AppCraver recently heard from Tipatat Chennavasin, the developer of Yum Yum Dim Sum. He answered our questions about his development process for iPhone and iPod touch applications.
1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?
Tipatat: I downloaded the SDK just to check it out when it was first released but didn’t start seriously working on an app until after the start up I had been working at went under a month ago.
2. What was the inspiration behind your app?
Tipatat: At every company I was at, I would always introduce my co-workers to dim sum and they would always say that they liked going me since i knew most of the dishes and would help them navigate to the stuff they liked. I also do love to eat and take pictures of my food so it seemed like a fun project to do.
3. How did you settle on your price point for the app?
Tipatat: I think $2 is a good price point for people to want to try something out. When you get beyond that people have to think much harder about whether it’s really worth it. It is interesting to see how many people are doing things like offering sale or introductory prices and then raising the price later or in the games space to come out at a high price and then lower prices over time.
4. Roughly how many units have you sold?
Tipatat: Since launching 3 days ago, I’ve sold around 60 units with no advertising beyond email to friends. What’s more interesting to me is that it’s been selling internationally (8 countries so far).
5. How did you like the developer tools provided in the iPhone SDK? Is there anything missing?
Tipatat: I was really impressed with the SDK, how they give you a decent simulator and a good amount of interesting sample code. If anything, it would be nice to see more step by step tutorials, stuff like adding functionality to the sample code projects and things like that but I guess there are a lot of site out there stepping up and adding that kind of information.
6. Is your company privately owned? Venture backed?
Tipatat: Right now, I’m just one guy, but I do consider myself more of an artist/designer and not a programmer by any means so if things go well I’d love to find a programming partner to help me take my apps to the next level.
7. What are some of the other iPhone apps that you like?
Tipatat: There are a ton of great apps out there. Wikipanion is great, i love checking for random information on the go. Urbanspoon is a fantastic example of presenting information in a fun and unique way. Pandora, Face Melter, iBowl, Goodrec, Say Who and so much more.
8. What kind of features should Apple implement in future versions of the iPhone /SDK?
Tipatat: Better access to the camera for augmented reality type stuff would be cool. also better bluetooth support so you could use a bluetooth joystick (or even wiimote) would be pretty sweet.
9. What?s the development cycle for iPhone apps like?
Tipatat: For an app like mine, it was short and sweet. It took way longer to get the menu translations and pictures then to actually code the project. From start to finish it was like 2 weeks with probably only a few days of real coding. I did have some problems trying to get a release build, but there are lost of forum posts about similar issues to help you troubleshoot.
10. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?
Tipatat: I do have a lot of ideas, but like I mentioned earlier, they would require a lot more programming expertise that I don’t really have.