Developers! Developers! Developers! Steve Ballmer's favourite sweat-laden catchcry is a reminder that all those great apps we spend so much time using on our phones and PCs are made by someone, somewhere. Developers Cubed looks to get a behind the scenes look at some of Australia's up and coming development scene. This week, we speak to Matthew Roberts from Kooee.
Who are you and where do you work? I'm Matthew Roberts, and I'm a student who has an interest in making communication between people easier. When I'm not studying, I'm working on Kooee (http://kooeeapp.com).
Why do we know you? What have you created? Initially I was the co-founder of Syncode (http://syncode.com.au) before we were acquired in September 2010. After I'd finished there, I used some of the profits from the sale to launch Kooee, something which in my eyes will never be "finished" but always expanding.
What platforms do you develop for? Right now it's iOS and the Mac. I've been considering launching into Android, but my lack of spare time and Java knowledge is slowing down that goal.
What are you working on right now? Kooee Messaging, a new way to connect with people using location-enhanced messaging. Also looking at how you could integrate SMS as another "platform" in Kooee, but we'll see where that ends up.
How did you get into development? I first started serious development when Apple released the iPhone SDK back in the 2.0 days. There was something inside of me that just clicked, the idea that this is the future. In my eyes that significantly expanded the potential of mobile computing, and to be able to make things that could totally change how we communicate and go about life.
What do you think about the rise and rise of App Stores? How has it influenced your titles? I think I'm not the only person to say that developing for the App Store is fun. Sure, it has its ups and downs, but when you just get that one email from a user saying how your product has changed the way they do something for the better, it just makes you happy to be doing what you are. The rise of the App Store has made it possible for people to have full time jobs revolving around it, and that can only mean good things for the Apple App Store ecosystem.
What's your favourite app that you didn't create? It's hard to pick just one app. If my "favourite" app means the one I use the most, then that would be Twitter for iPhone (but I think that says something about my love for Twitter than my love for the app itself). Other apps that I really enjoy would be Consume by Bjango, Pocket Weather AU, TripView, Reeder and Instagram.
What phone do you use? Why? I use an iPhone 4. Having owned an iPhone since the day it arrived in Australia, it's the phone that fits best into my life in terms of features and ease of use. I owned an HTC Desire towards the end of 2010 to try out Android, but there were a few too many platform issues for me to be able to adopt it as my phone of choice.
What advice do you have for budding Aussie developers out there? If you have a great idea that hasn't already been done, pursue it, who knows where it could lead. Age also isn't a boundary to what you can achieve. If you have the motivation to pursue an idea or platform, age doesn't have to be a factor in how your product turns out.
Are you an Australian Developer? Want to be a part of Developer Cubed? Send me an email: [email protected]