iPhone Developers have a blockbuster weekend

Today I visited two iPhone developers to see how things went. First we visited Evernote, which makes a great note-taking app. This is the most useful app I’ve loaded on my iPhone so far (which has more than 30 apps loaded on it). Really killer thing? Take a picture of something with text in it. Say a sign, or a business card. Or a newspaper ad. Or a bill you received. Save it. Then, search for something on that bill. Wow. It turned all the text in the picture into something you could search for. This is the coolest thing.

The second app developer was Tapulous, producers of Tap Tap Revenge, the #1 free game (and was #9 on the overall list when I visited them tonight and they’ve been rising fast).

Some things I learned.

Evernote has seen 30,000 new people sign up for its service through the iPhone App Store (and many more have downloaded it but had existing accounts). Tap Tap Revenge, which was developed by Nate True, has seen about 200,000 downloads so far, which is made even more incredible because it wasn’t working for part of the day on Friday due to Apple not letting them onto the list at first.

Tapulous says they have several other apps (including a Twitter app, called Twinkle, that I got a first look at. That’s Mike Lee, Chief Architect, showing that off to me) that hasn’t been approved yet, and they are hoping Apple will approve their apps “any minute now.”

Here’s the videos:

Demo of Tap Tap Revenge. In this video you see Bart Decrem, CEO.

Meet Jeff Clavier, one of the investors in Tapulous.

Mike Lee, Chief Architect at Tapulous, shows off Twinkle for the first time, which is a new Twitter client coming soon for the iPhone.

Interview with Evernote’s CEO, Phil Libin, who shows me how his app works on the iPhone.

To give you some perspective on how much the world has sped up: in 1996 the hottest app was ICQ, an instant messaging client. The guys who started that company defined viral marketing. In the first six weeks that ICQ was out there they had 65,000 downloads. Tapulous saw that many downloads in less than a day.

I’d love to hear from other iPhone app developers, particularly ones that are getting praised, or are learning something unique.

Also, I’m hearing from other developers that getting apps approved by Apple is very difficult. Any tips for getting your apps through the system? Any news from developers so we can figure out how slow Apple is being in getting through the app backlog?

Comments

  1. Yeah, Evernote is great. Though it has some glitches. But I could well imagine that they have already taken them out and are waiting for the new version to be “reviewed” and put online.

  2. Yeah, Evernote is great. Though it has some glitches. But I could well imagine that they have already taken them out and are waiting for the new version to be “reviewed” and put online.

  3. Robert,

    My killer app actually came with the iPhone: Maps . The fact that you can do now location based searching is just a dream come true.

    Down here in Australia cab drivers are know to be ripping off out of towner every chance they can get. Well, last Friday I was in another city for work and got into a cab asking the driver to take me to a restaurant I only vaguely knew the address… well, actually I knew the street it was on but not the cross street. While in the cap I used Maps to search for the restaurant… voila’ not just did it turn up the name, location on the map, phone number… no it also showed my exact location on the map and the direction I was moving in… which surprise surprise was the the opposite direction I had asked for.

    I promptly told the driver he had now idea what he was doing and showed him the map on the phone… he was pretty speechless to say the least and apologized over and over…

    … oh and did I mention I ended up calling the restaurant on the number the map search returned?

    what I would like to see is an application that allows me to photograph a bar code or ISBN of a book and then return the book in amazon. Quite often I see books I’d love to buy but can’t because I am seeing it in another country and the access baggage costs would kill me. At the moment I usually write down the name/ ISBN number of take a photo and check at home… would could to have an app that would automate this process… Amazon are you listening?

    Damn… shouldn’t have written this hear but actually developed it myself… ;-)

  4. Robert,

    My killer app actually came with the iPhone: Maps . The fact that you can do now location based searching is just a dream come true.

    Down here in Australia cab drivers are know to be ripping off out of towner every chance they can get. Well, last Friday I was in another city for work and got into a cab asking the driver to take me to a restaurant I only vaguely knew the address… well, actually I knew the street it was on but not the cross street. While in the cap I used Maps to search for the restaurant… voila’ not just did it turn up the name, location on the map, phone number… no it also showed my exact location on the map and the direction I was moving in… which surprise surprise was the the opposite direction I had asked for.

