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Apple stuns WWDC crowd with pulsating App Store hyperwall

post #1 of 87
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In a rare treat for developers at this year's WWDC, Apple is showcasing 20,000 of the most popular iPhone apps on a massive hyperwall built out of Cinema Displays -- one that pulses in sync with each and every App Store download.

The array, mounted on a wall inside San Francisco's Moscone Center West, is made up of twenty edge-to-edge 30-inch Apple Cinema Displays, each of which are powered by a Mac Pro running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. One eyewitness says the systems are pooled together in one large, monolithic black box.

Quartz Composer is employed to render the icons rapidly and to automate their behavior. All of the icons are sorted by color and, importantly, aren't there just for show. While not quite a by-the-second recreation of what's happening at the App Store -- as the results are delayed by five minutes -- the "live" mural has each iPhone app's icon pulse light outwards in a ripple whenever someone downloads that app.

While certain apps tend to pulse more often than others due to popularity, the effect produces an animated digital landscape that draws the attention of nearly everyone in its path.

Apple's intention with the grid is not just to show the popularity among developers of the App Store -- which has swelled to over 50,000 apps in total -- but to illustrate that many of the apps they publish are frequently downloaded. The company reminds WWDC attendees that 3,000 apps are downloaded every minute, guaranteeing that the influx of developers descending on San Francisco this week are very much in demand.

































post #2 of 87
Interestingly, at least based on the very brief video clips, there are roughly 100-150 apps (based on my very rough estimate of 5-7 per panel) that are being downloaded at a steady clip, while the other 18,000 odd apps are just acting as a static background.

I'm sure over a longer time period you would see more randomness, but it's a little ironic that this mighty wall of icons makes it clear at a glance that most of the action is centered around a relative handful of apps.

Must be fun, though, if you have something on the app store that's included on the wall, to stand around and wait for it pulse. Especially if it's one of the almost continuous plusers, which must be hypnotic indeed.
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post #3 of 87


I want one.
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MacBook Pro 17" Glossy 2.93GHz, iPad 64GB, iPhone 4 16GB, and a lot of other assorted goodies.

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post #4 of 87
This is very, very cool and must have been fun to work on. I wonder how long the engineers actually had to build it once someone had thought on the idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Must be fun, though, if you have something on the app store that's included on the wall

Or completely disheartening when you get to the 20,000th icon on the 20th display and find that your app wasn't included.
post #5 of 87
Really cool.

Now could somebody think about porting those apps over to OS X? expanding on them perhaps?

Because OS X sure could use a infusion of third party developer talent of that magnitude. Some of us need larger screens too.

There is the SDK and it runs the iPhone apps in there.

Not much more but a mouse button click to compile it for OS X.

Apple?
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post #6 of 87
wish i was there
post #7 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

30-inch Apple LED Cinema Displays

Did I miss an announcement, or is this wishful thinking? Aren't the 30" still just CCFL?
post #8 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonybrookadam View Post

Did I miss an announcement, or is this wishful thinking? Aren't the 30" still just CCFL?

Right you are, good catch.
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post #9 of 87
Wow.

This is SO Apple.

I couldn't make the trip this year do to timeline/deadline constraints, but I'll be first in line for next year.
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post #10 of 87
Quartz Composer is teh freaking rad. People are just starting to hit on what it's capable of.
post #11 of 87
Why would this need 20 Mac Pros?? You would think five of them with quad DVI port Quadro cards could do the job...

Anyways, quite awesome indeed!
post #12 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicky g View Post

Quartz Composer is teh freaking rad. People are just starting to hit on what it's capable of.

Agreed, quartz composed is one of the most under appreciated technologies apple has ever released.
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post #13 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

Why would this need 20 Mac Pros?? You would think five of them with quad DVI port Quadro cards could do the job...

Anyways, quite awesome indeed!

Two dual port cards should do the job as well. I wonder if you can stuff four cards with two dual link cards and have it work, I'd think that 3 Mac Pros should be able to run a display like that.

