Interview with Ben Kamens from RulerPhone

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interview with ben kamens iphone developer rulerphoneAppCraver recently heard from Ben Kamens creator of RulerPhone and RulerPhone Lite who answered our questions about developing apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?

Ben Kamens: I started directly after the iPhone 3G was released. I didn’t get the early jump that I would’ve if I’d been playing around with the SDK before the release, but I’ve still had a great experience even with the slightly late start. I live in NYC and since I’m unwilling to wait in line for hours, I had to wait a few weeks before I could actually get my hands on a phone.

2. What was the inspiration behind your app?

Ben Kamens: I recently moved into a new apartment and kept finding myself in these situations…staring at a big, fat air conditioner, wondering about the depth of a bookcase…in which I needed a tape measure but didn’t have one handy. I realized that it’d be great to be able to measure any item by taking a picture of it and placing a common object (quarter, credit card, etc) into the frame in order to provide a reference point.

I also realized that the iPhone’s touch interface is the perfect chance to make this measurement app intuitive for the user (other phones or camera would certainly struggle with any similar implementation)...so RulerPhone was born.

3. How did you like the developer tools provided in the iPhone SDK? Is there anything missing?

Ben Kamens: Given the challenges that Apple faced with offering the touch API up to so many developers, I think they’ve done an incredible job. The App Store itself definitely has a number of problems on the developer-facing side of things (for instance, you used to be unable to cancel your own submission to the App Store during its long approval waiting period, even if you found a bug in your submitted software), but these are being actively improved. Overall, the development experience has been very refreshing.

4. What are some of the other iPhone apps that you like?

Ben Kamens: Enigmo, hands down. Wikipanion has also been very useful.

5. What kind of features should apple implement in future versions of the iPhone / SDK?

Ben Kamens: I’d like to see better developer-facing controls for the App Store. Currently, iTunes Connect feels a little unpolished and scary; you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen when you click “Ok”, and you’re worried that you won’t be able to undo what you’ve done.

I’d also like to see more code samples from Apple…specifically those that construct interfaces without relying on Interface Builder.

6. What’s the development cycle for iPhone apps like?

Ben Kamens: Fix bugs, write features, submit your upgrade to the App Store. Now try to get your next version ready by the time Apple approves the upgrade.

7. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?

Ben Kamens: Nope!

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  • http://none Justin Henning

    Plbbt. Kamens, using Apple? Such a sad future world we live in.