    I promptly told the driver he had now idea what he was doing and showed him the map on the phone… he was pretty speechless to say the least and apologized over and over…

    … oh and did I mention I ended up calling the restaurant on the number the map search returned?

    what I would like to see is an application that allows me to photograph a bar code or ISBN of a book and then return the book in amazon. Quite often I see books I’d love to buy but can’t because I am seeing it in another country and the access baggage costs would kill me. At the moment I usually write down the name/ ISBN number of take a photo and check at home… would could to have an app that would automate this process… Amazon are you listening?

    Damn… shouldn’t have written this hear but actually developed it myself… ;-)

  5. Apple is going to be very hard on developers, and rightfully so. The last thing Apple wants is to have apps running on the iPhone that make their baby look bad.

  6. Apple is going to be very hard on developers, and rightfully so. The last thing Apple wants is to have apps running on the iPhone that make their baby look bad.

  7. “The last thing Apple wants is to have apps running on the iPhone that make their baby look bad.” Admittedly I have been hesitant to jump off the deep end and purchase an IPhone. I found the following posts last night trying to decide if I should move from a “smart phone” to an IPhone.

    Apparently Apply is doing a pretty good job on their own of making the new device look bad.

    http://timheuer.com/blog/archive/2008/07/13/iphone-not-ready-for-the-enterprise.aspx

    http://timheuer.com/blog/archive/2008/07/14/iphone-3g-battery-drain-and-accessories-not-compatible.aspx

    Scoble – I know you have more than one device but have you seen the same issues in your use of the new device?

  8. “The last thing Apple wants is to have apps running on the iPhone that make their baby look bad.” Admittedly I have been hesitant to jump off the deep end and purchase an IPhone. I found the following posts last night trying to decide if I should move from a “smart phone” to an IPhone.

    Apparently Apply is doing a pretty good job on their own of making the new device look bad.

    http://timheuer.com/blog/archive/2008/07/13/iphone-not-ready-for-the-enterprise.aspx

    http://timheuer.com/blog/archive/2008/07/14/iphone-3g-battery-drain-and-accessories-not-compatible.aspx

    Scoble – I know you have more than one device but have you seen the same issues in your use of the new device?

  9. I upgraded my 16G iPhone (not 3G) to 2.0 software on Friday and have already had more crashes and reboots in the last four days than I had in the six months before with 1.x software. The common denominator – third party apps. A few apps I have loaded have had some bad behavior such as rebooting or just exiting to the Home screen. In general the problem is not repeatable! Is it the apps themselves or their interface to the OS? With more than a few of the apps having some strange behavior my bet is on the OS having a little bug. Who knows, but Apple and the developers better get it sorted out before people lose confidence.

    Apps that had strange behavior:
    Band: reboot
    Mobile News: exit to Home
    iMaze: reboot

  10. I upgraded my 16G iPhone (not 3G) to 2.0 software on Friday and have already had more crashes and reboots in the last four days than I had in the six months before with 1.x software. The common denominator – third party apps. A few apps I have loaded have had some bad behavior such as rebooting or just exiting to the Home screen. In general the problem is not repeatable! Is it the apps themselves or their interface to the OS? With more than a few of the apps having some strange behavior my bet is on the OS having a little bug. Who knows, but Apple and the developers better get it sorted out before people lose confidence.

    Apps that had strange behavior:
    Band: reboot
    Mobile News: exit to Home
    iMaze: reboot

  11. [...] 15 July, 2008 … To give you some perspective on how much the world has sped up: in 1996 the hottest app was ICQ, an instant messaging client. The guys who started that company defined viral marketing. In the first six weeks that ICQ was out there they had 65,000 downloads. Tapulous saw that many downloads in less than a day. … Robert Scoble [...]

  12. “I saw a talk by Ray Kurzweil recently …and your comment (and data) about “how much the world has sped up” would fit right in there.”

