AppCraver spoke via email with Wendy and Ilene Jones of Kitty Code, the developers of Hurricane. They answered our questions about developing apps for the iPhone and iPod touch.
1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?
Kitty Code: We started developing before the SDK was made available, mostly as experimentation. In July 2008, after the SDKwas released, we started work on Hurricane 1.0.
2. What was the inspiration behind your app?
Kitty Code: I have run a hurricane tracking website for over 10 years now, and hurricane tracking is a passion that Wendy and I both share. She agreed to write the Objective-C if wrote the data connectivity. This was the first app we have been able to work on together since she is strictly console and hand held devices.
3. How did you settle on your price point for the app?
Kitty Code: In short, we did the math. We figured out about how many apps it would take to break even per price bracket, and then guestimated the number we would be able to sell this late in the season. We did not want to go the $0.99 route because a quality application cannot be made and maintained at that price, and we are looking for the serious hurricane trackers, who will give feedback and feel they have a vested interest in the application. We are okay with growing slowly, with sure footing, especially with the potential number of users out there.
4. Roughly how many units have you sold?
Kitty Code: In our first month, which is ending in the next week, we have sold over 300 copies in the US.
5. Is your company privately owned? Venture backed?
Kitty Code: Our company is privately owned.
6. What are some of the other iPhone apps that you like?
Kitty Code: The iPhone app that I use the most other than the iPod app, is Twinkle. I have made quite a few new acquaintances of like mind through it, which kind of reminds me of back in the BBS days when everything was local.
7. What’s the development cycle for iPhone apps like?
Kitty Code: It really depends on how much you know already. If you already know small device programming, the cycle can be short like ours was, roughly 2 months. But if you don’t already have that experience, it can take even longer because of memory leaks and other things that can have your app returned to you by the Apple review system. We are fortunate to have Wendy because the experience she brings is extremely valuable and allows us to do some really fantastic things that NONE of the other hurricane tracking applications are able to do on the device.
8. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?
Kitty Code: We have 2 application concepts that we are scoping out, but we do not have release dates anticipated yet.
Wendy Jones – A founding member of Kitty Code, LLC and currently teaching DirectX 9 at Full Sail in Orlando, FL. She has written books on Beginning DirectX 9 & 10, as well as writing chapters for Game Programming Gems. She has worked in the game industry for the last 7 years, releasing 10 game titles in that time.
Ilene Jones – A founding member of Kitty Code, LLC and has been in the web development field for the last 12 years using various languages. Ilene has written web applications for, The Cobalt Group, Disney Internet Group and AAA National.