Apple opens App Accelerator

Apple has just opened their App Accelerator in Bangalore, a city a few hours drive away from where I live now. Phil Schiller was in the city for the occasion.

Foremost, the App Accelerator seems to be a sort of permanent Apple Tech Talks venue. The first talks started yesterday, and the schedule for the next few weeks covers mostly introductory topics, leaning towards iOS (UI Design, Swift, Adaptive UI, Accessibility, i18n, etc.). All slots for all scheduled presentations were already filled up when I took a look last Friday (when the news broke). At present, the talks seem to be only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so there’s plenty of room for more. I’d love to see in-depth talks on specific topics (say Core Data, CloudKit or UIKit Animations). Phil Schiller mentioned that the App Accelerator is also going to help developers in “learning how better to market their app on the App Store”, so there could be talks on that topic as well, which would be very nice.

Apart from the talks, the website says there are going to be hands-on labs, but no schedule is out yet.

Moreover, the App Accelerator could also serve as a place for Apple to sit down and talk to some developers of apps it considers important. The Apple announcement mentions Practo and Reliance Games, and it looks like the Legend of Abhimanyu team visited the App Accelerator last week.

All in all, this is great news – I’d find the talks and the labs very useful.

I also think it shows how serious Apple is about a long-term play in the Indian market. Phil Schiller, when talking to NDTV last week, said “I think what we hope from this accelerator is that we can help the local market create apps for customers in India that better meet the needs of our growing customer base here”. There are tons of India centric apps on Android, but not many on iOS, which is a reflection of the Indian smartphone market being heavily skewed towards Android. Getting more India-centric apps would be an important cog in Apple’s wheel for growing bigger in India.

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