AppCraver recently spoke with Cameron Banga, Business and Design Director of CollegeKidApp. He shares his experiences developing for the iPhone and iPod touch.
When did you start developing apps for the iPhone? Did you have previous experience as a developer?
We formed our team a while ago but didn't start formal development until a couple weeks ago. All three of our team members are college students who wanted to go all out and give the development process an all effort attempt before we graduate and enter the "real world." Two of our team members have some development experience and half of the adventure has been learning our way around the iPhone OS.
What / how many apps have you made so far?
Right now, our goal is to just have one to two applications in the iTunes App Store by the end of August 2009. We have one in the design stage and another we would consider in the development stage. Our main focus is on what we think will be a really useful utility for both iPhone and iPod touch users.
What type of apps/games/software inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?
To be honest, most of our inspiration has come from frustration with existing applications. I think all iPhone users can relate to that experience of using a great application which is missing just a feature or two. We basically go about creating apps which we would want to use first and assume that if we would find them useful, so would other iPhone users.
How do you settle on the price point for your apps?
That's a really tricky question which has garnered much debate amongst our team. Through our discussions, we've developed the mind set that all paid apps are $0.99 unless you can prove otherwise through some great feature which no other app has. The amount of applications and developers for the iPhone has really caused great competition for the device where you better have a great app if you're going to charge, because someone else is going to make a better app at a lower price point. Does it make things more difficult for the developer? Of course it does, but it's better for iPhone users in the long run.
What has been the best thing about designing for the iPhone?
It's unbelievably easy and cheap to get started in iPhone development. We're three college kids on an extremely limited budget who are getting a chance to play on a level playing ground with huge development houses such as Sega or Electronic Arts. It isn't about who has the most money anymore and more about who has the most ambition and desire to succeed.
What has been the biggest challenge about designing for the iPhone?
Creating an application which hasn't been done a thousand times already. I can't tell you how many ideas we've had which we thought were amazing and original until we did some research and found three different apps which did exactly what we wanted to do. Of course, this is great for the general iPhone user. It just makes the development process a bit trickier.
Is your company venture backed or privately held?
We're all privately backed. Again, we're just three college students looking to support ourselves and make the best application we can while learning about about the process and entrepreneurship while we're going along on the ride.
Do you have any other apps in the works?
We've got some rough plans for other applications, most of which involve working with private companies in order to develop applications which best fit their needs.
What apps do you have on your iPhone?
I need to clean up all my apps because I have way too many right now, but here are a couple of my staple applications I don't think I could ever live without. Facebook - Gotta socially network. TwitterFon - My favorite Twitter app so far. TapDefense - Maybe the best free game I've played so far. Oregon Trail - It's Oregon Trail. No more else to say about that. Soccer - Need to keep up with my favorite teams.
What do you like to do when you're not coding for the iPhone?
I'm a huge soccer fan and spend a lot of time following Major League Soccer and the US National team. Reading is quickly becoming a huge hobby again and I love reading anything by Malcolm Gladwell. I also try to grab free time with my girlfriend whenever I have the chance.
One Last Thing:
If you want to learn more about iPhone development or if you like rooting for the underdog, CollegeKidApp.com is the place for you haha. In all seriousness, we're just a couple kids looking to give our all at a chance for success with our projects. We're pretty open and are going to give a lot of detail into our projects, so check out our site or e-mail me at Cameron@CollegeKidApp.com if you're interested in learning more.