Our Developers Cubed series offers a behind the scenes look into Australia’s up and coming dev scene. This week: We chat with the Sydney team behind SquareEyes, the first social video app for the iPad.
Developers! Developers! Developers! It's not just Steve Ballmer’s favourite sweat-laden catchcry! If you'd like to be featured in Developers Cubed, shoot me a note at danny.allen dot gizmodo.com.au. We'd love to hear from you.
Who are you and where do you work? My name is Dan Jones, co-founder of Sydney-based entertainment studio, Pocketry. We're essentially a crew of three: Ed Harradine is our CTO, Elliot Rock our CCO, and I look after the business end.
Why do we know you? What have you created? We are the team behind SquareEyes for the iPad [iTunes link; Free] , which was the original social video app for the iPad (soon followed by ShowYou, Deja etc) which we released back in April. SquareEyes is a curated and social video service that filters out the noise of online video and delivers a quality video consumption experience.
The guys are working on version 1.5 now which will add a bit of polish to the app, and make it an even more social experience. There have been quite a few copycats since we released and for 2.0 we have something really special that we believe will really change the whole space.
What platforms do you develop for? Currently iOS but Android is in the roadmap.
What are you working on right now? 1.5 and 2.0 for SquareEyes. But something we're extremely excited about is our next project codenamed "G.E.O." which is our first game. We've been working on this one intensely for a long time now, not just on the game itself, but also on the team we are pulling together to deliver it. I cant say much, but I can say it involves social and location...this is what we will be remembered for.
How did you get into development? Elliot and I are both very creative people, it's in our blood to want to create things. Pocketry just came about from us discussing over beer what our dream products/games would be, and one day we just decided to stop talking and start creating.
What do you think about the rise and rise of App Stores? How has it influenced your titles? It's a good thing. Distribution is key, with the App store you have worldwide distribution and one contract. That's unprecedented. The only issue now is getting noticed. I truly believe if you have a great product you will succeed. I can't say it's had a direct influence on any of our titles to date, but I think it just pushes you to be great as that's the only way you can win in this market.
What's your favourite app that you didn't create? I have two: Kindle for iPad, reading is good for the soul and Bezos is king. And Flipboard. Flipboard just made the iPad for me, it's beautiful. They have some work to do from a monetisation perspective, but they'll get there. I even prefer Flipboard to the web now...seriously.
What phone do you use? Why? I'm an Apple fanboy through and through, so I'm obviously gonna say iPhone. That said, Android is an exciting platform and the competition is important. Android still has that 'excited geek' vibe, which is a good thing. But, Apple is polish, simplicity, better design and a more intuitive UX.
What advice do you have for budding Aussie developers out there? Just build it. Get busy. If you don't have the skills yourself find someone to help you. Think very carefully about monetization if you want to make this your life, but then there's nothing wrong with creating something just because you have an idea that you're passionate about and want to see in the world, maybe others will share your passion. Finally, don't listen to haters, just don't, push on and build your dreams.