    Kurzweil is a bit of a hero of mine. Much of what he projects may never come to pass (uploading our “selves”–whatever THAT may be) into silicon– but he thinks big.

    On Evernote: Robert, wasn’t there an MSFT-ie who was recording his whole life with a camcorder on top of his– who was it–Myhrwold? I forget. Cool idea. MMMM– Evernote plus Twitter…….world brain… searchable? The future could be pretty wild!

  13. “I saw a talk by Ray Kurzweil recently …and your comment (and data) about “how much the world has sped up” would fit right in there.”

    Kurzweil is a bit of a hero of mine. Much of what he projects may never come to pass (uploading our “selves”–whatever THAT may be) into silicon– but he thinks big.

    On Evernote: Robert, wasn’t there an MSFT-ie who was recording his whole life with a camcorder on top of his– who was it–Myhrwold? I forget. Cool idea. MMMM– Evernote plus Twitter…….world brain… searchable? The future could be pretty wild!

  14. To plm,

    16G iPhone (not 3G): Are you sure that you actually have an iPhone? When the 1st one came out a year ago, you could choose from 4G or 8G (Edge only). Last week’s release included a choice of 8G or 16G (all 3Gs).

  15. To plm,

    16G iPhone (not 3G): Are you sure that you actually have an iPhone? When the 1st one came out a year ago, you could choose from 4G or 8G (Edge only). Last week’s release included a choice of 8G or 16G (all 3Gs).

  16. To BigLexus,

    Yes, 16G original iPhone. They came out a few months after the original release at the same price as the old 8G. Bought it in April. Now waiting for the 32G+ iPhone 3G.

  17. To BigLexus,

    Yes, 16G original iPhone. They came out a few months after the original release at the same price as the old 8G. Bought it in April. Now waiting for the 32G+ iPhone 3G.

  18. Robert,

    Very interesting data around iPhone applications.

    There’s been a similar download frenzy with the Spore Creature Creator. It was released in mid-June as a pre-release teaser for this September’s release of Spore.

    At E3, Electronic Arts reported that over 1.8 million creatures had been created in less than a month (300,000 more species than have been cataloged so far on Earth). EA hoped 100,000 creature uploads between June and September. They exceeded that goal in the first 24 hours after release in June.

    People are certainly more comfortable with downloads than they were in 1996 (the ICQ days). However, it also points to a new marketing relationship between digital content creators and consumers. You couldn’t put up those sorts of single-day numbers by traditional “push” marketing alone. People have to choose to come to you.

  19. Robert,

    Very interesting data around iPhone applications.

    There’s been a similar download frenzy with the Spore Creature Creator. It was released in mid-June as a pre-release teaser for this September’s release of Spore.

    At E3, Electronic Arts reported that over 1.8 million creatures had been created in less than a month (300,000 more species than have been cataloged so far on Earth). EA hoped 100,000 creature uploads between June and September. They exceeded that goal in the first 24 hours after release in June.

    People are certainly more comfortable with downloads than they were in 1996 (the ICQ days). However, it also points to a new marketing relationship between digital content creators and consumers. You couldn’t put up those sorts of single-day numbers by traditional “push” marketing alone. People have to choose to come to you.

  20. plm ftw!

    hey biglexus, ever heard of this thing called the internets? it uses pipes and you can look stuff up before you spout off about them…

    being a scooby fan, i can understand you are unfamiliar with the concept of fact checking, but it can keep you from looking like a doosh.

  21. plm ftw!

    hey biglexus, ever heard of this thing called the internets? it uses pipes and you can look stuff up before you spout off about them…

    being a scooby fan, i can understand you are unfamiliar with the concept of fact checking, but it can keep you from looking like a doosh.

  22. I talked with Satoshi of Big Canvas (maker of PhotoShare) and AJ at MarketCircle. PhotoShare made the AppStore debut – just barely. AJ’s crew are taking a relaxed approach. Both say the Apple is bending over backwards to lend a hand when and where they need to. Qualifying for the AppStore IS rigorous and VERY specific but WELL documented too.

