How this app developer flexed its muscles to get featured by Apple and the App Store

Jul 8, 2011
Tech

While there is no shortage of workout apps available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, few if any offer the variety, flexibility and 3D model animations of iMuscle. Available for $1.99 on the iPhone/iPod touch and $4.99 on the iPad, iMuscle, as described by Appolicious Advisor David Lister, “boasts smart features that both maximize […]

While there is no shortage of workout apps available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, few if any offer the variety, flexibility and 3D model animations of iMuscle.

Available for $1.99 on the iPhone/iPod touch and $4.99 on the iPad, iMuscle, as described by Appolicious Advisor David Lister, “boasts smart features that both maximize the iPhone’s potential and your workout, meaning that this one likely has staying power.” iMuscle’s pumped up production standards made it an iTunes “App of the Week” as well as one of our favorite apps of 2011 so far.

Check out our video review to get a full flavor of the app.

In this edition of Meet the Makers, we check in with John Moore, CEO of iMuscle developer 3D 4 Medical. Moore describes his company’s initial and enormously successful foray into consumer-driven apps, the primary differences between the iPhone and iPad versions, and why he spends so much time improving existing titles already available.

Appolicious: What inspired you to create iMuscle?

John Moore: We normally develop medical apps and we identified an opportunity of using our graphics and anatomy knowledge to create a “best of breed” app for the Healthcare & Hitness category. We subsequently developed 450 exercise animations over a nine month period and integrated them with elements of our NOVA Medical series technology to create what we think is a state-of-the-art workout tool.

APPO: In 50 words or less, what does the app do?

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JM: It allows the user to zoom to into a particular muscle, select it and then view the exercises that will build that muscle. It also allows the user to create custom workouts for building particular muscles, muscle groups or just a personal workout.

APPO: Describe the primary differences between the iPhone and iPad versions of the application.

JM: The iPad version has obviously so much more room, so we were able to show several panels of information at one time on the screen. For example – in the iPad version – the user will get the “muscles used” panel and the exercise animation panel on the same screen. On the iPhone version you can only fit one information panel at a time.

APPO: Are there any plans to develop a version for Android and/or additional mobile operating systems?

JM: We are looking at it but have not made a decision yet one way or the other yet

APPO: What are you doing to drive downloads, both upon launch and over time?

JM: We pay particular attention to customer feedback, which is the primary driver for all of our updates and enhancements. As a result of this, our marketing relies heavily on peer review and recommendations / referrals. Our most obvious and best marketing technique is appearing in and remaining in the top 10 on iTunes – and the key to longevity in these charts is quality.  An added bonus has been endorsements from Apple, “App of the Week” for the iMuscle app and inclusion in TV advertisement for the Heart pro app.

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APPO: How did you come to price each application ($1.99 and $4.99 respectively) what other ways are you making money from the apps?

JM: Good question. Since this is our first consumer app, we were very concerned about price elasticity. We played it safe and charged reasonably affordable prices right out of the gate. This is in line with other apps in the category, although we obviously believe that we deliver a lot more for the price. In addition, the iPad version has higher resolution graphics which makes it well worth the investment of $4.99 as opposed to $1.99 for the iPhone version.

APPO: What is your favorite workout routine?

JM: I actually have a bad back and I really enjoyed making a routine of exercises that build up the different muscles in that region.

APPO: Tell us the three biggest things about the mobile media industry most keeping you up at night and why.

JM: Only one actually. With respect to the mobile media industry, we are always afraid that someone new will enter the market and make a product that is better than yours. That is why we spend 40 percent of our time and budget on improving our existing apps.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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