Developer Name: Teddy Newell
Location: Spokane, WA
Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Specialty genres: Productivity and Novelty Utilities
Company size: 1 Developer
Short description of company: Teddy Newell creates quality apps for iOS with an emphasis on usability and fun, both in independent creations and in custom apps for clients.
How did you and your firm get into the iPhone/mobile app development business?
The iPhone is an amazing device – the first platform to really make apps come alive. Having just taken an intro to Java class, I found that I liked computer programming shortly after the iPhone was opened for app development. I thought it would be really cool to have my own ideas as actual apps on the iPhone, so I bought a book on app development and worked through it in my spare time. Before I knew it, I had a working app.
In your opinion, how has the iPhone and Apple's iTunes App Store changed the media industry?
Apple always creates elegantly functional products that focus on the user experience. They care about every single detail. With iPhone, you don't worry about how it works; you just get to experience it. This makes it the perfect delivery platform for all sorts of media.
The App Store brings third-party developers into the curated experience of iPhone. With my old Palm handheld, I didn't know what apps I could trust, nor which websites were legitimate distributors. Apple's use of iTunes for app distribution reassures consumers and makes them more comfortable buying apps. Combine that with the tremendous number of iPhone users, and you get an amazing marketplace. With tens of thousands of developers, the creative potential is amazing.
Describe the differences between developing apps for the iPhone, iPad, and other platforms.
My only other development experience has been Java and a little FORTRAN; I think you see progress much faster working with iOS. It is a very accessible platform. Comparing the development process to painting or sketching: anyone can develop for iOS, but creating quality apps is an art.
What factors go into how you ultimately price your apps?
I think about what I would pay if someone else designed the app. Since $0.99 is the base level of an impulse buy, I start there. If my app is better than the competition, I may increase the price by a dollar or two. I've been experimenting with iAds to offer fully-featured apps for free – it may be a viable revenue source.
Describe what your dream app for the iPhone/iPad would look like.
My dream app wouldn't look like an app at all! I see Apple's iBooks as a gold standard for such an app, apps that don't get in the way of the user. If you've seen the audience reaction during Steve Jobs' iPad keynote, you know how compelling a concept it is to turn a virtual page just like a real one. My dream app would have something just as real and just as cool, something that would make a task more fun to do in the digital world than the real one.