Gizmodo's Developers Cubed series offers a behind the scenes look into Australia’s up and coming dev scene. This week: We chat with Melbourne-based b2Cloud, about the need for app promotion, RSS clocks and life beyond iOS.
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 a note to alex.kidman at gizmodo.com.au. I'd love to hear from you.
Who are you and where do you work? I’m Josh Guest, the founder of b2cloud. We are an Australian mobile and social media tech company. We are a growing team of 8 based in Melbourne, and my days are spent overseeing all our mobile development projects and running client workshops.
Why do we know you? What have you created? Our three recent big releases have been the Australian Good Food & Travel Guide [iTunes link; Free], BrainyApp for Alzheimers Australia [iTunes link; Free] and Avalon Airport [iTunes link; Free]. All of these apps have something special in them such as spin wheels and live movement of planes in the sky.
One for Gizmodo readers is a little b2cloud app called iTock [iTunes link; Free] for iPhone and iPad. Basically we needed a clock to keep meetings on track, so Tom built a flip clock, like the old school airport boards. We love Gizmodo so we included a flipping Gizmodo RSS feed on the bottom. Giz Au Editor's Note: I thought Josh was, well, joshing me with this one, and that it just had RSS feeds built in. But no — it's a dedicated flip clock with built-in Giz AU feed as the default. Best. App. EVER.
What platforms do you develop for? iOS and we are building our Android team as we speak.
What are you working on right now? We have 6 apps on the go right now. I'm really excited about an App we are building for the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. It's such a beautiful place to visit and the drive is amazing. The most common question from tourists is "how far away are the 12 Apostles?". The App answers this as well as directing users to thousands of cafes, restaurants and special sights. It will use thoughtful caching meaning it works offline without the dreaded 20+ MB wifi download!
What do you think about the rise and rise of App Stores? How has it influenced your titles? It’s great that developers big and small all have a place to showcase their works. I recently wrote a blog on suggestions for developers to promote their Apps. I have met a lot of disappointed programmers and entrepreneurs who have released an App with less than 5,000 downloads. App Stores are competitive places — so my advice is to get attention offline to grow your App Store exposure.
What’s your favourite app that you didn’t create? Find My Friends by Apple. At the beginning of the year I drove to Sydney and used Google Latitude on the iPhone to let loved ones see my exact GPS location. Latitude was clunky and it was difficult to have specific users expire after a set number of hours. Find My Friends does this, and over the last couple of weeks I have been providing 1 hour location shares to every contact I have had meetings with. They can then determine if I will be early or late. With better iCal integration this App will rock!
What phone do you use? Why? iPhone 4S. It's the best smartphone on the market. I have a soft spot for the Blackberry True Keyboard and my next purchase will be a Galaxy S II with Near Field Communication.
What advice do you have for budding Aussie developers out there? First: Angry Birds is not the norm.
Second: Consider how to reach the largest audience beyond iOS and ensure that the world knows you have an App on the store. Always have a marketing and promotions budget.