AppCraver recently spoke with Lauryn Jone and Alex Daher from Creative Coefficient Corp, the developer team behind the 1st Response Emergency Kit suite of apps. They answered our questions about developing apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?
Creative Coefficient: Officially as soon as the API was released. But from some “rumblings” at MacWorld in January we got the feeling the iPhone might be opening up so we began building up our COCOA resources in Buenos Aries AR (that is where most of the development team is located). We completed all the online “paperwork”, submitted an application, paid the fees and signed all the Apple contractual requirements the day they opened it up.
2. What was the inspiration behind your app?
Creative Coefficient: We had a private “WhiteBoard” on Google and invited all of our really smart friends to send suggestions. We were completely blown away by some of the ideas. It was fantastic to see so much creativity and broad views. The iPhone platform is a fantastic opportunity. Anyway after a great deal of discussion we ruled out Games as a category for now and focused on applications that would have broad appeal, high utility and something we could position as a Branded Product Line over the long term. We settled on a 1st Response position and began building our product storyboards from there, focusing on what would provide aid or assistance in a variety of situations.
3. How did you settle on your price point for the app?
Creative Coefficient: $2.99 for 1st Response Emergency Kit is an introductory price. It will go up on Nov 1st. The 1st Response Product Line will have products ranging from 99¢ to $9.99. As we build out our Web Services the prices will trend toward the higher end.
4. How did you like the developer tools provided in the iPhone SDK? is there anything missing?
Creative Coefficient: I love the tools. I think they enable the developers to take advantage of the unique features provided by the iPhone and iPod Touch, such as the accelerometer and the multi-touch screen. We have been working with the SDK since the first beta was released and have seen the day by day evolution on this tools. We think there are many features missing yet but, knowing how things are moving the future looks promising.
5. Is your company privately owned? Venture backed?
Creative Coefficient: We are privately owned and funded by just a few investors.
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?
Creative Coefficient: Today we can take advantage of the unique hardware features provided by the iPhone. For future releases we would like to see more integration with the software available on the iPhone, that is, integration with iCal (to manage events and alarms, it would be great to set up an alarm that can launch your app at a desired time), integration with Mail app through the SDK (in order to send mails without quiting the app and also to send attachments), integration with call features (to let the user record calls or import the call history into the app), ability to access some “emergency” apps even when the iPhone is locked (this would be great for 1st Response Emergency Kit) and the list goes on…
8. What’s the development cycle for iPhone apps like?
Creative Coefficient: It is intense. Frustrating at times but very, very exciting. We’re using a typical 4 step process:
a – Conception
Ideas – Brainstorming on selected ideas – Storyboard of the app – Graphic design:Logos, icons design internal graphic elements – Architecture conception
b – Construction
Development – Includes ad-hoc refining of the app
c – QA
Internal Testing – App Refining – Release for Beta Testing – 1st Beta Testing – App Refining – 2nd Beta Testing – Final App Refining
Our Beta Testers are absolutely fantastic and incredibly responsive. We got some great product refinements from the first go-round in Beta. Now with our growing customer base, we have had several folks inquire about next generation, testing and other products, we might have. As a result, our Beta Test group is now global.
d – Release
Release documents – Support setup – Upload files via iTunes Connect and wait for review and launch on the App Store
9. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?
Creative Coefficient: We have several applications in development. We are a commercial development firm as well as designers of our own Branded products. I cannot discuss the commercial products, but if you like what FRING can do, your gonna love it when our commercial clients release the apps.
Getting back to Creative Coefficient, we have three more 1st Response applications that will be launching in the next few months (one every 3-4 weeks). Up next is Stolen Wallet (it does just what you think a 1st Response to a stolen wallet should do) then in November we’ll be releasing 1st Response On-the-Road and as the name implies it is designed to provide the kind of aids and resources a person might need while on the road. ..... and 3rd will be Accident Report. This is a beautiful application and extremely feature rich. It is also the most difficult to develop in terms of the UI and integration with existing elements of the iPhone. And of course we are releasing an update to Emergency Kit on November 1st when the price goes up. Resources will be expanded, more illustrations and some other enhancements. So we are a busy group. and …
Alex adds this comment …
"...we are a development and research company. We are working on many features not seen on any other app in the App Store. We have come up with some really cool UI features in an effort to delight our users. The iPhone invites innovation and creativity. ”