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17.04.2009., petak

Intervju s Ivanom Kalaicom - iPhone genijem iz osječke tvrtke Inchoo

Malo sam se zanio i ufurao kao da pišem za New York Times iako pišem za Newsvine i svoj gušt ( nisam novinar ) .

Napravio sam poduži intervju na engleskom jeziku s Ivanom Kalaicom, osječkim programerom iz tvrtke Inchoo, i to jednim od rijetkih specijaliziranih za izradu programa za iPhone ( telefon ) u Hrvatskoj i regiji.
Telefon iPhone je postao , usto što je jednostavan za korištenje, vrlo moćan zahvaljujući i preko 25.000 tisuća malih programa koji čine čovjeku praktičniju svakodnevicu , pa skoro da ne kažem svijet boljim ;))

Apple, koji je izradio ovaj telefon, prošle godine je otvorio tzv. AppStore, dućan ovakovih programa ( koji su besplatni ili naplatni ) , i uskoro očekuje da će biti skinuto milijardu programa što cijelu priču čini najznačajnijim softverskim događajem u povijesti mobilnih telefona. Ovaj dućan je mnogim programerima ( kao i tvrtki Apple ) donio značajne financijske dobitke uz minimalne troškove razvoja.

Zanimljivo je bilo čuti Ivana kao insajdera što misli o svojem poslu i cijeloj priči oko iPhone ludila.
Prenosim u cijelosti ovaj intervju sa svoje Newsvine stranice jer mi se nije dalo to sve prevodititi na Hrvatski.


iPhone gold rush

OSIJEK, Croatia - I had a opportunity to talk with Ivan Kalaica, croatian iPhone developer at Osijek's Inchoo startup about various aspects of making and releasing iPhone apps for this magical phone.

One of the most interesting software sales environments on the planet is iPhone. Why programs on the phone ? Do these small programs/apps on the phone make our World better place ? Is this a secret for success ? Why now and not before few years ?

Answer is fairly simple. It’s simple and it is Apple’s. You can make very good money programming software for iPhone and have fun at the same time. Just like I do now. Apple makes world better place. :-) Just kidding but there is still some small amount of true in that sentence.

Why iPhone mobile platform is your choice and since when you are developing apps for iPhone ?

Inchoo company gave me a chance to work along with Surgeworks company on iPhone development in October last year. I accepted the offer and I’m satisfied now I made that decision then. In beginning it was maybe little hard but now I can say I am happy I have then decided to work along with these great people.

How many iPhone app developers are in Croatia according to your knowledge ?

I have heard that there are few guys but newer met them.

How long it takes to learn iPhone programming and what are your basic tools ? You do it alone or as a team play ?

It is really quick thing to learn it if you are determined. At inchoo.net and inchoo.hr you can find a few of the posts I have written about this topic. Well, in the beginning I have been learning alone but when I became sufficiently independent I started to work with Surgeworks iPhone dev team.

How many apps have you made to this date and how long it takes to develop an app? Is it expensive ?

As a part of Surgeworks I participate on few projects like DivineOffice, Prayer, projects that we do for many clients and for now only one app I have finished alone and that one is Dose.

How do you find projects or ideas for iPhone development ?

We have two approach on this topic and those two are our internal projects and client projects. For example we have two internal projects: DivineOffice and Prayer application that is part of DivineOffice Ministry (you can check it out on divineoffice.org ) and rest are projects for client.

Do you think we are right now in the middle of an iPhone gold rush just like it was in 1999 with dot.com projects ? How to stand out from the crowd ?

Don't be silent. There are many of great developers everywhere, but most of them work in busy environments and do not present themselves. I write about the things I work on and this helps me build a business network. Some of my readers are comrades developers and some of them are potentials clients who send inquiries.

Apple established marketplace for these apps with App store. What kind of apps are the most popular ( genres ) in Apple store and what's the quality of most apps ?

I don’t know much about this but I think that games have a big lead in App Store.

After you make an app, how long it takes for an app to be approved by Apple and ready to go on sale ?

We had a really good experience with approving app issue. Longest time we had to wait was 7 days.