    With any luck we’ll have ours in the AppStore by 2009.

  23. I talked with Satoshi of Big Canvas (maker of PhotoShare) and AJ at MarketCircle. PhotoShare made the AppStore debut – just barely. AJ’s crew are taking a relaxed approach. Both say the Apple is bending over backwards to lend a hand when and where they need to. Qualifying for the AppStore IS rigorous and VERY specific but WELL documented too.

    With any luck we’ll have ours in the AppStore by 2009.

  24. Well, that’s but congratulations to all the developers of the new iPhone. I’ve just got one (I mean, an iPhone) for me and had downloaded a number of cool applications.

    I’ve been excessively exploring and using my iPhone until this very moment. I’m definitely hooked up with it.

    I think the law of marginal utility will of be no sense to me right now. LOL!

  25. Well, that’s but congratulations to all the developers of the new iPhone. I’ve just got one (I mean, an iPhone) for me and had downloaded a number of cool applications.

    I’ve been excessively exploring and using my iPhone until this very moment. I’m definitely hooked up with it.

    I think the law of marginal utility will of be no sense to me right now. LOL!

  26. Gerald is right. We managed to put our application (Big Canvas PhotoShare) to the App Store on the launch date, but it was really really hard. We submitted the application in the morning on 7th, but was rejected once because we made a mistake in the provisioning process. People in Apple were very supportive and helped us to release the product.

    We had a large number of users (way more than we expected) using our app in the first few days, which allowed us to quickly pass the point of “I don’t want to go into this restaurant because nobody is eating here”. Within a week, we now have thousands of “active” users (who runs our app every day or sometimes every hour) – which is a very good number for a brand new social networking service, and I think the “first day” factor was a big contribution.

    Satoshi Nakajima
    President, Big Canvas Inc.

  27. Gerald is right. We managed to put our application (Big Canvas PhotoShare) to the App Store on the launch date, but it was really really hard. We submitted the application in the morning on 7th, but was rejected once because we made a mistake in the provisioning process. People in Apple were very supportive and helped us to release the product.

    We had a large number of users (way more than we expected) using our app in the first few days, which allowed us to quickly pass the point of “I don’t want to go into this restaurant because nobody is eating here”. Within a week, we now have thousands of “active” users (who runs our app every day or sometimes every hour) – which is a very good number for a brand new social networking service, and I think the “first day” factor was a big contribution.

    Satoshi Nakajima
    President, Big Canvas Inc.

  28. Chris Spires,

    Do you have an iPhone or have you used one? I wondering what you are basing your comments on re the iPhone not being a business phone?

  29. Chris Spires,

    Do you have an iPhone or have you used one? I wondering what you are basing your comments on re the iPhone not being a business phone?

  30. I can’t wait to get my iPhone, loads of my friends already have them though :(. I hope Apple let 3rd party developers really do their job on this one, it could be so much better! Although, I doubt many businesses will abandon the Blackberry.

  31. I can’t wait to get my iPhone, loads of my friends already have them though :(. I hope Apple let 3rd party developers really do their job on this one, it could be so much better! Although, I doubt many businesses will abandon the Blackberry.

  32. Facebook Contacts -> Outlook (for iphone)

    1. Go to: http://www.facebook.com/mobile/?phonebook

    2. In the address bar paste this:

    Firefox:

    javascript:var d=document,parent=d.getElementById(‘status_placeholder’).parentNode,a=parent.getElementsByTagName(‘div’),r=d.getElementById(‘rtime’);i;for(i=0;i<a.length;i++){var p=a[i];if(p.className==’info’){r.innerHTML+=”+p.getElementsByTagName(‘a’)[0].innerHTML+’,’+p.getElementsByTagName(‘div’)[1].textContent;}}

    IE:

    javascript:var d=document,parent=d.getElementById(‘status_placeholder’).parentNode,a=parent.getElementsByTagName(‘div’),r=d.getElementById(‘rtime’);i;for(i=0;i<a.length;i++){var p=a[i];if(p.className==’info’){r.innerHTML+=”+p.getElementsByTagName(‘a’)[0].innerHTML+’,’+p.getElementsByTagName(‘div’)[1].innerText;}}