That page was a pain though. It crashes Safari repeatedly, Opera wouldn't show the flash elements and Firefox won't play the entire clips.
post #14 of 87
Where were the fart apps?
post #15 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Really cool.

Now could somebody think about porting those apps over to OS X? expanding on them perhaps?

Because OS X sure could use a infusion of third party developer talent of that magnitude. Some of us need larger screens too.

There is the SDK and it runs the iPhone apps in there.

Not much more but a mouse button click to compile it for OS X.

Apple?

Funny I felt that same pang of what about some MB app's for me and my monkey.
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post #16 of 87
I can imagine this scored the way synthpond for iphone works: depending on location and color, hence the tone and the speaker it comes out through. Since there is constant pulsation and that would make it noisy they could implement some rules like "3 repeated DLs in 5 seconds to make a note" and depending on the rate of repetition the longer or shorter the note. That would be music to my ears.
post #17 of 87
This is a brilliant idea. Just noticing, however, that there are a lot of duplicates on there. Maybe they're different versions of an app that all use the same icon?
post #18 of 87
Leave it to Apple to amaze like this.
post #19 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post

This is a brilliant idea. Just noticing, however, that there are a lot of duplicates on there. Maybe they're different versions of an app that all use the same icon?

Maybe they are the "free" and/or "light" versions? and surelly developers who are lazy to make icons for their apps and use a generic one with their logo, lol.
post #20 of 87
That is just too cool. Apple really knows how to market it's goods. I could probably watch that for about fifteen minutes easily. Apple is really putting the screws to the competition. I'd love to hear the rate of downloads on the other app stores. I wonder if it's even one-tenth of what the App Store gets.
post #21 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post

Where were the fart apps?

probably in the back
post #22 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

Why would this need 20 Mac Pros?? You would think five of them with quad DVI port Quadro cards could do the job...

Anyways, quite awesome indeed!

Probably because there are 20 screens....
post #23 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post

Where were the fart apps?

When one of those is downloaded, it looks like a lit match with a flame shooting out across the screen.
post #24 of 87
All glory to the hypnowall!
post #25 of 87
Now we know how Steve's been keeping tabs on things. He has a room full of these like Colonel Sanders in The Matrix.
post #26 of 87
Thats really cool. But i still wonder.. why wasnt a few Mac Pros powerful enough to do the job? They use only like 10 to make the highest graphic intense movies.. why would they need 20?
post #27 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by danbirchall View Post

All glory to the hypnowall!

Futurama ftw!
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post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by polarissucks View Post

Thats really cool. But i still wonder.. why wasnt a few Mac Pros powerful enough to do the job? They use only like 10 to make the highest graphic intense movies.. why would they need 20?

I think the more important question is...

Why are there duplicate apps on the top 20,000 list?

The same reason there are a billion apps downloaded. Everytime I go and check upgrades on my iPhone i get upgrades from 4 months ago and then when I synch it with iTunes it re-downloads the app and then re-synchs it to my iPhone giving them 3 downloads for every app.

Top 20,000 Come on, please somebody on this board knows that this number isn't real.

It's called creative accounting where I work. You make your sales target, hold the rest as "work in progress" and then account for them on the next quarter.

But Apple has made it a lot more apparent that they are cooking their download app numbers. Upgrade, another app sold, app deleted and then downloaded again... another app sold.

You know it's the truth. I use 6 apps (all the time, Sportacular (greatest sport app I've found), AP News, USA Today, Pandora, Wall Street Journal & Shazam. They are all Free.

Yes they make the iPhone a pleasure to use. Do I need to upgrade for any of them?

No. I don't need a compass and have 3G. AT&T still sucks, as does their upgrade path but Apple knew this going into the 3G (S)ucker campaign.
post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seahawk Fan 2 View Post

I think the more important question is...

Why are there duplicate apps on the top 20,000 list?