Is there any marketing push needed when selling your app ? Marketing strategy ? Promotion ?

Some of the applications sell themselves by word of mouth and some need a promotion. We are mainly using online promotional methods like Google Adwords or other PPC marketing methods. In some cases, client had an established business network where spreading the word was much easier.

Great thing is that you can decide how much you would charge for your program ? Can an individual programmer live just from developing apps for iPhone, I mean make a living ?

That is the best thing about iPhone dev story. Yes, man can make an iphone app and live of it. Even better - Man can get rich. But I think it is better to form a team then be just an, how you say, individual programmer.

Free app or app for a small fee ? When it is justified to ask for money for your app ?

This is the question you need to ask yourself before the development. If we plan to invest a lot of time and energy, we'll create a free app only if it will create promotional result. In other case, small fee is just fine.
There is one interesting fact. Free apps get much lower rates from visitors than $0.99 ones. Some people download and try just to give the lowest rate.

Good thing is that you as a developer don't have to worry about billing . Is Apple good or evil when taking its cut ( 30 % ) for selling apps through Apple store ?

They are good guys because they do all of comercial job for you so you don’t need to bother with that. I think they deserve it.

There are more than 25.000 apps in the App Store. How do you think average user will find relevant apps in the future? How to solve discovery of apps on the iPhone ?

It depends on users interests. There are few of app’s that help average user to find an app for them. Actually, one app of that kind we have made for a client.

What do you think about iPhone as mass market platform ( new editions of mass market phones coming maybe ) ? Is it doable in the future ? It seems iPhone is getting first mover advantage and gains tremendouse market share all around the world in the smartphone arena ?

iPhone is first of that kind and that is a big advantage ahead of all other. However, like similar devices, it will not last forever. In a few years, we will speak about it in the same way we are speaking about Commodore 64 now.

What are the things you would like to be better in this whole Apple iPhone ecosystem ? What are shortcomings and stumble blocks for the platform ?

I think there is space for improvement in Apple's appy sales reports. The reports are not very user friendly.

Should web publishers optimize their websites for iPhone ? What's the relation between iPhone optimized web ( WebKit browsers ) and mobile web in general ? Iphone web pages are more usable then mobile web in general , IMHO.

Of course they should. For example, there are many plugins and themes for the Wordpress that can converted site to fit iPhone web browser which one can implement in his website.

Is there correlation between iPhone on-device apps and iPhone web apps? Which one is more usable and is there any overlapping ?

It depends what you need. Pure logic. I think that in general both of them are winning combination.

What's the future for Inchoo, a startup company from Osijek, in regard to iPhone development ? What's your target market ?

I hope that number of iPhone developers in Croatia will grow up and when that happens I honestly hope that there will be few brave ones that will try to work as a part of Inchoo iphone dev team. We are waiting. Our target market are a good business in all the world. We do not have any localized promotional activities.

Should croatian companies ( media companies, publishers, software firms ) pay attention to this booming market and how ? For marketing purpose perhaps ?

I think that the answer to this question must or will be found out by every preferable company owner soon.

What do you expect from future iPhone releases ? Do you think there will be more access to device capabilities which will lead to new breath of amazing apps ?

Well, 3.0 SDK has came out and I've seen enough. I will be atrocious and will say no more then just amazing. If guy’s from Apple continue to develop things like they did so far, iPhone might become something like tricoder from Star Trek. :-)

Intervju s Ivanom Kalaicom - iPhone genijem iz osječke tvrtke Inchoo

Do you see Google Android project as a serious competion to iPhone ? Google Android Market / RIM AppWorld /Nokia Ovi / Windows Mobile vs. Apple store ?


What would you do differently when looking back at your released apps ?

Good job. :-)

How do you keep up with developer news ? Where to look on the Web for staying up to date with iPhone development ?

There are many sources on the web where you can find fresh news but the main source is the Apple’s iPhone Dev Center.

Describe iPhone in one sentence as an iPhone owner ? What it means to you ?

Great thing and everything - tricoder!

Ivan, thanks for your time and great insight !

- 20:36 - Komentari (1) - Isprintaj - #