AppCraver caught up recently with Alan Cook from Bad Dog Apps.
1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?
Alan Cook: Just after the iphone came to Canada on July 11, I have been developing Cocoa consumer and enterprise apps for 12 years before that.
2. What was the inspiration behind your app?
Alan Cook: I was a WWDC and was not sure what my first app would be, after thinking about what was available in the SDK I decided to bring over my OS X desktop translator (BdTranslator for OS X). After BdTranslator became a success I thought another Google service, Google Shopping needed to be made into a easy to use iPhone app. Its the perfect shopping companion for finding out information on anything you buy.
3. How did you settle on your price point for the app?
Alan Cook: At first since the app should pay for its self if you are buying anything over $100, and I initially tried $9.95, I have reduced the app to $3.99 to stimulate more sales that seems to be the price point people will try something. Its a misunderstood app, I show it to people and they can’t stop using it, especially woman.
4. Roughly how many apps did you sell in the first month of operation?
Alan Cook: BdTranslator a lot, it is really big in Europe, BdPricer is still finding it way, let me give a interesting statistic the average session for BdTranslator is about 4 minutes, the average for BdPricer is 12 minutes, BdPricer is a app that once you understand its power your using it all the time.
5. How did you like the developer tools provided in the iPhone SDK? Is there anything missing?
Alan Cook: The developer tools are great they can only get better, since I have seen every thing from Project builder 1.0 on NeXT to the present, things have come a long way. As far as things missing access to the Calendar and Core Data would be at the top of my list, also a access to send a Email or SMS message without having to lease the app would be nice.
6. Is your company privately owned? Venture backed?
Alan Cook: No privately owned, we run a very tight ship and manage several million lines of Cocoa code between about 10 applications, the fun part is when I see something that the iphone needs I go into my OS X code base and so far just about everything I have ported works great on the iPhone.
7. What are some of the other iPhone apps that you like?
Alan Cook: Omnifoucus, iBlogger, app that actually do something for you on a daily bases, I use this as my measuring stick for the apps I build, will the user come back and use my app every day.
8. What kind of features should apple implement in future versions of the iPhone / SDK?
Alan Cook: Think i covered that in the what’s missing section.
9. What’s the development cycle for iPhone apps like?
Alan Cook: At first its very quick, but then as you want to add more functionality its much like a desktop OS X app, right now we are adding a new feature to BdTranslator, this one feature will be for code that the entire original app so as you add more functionality and sophistication, the cycle increase quite a bit. Any one can build simple iPhone apps, bringing out the true power of the iPhone takes a lot of work.
10. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?
Alan Cook: Yes but I can’t talk about them yet, when I get a little closer to release, I will send you a beta, right now I have 5 projects on the table.