Meet the Makers: Q&A with John Hammond of JCLM Software

Jul 8, 2010
Tech

Location: St. Louis, MO Notable apps: Camera Vault ($1.99), Chameleon Cam (99 cents), EZ Loan Calc (free) Platforms: iPhone/iPod Touch, recently got an iPad, and of course the iPhone4 is on order. Specialty genres: Photography has been the main category lately. Company size: We’re a tiny group of three guys. Short description of company: Back […]

Location: St. Louis, MO

Notable apps: Camera Vault ($1.99), Chameleon Cam (99 cents), EZ Loan Calc (free)

Platforms: iPhone/iPod Touch, recently got an iPad, and of course the iPhone4 is on order.

Specialty genres: Photography has been the main category lately.

Company size: We’re a tiny group of three guys. Short description of company: Back in 2008, all three of us worked together at the same software development firm. We all wanted a hobby we could share, so we decided we would try iPhone programming. Since then we’ve built up our skills and become respected for our work in the photography section of the iTunes App Store.

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

As I mentioned before, we started because we wanted a hobby we could all share in. I had just gotten an iPhone and we figured programming on it was as good as anything else. What started out as just hoping to pay for the soda and snacks we ate during our coding sessions turned into our Camera Vault rocketing to the top of the App Store Photography category. That was a proud time for us!

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

The App Store has in a sense revealed a world of computer programming to people who might not have been interested in it. The three of us have always been obsessed with software development, but I meet people regularly who always have an idea “for an app I want to see!” And with the tons of apps available on iTunes compared to the well-established markets of Palm of RIM, it really shows that Apple’s App Store has opened the floodgates for mobile development.

READ  Trending - Did Google Copy Twitter?

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

The three of us have various experiences with other platforms, but I speak for all of us when I say that the iPhone makes our lives a lot easier. I can contrast this with my experience with Android in one sentence: Android may be an open platform, but Apple gives you everything for free. Animations that take thirty seconds to write for an iPhone will take re-inventing the wheel for Android. I grant that having to manage our own memory is royally a pain, but Apple has gone to great lengths to strengthen the development tools and make the development experience a positive one.

What factors go into how you ultimately price your apps?

This is among the most difficult of all decisions when it comes to releasing our apps. As most apps on the App Store sit at the $0.99 and $1.99 price points, that’s where we try to fit ourselves. Typically we consider the number of uses and novelty of an app in order to decide price.

As an example, our widely used app EZ Loan Calc (currently still in the top 30 free finance apps, formerly top 5), performs one task, and it performs that task well. It calculates a loan for you given input parameters, and it will show your information such as how long it will take to pay it off. We priced this free. Now, if you want the ability to save loans so you don’t have to enter data every time, we introduced this and more in EZ Loan Pro, adding to the capabilities by adding more fields that calculate into complicated loans. These Pro features priced this app at $0.99.

READ  Trending - Did Google Copy Twitter?

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

If I knew what that was, I wish that I would have already written it!  But more seriously, I think that a dream app for me personally (not speaking on behalf of the company), would be a ubiquitous organizational platform. I’m thinking task management that syncs across iDevices, Android phones, and desktop clients. I want note sync, I want assigning tasks, and I might even want the kitchen sink. This would be incredibly useful to me personally in my day job, but it’s too big for a part-time indie development team. Lotus and Microsoft, I’m looking at you guys!

Search for more

Josh Fliegel

Josh is a student at the University of Southern California, lives in Chicago, and has made Chuck Norris cry.

    Home Apps Games