    3. Copy list to notepad

    4. Find replace “,M:” with “,” and “,O:” with “,” (there might be more but my friends only have Mobile and other)…

    5. Save as facebookPhonebook.csv (not .txt)

    6. In outlook go to contacts

    7. Make the Group/Folder you want (or use “Contacts” as default)

    8. File -> Import/Export

    9. Import from another program or file

    10. Comma Seperated Values (Windows)

    11. browse for the file

    12. and determine if you want to allow duplicates or replace duplicates

    13. Select destination folder (Contacts or custom one you made)

    14. click the check box next to Import “facebookPhoneNumbers.csv” into folde…

    15. Drag your friends name to Name

    16. Drag your friends phone number to Mobile Phone

    17. Click ok

    18. click finish

    con: if you like to have your contacts in several groups/folders it will be really annoying to update if you have a lot…

    I just kept all my facebook contacts in 1 group and will probably have duplicate entries for some people but oh well…

  33. Facebook Contacts -> Outlook (for iphone)

    1. Go to: http://www.facebook.com/mobile/?phonebook

    2. In the address bar paste this:

    Firefox:

    javascript:var d=document,parent=d.getElementById(‘status_placeholder’).parentNode,a=parent.getElementsByTagName(‘div’),r=d.getElementById(‘rtime’);i;for(i=0;i<a.length;i++){var p=a[i];if(p.className==’info’){r.innerHTML+=”+p.getElementsByTagName(‘a’)[0].innerHTML+’,’+p.getElementsByTagName(‘div’)[1].textContent;}}

    IE:

    javascript:var d=document,parent=d.getElementById(‘status_placeholder’).parentNode,a=parent.getElementsByTagName(‘div’),r=d.getElementById(‘rtime’);i;for(i=0;i<a.length;i++){var p=a[i];if(p.className==’info’){r.innerHTML+=”+p.getElementsByTagName(‘a’)[0].innerHTML+’,’+p.getElementsByTagName(‘div’)[1].innerText;}}

    3. Copy list to notepad

    4. Find replace “,M:” with “,” and “,O:” with “,” (there might be more but my friends only have Mobile and other)…

    5. Save as facebookPhonebook.csv (not .txt)

    6. In outlook go to contacts

    7. Make the Group/Folder you want (or use “Contacts” as default)

    8. File -> Import/Export

    9. Import from another program or file

    10. Comma Seperated Values (Windows)

    11. browse for the file

    12. and determine if you want to allow duplicates or replace duplicates

    13. Select destination folder (Contacts or custom one you made)

    14. click the check box next to Import “facebookPhoneNumbers.csv” into folde…

    15. Drag your friends name to Name

    16. Drag your friends phone number to Mobile Phone

    17. Click ok

    18. click finish

    con: if you like to have your contacts in several groups/folders it will be really annoying to update if you have a lot…

    I just kept all my facebook contacts in 1 group and will probably have duplicate entries for some people but oh well…

  34. “iPhone, in my opinion, will always be a toy – not a business phone”

    Tom: When Chris uses the word “toy” that’s code for “not something made in Redmond that I can make money using my MCSE off of”. It’s like when politicians talk about race or class.

  35. “iPhone, in my opinion, will always be a toy – not a business phone”

    Tom: When Chris uses the word “toy” that’s code for “not something made in Redmond that I can make money using my MCSE off of”. It’s like when politicians talk about race or class.

  36. Yes, Tom, I have an iPhone – several actually. I bought my first after they were initially released. Since then, I’ve bought, sold, traded iPhones for extra money; Jailbroke/unlocked them friends, and so on and so on.

  37. Yes, Tom, I have an iPhone – several actually. I bought my first after they were initially released. Since then, I’ve bought, sold, traded iPhones for extra money; Jailbroke/unlocked them friends, and so on and so on.