AppCraver recently spoke with Apoorva Singh, the developer behind Spidr. He answered our questions about developing apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?
Apoorva Singh: As soon as the iPhone SDK was announced, if I remember correctly that was March 6.
2. What was the inspiration behind your app?
Apoorva Singh: The inspiration was to give a ‘loudspeaker’ to everyone thereby creating a whole new communication channel for interaction with ‘strangers’ (people not in your contact list) who share your location (coffee shop, school, workplace, pub). Spidr overcomes the physical barriers of the world and makes social interaction with strangers less awkward, more fun and highly secure.
3. How did you settle on your price point for the app?
Apoorva Singh: Spidr is a social networking app for one and all. It is free as in free beer!
4. How did you like the developer tools provided in the iPhone SDK? Is there anything missing?
Apoorva Singh: We felt the iPhone SDK is excellent. It is very comprehensive and makes the development experience much much easier than other platforms. However of all the things that we touched in the SDK, we felt that the Location API leaves a lot to be desired. The API itself is simple but performance wise it is not there yet in terms of reliability and accuracy.
5. Is your company privately owned? Venture backed?
Apoorva Singh: The company is privately owned, no external funding yet.
6. What are some of the other iPhone apps that you like?
7. What kind of features should Apple implement in future versions of the iPhone / SDK?
Apoorva Singh: Voice to text would be one feature that would take the uptake of smart phones to the next level. Let's accept that typing on little keyboards is inconvenient and more so when they are touch, despite Apple’s brilliant implementation. Voice to text can let application developers add a whole new dimension to ease of use. Now it's not going to happen tomorrow, but it is the one thing that holds back users from adopting smart phones the way they took to PCs.
8. What’s the development cycle for iPhone apps like?
Apoorva Singh: Design is the single most critical aspect especially when the application is as comprehensive as Spidr. You want to put everything in there but the real estate available is scarce. At the same time, it is an iterative process. We released the alpha three weeks back but users panned the layout. We were forced to redesign and launch an update.
9. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?
Apoorva Singh: We just put out another update of Spidr. We plan to continue building features in Spidr. Expect a feature-loaded Beta by the end of September.