The same reason there are a billion apps downloaded. Everytime I go and check upgrades on my iPhone i get upgrades from 4 months ago and then when I synch it with iTunes it re-downloads the app and then re-synchs it to my iPhone giving them 3 downloads for every app.

Top 20,000 Come on, please somebody on this board knows that this number isn't real.

It's called creative accounting where I work. You make your sales target, hold the rest as "work in progress" and then account for them on the next quarter.

But Apple has made it a lot more apparent that they are cooking their download app numbers. Upgrade, another app sold, app deleted and then downloaded again... another app sold.

You know it's the truth. I use 6 apps (all the time, Sportacular (greatest sport app I've found), AP News, USA Today, Pandora, Wall Street Journal & Shazam. They are all Free.

Yes they make the iPhone a pleasure to use. Do I need to upgrade for any of them?

No. I don't need a compass and have 3G. AT&T still sucks, as does their upgrade path but Apple knew this going into the 3G (S)ucker campaign.

All this tells me is you're a cheap SOB who doesn't actually do business work on your phone but need to keep up on the latest Yellow Journalism today we call Current Events.
post #30 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

All this tells me is you're a cheap SOB who doesn't actually do business work on your phone but need to keep up on the latest Yellow Journalism today we call Current Events.

You are correct in one context. I don't use my iPhone for Business, I have a BB Bold (corporate issued). My iPhone isn't allowed in my companies domain (not even on WiFi).

So what compelled you to call me a cheap son of a bitch? Because the iPhone 3GS wasn't a worthy upgrade for me?

I don't need a compass, I don't need Mobile Me (for $99 a year) to tell me where my phone is.

My 3G will get me by until I can find an upgrade to my phone where I don't need to pay $699 to get 2 year old features.

The best one of the day was the missed iPhone "Feature" the screen is "Oleophobic" Which means it doesn't show grease on the screen. With my 3G I rub the screen on my slacks and it's grease free.

Is this really a feature or an excuse for not having OLED?

Oleophobic. That one made my day, it was really funny that Apple would show this as a feature.

Hey Joe, my new phones screen is Oleophobic. You mean OLED? No it doesn’t show fingerprints.

LMAOROF.
post #31 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

Why would this need 20 Mac Pros?? You would think five of them with quad DVI port Quadro cards could do the job...

Anyways, quite awesome indeed!

That is what I was thinking. It would be REALLY impressive if that whole display was being run from one machine!
post #32 of 87
Apple Sucks
post #33 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Interestingly, at least based on the very brief video clips, there are roughly 100-150 apps (based on my very rough estimate of 5-7 per panel) that are being downloaded at a steady clip, while the other 18,000 odd apps are just acting as a static background.

I'm sure over a longer time period you would see more randomness, but it's a little ironic that this mighty wall of icons makes it clear at a glance that most of the action is centered around a relative handful of apps.

Must be fun, though, if you have something on the app store that's included on the wall, to stand around and wait for it pulse. Especially if it's one of the almost continuous plusers, which must be hypnotic indeed.


It shows what's currently "hot", as it were. Reflecting current trends. I'm sure what's "hot" changes day to day depending on a myriad of factors. It would be cool to see a time-lapse video over several days...
post #34 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

[...]
That page was a pain though. It crashes Safari repeatedly, Opera wouldn't show the flash elements and Firefox won't play the entire clips.

Odd, it does take some time to load, but I didn't see any crashes. This is under OS X 10.5.7 and Safari 3.2.3.
post #35 of 87
those bubbles popping up here and there seem quite sparse for worldwide presence, I dare say. \

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #36 of 87
Must of being cool to see this live.
post #37 of 87
Is everyone at WWDC bald?
post #38 of 87
ONly the developers
post #39 of 87
I think I just had a Geekgasm.
post #40 of 87
Fancy wall... there's our Apple tax dollars hard at work (ducks from flying projectiles).

Sorry, I had to
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