Meet Ken Karakotsios developer of Trancit. He answers our questions about developing applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?
Ken Karakotsios: Ken Karakotsios: This was a project I worked on in my spare time. I downloaded the development kit in early September (of 2008), and spent a couple weeks getting familiar with the framework. I had the app written and ready for the app store by the start of October.
2. What was the inspiration behind your app?
Ken Karakotsios: I’ve always been interested in emergent behavior— the ability of complex patterns (such as traffic jams, stock market bubbles, and brains) to emerge from simple actors (drivers, traders, and neurons). Trancit is based on this concept, and the images that emerge can be quite beautiful and dynamically captivating for the right set of “rules”. I wrote a game called SimLife back in the last century, exploring the emergence of ecosystems and evolution. Trancit is more about the beauty of emergent behavior than the science.
I was also inspired by the iPhone itself. The iPhone is an amazing opportunity to reach a broad audience, the compute power of the platform is truly astounding, and the display does justice for the results.
3. How did you settle on your price point for the app?
Ken Karakotsios: I picked the lowest price tier so that as many people as possible will try the app, while I am still able to generate some income.
4. Roughly how many units have you sold?
Ken Karakotsios: I’ve just launched, so its still ramping up…
5. How did you like the developer tools provided in the iPhone SDK? Is there anything missing?
Ken Karakotsios: Overall I’m very happy with the tool set, and the documentation. It really helps that Apple provides so many example apps, and also I’m pretty experienced writing software. By sharing so much with the Mac platform, the iPhone framework is very polished and powerful.
6. Is your company privately owned? Venture backed?
Ken Karakotsios: It’s just me right now.
7. What are some of the other iPhone apps that you like?
8. What’s the development cycle for iPhone apps like?
Ken Karakotsios: I was very pleasantly surprised at how fast it is!
9. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?
Ken Karakotsios: Trancit is a platform for some more ideas I have, so I’ll be evolving that in the near future. I hope people will contact me and let me know what they would like to see in it. I have a blog at http://trancit.blogspot.com/ where people can get more info and comment. If lots of people buy it, that will fund me to work on some other app ideas I have, but I don’t want to say anything about them yet…