Meet the Makers: Q&A with Arik Waldman of TekTrak

Nov 12, 2010
Tech

Location: Los Angeles, CA Notable apps: TekTrak Pro (TekTrak Lite coming soon) Platforms: iOS (working on other platforms right now) Specialty genres: Mobile Security Company size: 4 people and growing Short description of company: TekTrak is a mobile security company. TekTrak developed smart phone applications that allow users to track their phone, if it gets […]

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Notable apps: TekTrak Pro (TekTrak Lite coming soon)

Platforms: iOS (working on other platforms right now)

Specialty genres: Mobile Security

Company size: 4 people and growing

Short description of company: TekTrak is a mobile security company. TekTrak developed smart phone applications that allow users to track their phone, if it gets lost or misplaced, as well as secure any private or sensitive information stored on the device.

How did you and your firm get into the iPhone/mobile app development business?

The idea actually came first. One of our founders lost one too many phones (in Vegas), and we figured a lot of people were experiencing similar pain. We were in school at the time, but still managed to work on TekTrak. After exploring hardware solutions, we’ve come to realize that mobile applications are the most efficient solution.

The iPhone platform is the most widely used application storefront, and provides the most unique opportunity to introduce your product on a global scale. The impact of success on the iPhone platform is unparallel. When Apple allowed background operation for the iPhone this summer, we knew this would be our first app.

In your opinion, how has the iPhone and Apple’s iTunes App Store changed the media industry?

There is no doubt that what Apple has done is amazing. They created a whole new, multi-billion dollar economy. After years of trying to push web-based phones to the general market, the App Store allowed Apple to become the first homerun in the smart phone market. The idea of building a platform and allowing the development of external applications is not new, but Apple executed with intuitive OS and app system.

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Describe the differences between developing apps for the iPhone, iPad, and other platforms.

As with any platform, there are advantages and disadvantages.The advantages for developing for the iPhone are:

You need to develop for only one device (iPhone), rather than for numerous devices, as with the other mobile OS. The transformation to an iPad application is relatively easy. Success on the iPhone platform carries an enormous value in terms of marketing and PR compared to the other platforms, although Android is catching up.

The disadvantages are:

  • Apple limitations on external APIs sometimes prevent developers from utilizing the true capabilities of the iPhone and from developing a better product for the customers.

  • Apple’s approval process, while allowing them to control appropriate content and prevent viruses and malware, it can be tedious and inconsistent.

  • What factors go into how you ultimately price your apps?

    Being Über-nerds, we did a conjoint analysis survey, which allowed us to assess how much people would be willing to pay for our application. Naturally, we took into account the app space pricing. We feel we created a quality product for a very reasonable price.

    Describe what your dream app for the iPhone/iPad would look like.

    Our current app + access to private APIs, meaning we can offer so much more to our consumers, such as tracking the phone when it’s turned off. We cannot reveal all of the future features we are working on, but we are trying to get as close as possible to our dream app in reality!

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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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