AppCraver caught up recently with Colin Billings, Director of User Acquisition & Experience at Stitcher, Inc, the San Francisco-based team that developed the Stitcher radio application for the iPhone.
1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?
Colin Billings: The development team started working full-time on the iPhone app around the end of May of this year.
2. What was the inspiration behind your app?
Colin Billings: Stitcher was created to give radio listeners the tools to listen to their favorite news and talk radio shows without the constraints of AM/FM radio or the hassles of podcasting. We embarked on this challenge in January 2008 with a browser-based desktop site, and a web app for the iPhone. With the greater functionality available with native applications, the extension of Stitcher to the App Store was unquestionable because it would bring our listeners a better experience than any available on previous formats.
3. How did you settle on your price point for the app?
Colin Billings: We thought everyone should be able to hear the news and information they cared about, whenever they wanted, wherever they wanted, so we made it free.
4. Is your company privately owned? Venture backed?
Colin Billings: Venture-backed.
5. What kind of features should Apple implement in future versions of the iPhone / SDK?
Colin Billings: While battery consumption is certainly an issue, we would love to see Apple allow us to run applications in the background. For example, our users could listen to Stitcher while doing other things, like reading email, checking the calendar, etc.
6. What's the development cycle for iPhone apps like?
Colin Billings: The development cycle for iPhone is a hybrid between standard iterative web development, and traditional software development. We run much shorter development cycles than you would with a large piece of software, but are not as flexible with feature implementation and other task as you might be in a web-only environment.
7. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?
Colin Billings: No other apps, just improvements to this one.