Last year, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference sold out its 5,000 spots in just a few hours, which left many developers, particularly those further west, fuming at Apple’s first-come, first-served policy. (And no, Virginia, there is no iBay app, and Apple won’t be auctioning off some tickets to the highest bidder, as glibly claimed in our April Fools article “Apple Plans Auction for Contested WWDC 2013 Registration Spots,” 1 April 2013.)
Unless Apple does implement some sort of lottery system, the best hope for developers wishing to attend WWDC is vigilance. I was about to recommend that developers use a monitoring app like Dejal’s Simon that could provide immediate notification when the WWDC site changes, and that’s still a fine idea.
But easier, and certainly cheaper if you don’t already own Simon, is the new WWDCBlast service, which promises to notify you via SMS text message as soon as tickets are available.
You give it your email address and mobile phone number, and once you’ve verified your information by responding to the confirmation email message and text, you’re all set. In theory, once the site notices the WWDC tickets being on sale, you’ll receive notification immediately via text message.
If you’re worried about being too far back in line, you can jump higher in the queue by referring other people with a special link (5 spots for each referral), or you can pay $1 to jump 10 spots — as the site pointed out to me, for $77, I could be the first to know. (Don’t worry about me being ahead of you in line — I’m not going anyway.) Plus, for an extra $2, they’ll text you and call you, in case voice notification works better for you.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that WWDCBlast will work at all, but it’s easy enough to sign up and try it, perhaps as an adjunct to any other monitoring system you set up. The site does offer instructions for adding WWDCBlast as an exception to Do Not Disturb, so you can be woken up if necessary. Finally, if you’re worried about this just being a trick to get your email address, you can opt out of the site’s email messages; I’m not sure exactly what those would be, since I haven’t gotten any other than the confirmation message and there doesn’t seem to be any way to opt back in once you’ve clicked Opt Out.