This week, Apple celebrates the 10th anniversary of the App Store. We were fortunate enough to be among the initial batch of developers that had the opportunity to be part of the App Store opening, on July 11, 2008. Back then, only 500 apps were offered, from which 2 were from Edovia:
Any The Simpsons fans out there? The name of this app of course refers to Linguo, a grammar-correcting robot Lisa built for a science fair.
It allowed you to translate in multiple languages and also had pre-recorded useful sentences. It was released on July 11, 2008.
Initially developed to get more familiar with the iPhone SDK, Steps was a pedometer that never worked well because of the hardware limitations the iPhone imposed at the time.
We had to keep the app running at all times (remember folks, there was no multitasking back then on iOS) and that was resulted in terrible battery life. Received a phone call? Too bad – forget about those steps you’ve taken during your call.
We did improve the app as more APIs were available on every iOS releases but it still had limitations. That new M7 motion co-processor would’ve likely changed the game back then, but nothing similar was available. Steps was released on July 11, 2008.
Initially a client project, we ended up buying the app from our client in order to add a 3rd app to our portfolio. The app was released on October 25, 2008. It did very poorly at first but then it got featured on apple.com:
Here’s an excerpt from our 2008 blog post:
“After a slow debut, Rocket Taxi has been literally on fire since we’ve released version 1.1. It’s very cool to see that Apple recognizes Rocket Taxi to be worthy of making it to the iPhone section of their website! Maybe they’ll surprise me again by making it part of a TV commercial soon. Ok enough daydreaming!”
This opportunity changed everything. Sales went though the roof! We were able to concentrate on working on our own apps and finally attend WWDC 2009, where a HUGE Rocket Taxi icon was awaiting:
Rocket Taxi was promoted by Apple everywhere: Apple Stores around the world, New York Times, all over WWDC, etc.
Back in 2008, we started working on a VNC client but felt that the iPhone at that time wasn’t the best way to control your computer.
We had this “blind VNC client” project that could send mouse movements and keystrokes to a remote Mac but couldn’t receive any images from it yet.
So we came up with the idea of using what we had already developed and came out with NumPad. We gained a lot of experience from this app (TouchPad as well) and has set the table for what would be later known as Screens.
Released on April 16, 2009. Currencies marked our first collaboration with Sebastiaan de With.
The app was pretty popular and even got featured on the App Store (along with many of our apps) and even had a store presence in France!
TouchPad was born by the need to control a Mac mini plugged into an HDTV. Just like NumPad, it relied on our “Blind VNC client” so it did not need any server software other than the already built-in Screen Sharing service.
Unfortunately the game never got popular up until it was made free and revenues generated from the now defunct iAd.
Within 53 days, Warships reached its one millionth download:
While iAd revenues were doing much better then when the app was paid up front, we had to remove it from sale a few years ago.
Screens was a big gamble. Everything on red! Apple had previously released the iPad earlier in 2010 and this new device made it perfect for a VNC app. We worked most of 2010 to eventually release version 1.0 on December of the same year.
We were very fortunate to receive a lot of attention from Apple since the release of Screens 1.0.
It’s probably as close as we’ll ever get to an ADA. It’s very gratifying to see your efforts recognized.
The Next Ten Years
It’s been a wild ride. A hard one but it brought its rewards and achievements. It’s hard to foresee what the next 10 years will bring but we hope to still be around when Apple celebrates the 20th anniversary of the App Store!