (within European timezones) or on-site (Netherlands)

Freelance Interview Engineer @ Karat – We're dedicated to improving access in tech. If you are too, join us as a Karat Interview Engineer. As such, you'll conduct technical interviews of developers like you on behalf of our hiring clients (including Duolingo, Indeed, and more) using the Karat Platform and its data-tested questions. – Remote (within US timezones)

Senior iOS Engineer @ DuckDuckGo – Our app is now downloaded more than 50M times a year, and our private search engine packaged with it has become the #2 search engine on mobile in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. Oh, and we've been profitable since 2014 with revenue currently exceeding $100 million a year! – Remote (Anywhere)

Mac & iOS Software Engineer @ Flexibits Inc. – We make Fantastical and Cardhop, award-winning calendar and contacts apps for Mac and iOS. We were honored to win Apple's Mac App of the Year in 2020 and we're looking to make our apps even better! Our team is a 18 person, fully-remote company spread across the US and Europe. – Remote (within US or European timezones)

Senior iOS Engineer @ Sendwave – We currently have a 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot — people put their faith in us to deliver their money quickly, securely, and affordably. And we’re pretty darn proud of that. – Remote (within US or European timezones)


I usually write a few words here asking if you could let your hiring manager know they can post their job for free over at iOS Dev Jobs. Well, I’m doing something different this week.

I’d really appreciate it if you could let whoever handles hiring for your company know that due to the sad news from Sketch this week, there are a whole load of very talented people who just became available for work. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pass on a spreadsheet with names, job titles, contact details, and more to them? It’ll only take you a minute. What an easy way to get an amazing new co-worker 👍


And finally...

No one ever asks if it wants to detect faces or outline portraits.