Friday, 17 April 2009

Interview with Ivan Kalaica, croatian iPhone developer, about iPhone Apps

iPhone gold rush

OSIJEK, Croatia - I had a opportunity to talk with Ivan Kalaica, croatian iPhone developer at Osijek's Inchoo startup about various aspects of making and releasing iPhone apps for this magical phone.

One of the most interesting software sales environments on the planet is iPhone. Why programs on the phone ? Do these small programs/apps on the phone make our World better place ? Is this a secret for success ? Why now and not before few years ?

Answer is fairly simple. It’s simple and it is Apple’s. You can make very good money programming software for iPhone and have fun at the same time. Just like I do now. Apple makes world better place. :-) Just kidding but there is still some small amount of true in that sentence.

Why iPhone mobile platform is your choice and since when you are developing apps for iPhone ?

Inchoo company gave me a chance to work along with Surgeworks company on iPhone development in October last year. I accepted the offer and I’m satisfied now I made that decision then. In beginning it was maybe little hard but now I can say I am happy I have then decided to work along with these great people.

How many iPhone app developers are in Croatia according to your knowledge ?

I have heard that there are few guys but newer met them.

How long it takes to learn iPhone programming and what are your basic tools ? You do it alone or as a team play ?

It is really quick thing to learn it if you are determined. At and you can find a few of the posts I have written about this topic. Well, in the beginning I have been learning alone but when I became sufficiently independent I started to work with Surgeworks iPhone dev team.

How many apps have you made to this date and how long it takes to develop an app? Is it expensive ?

As a part of Surgeworks I participate on few projects like DivineOffice, Prayer, projects that we do for many clients and for now only one app I have finished alone and that one is Dose.

How do you find projects or ideas for iPhone development ?

We have two approach on this topic and those two are our internal projects and client projects. For example we have two internal projects: DivineOffice and Prayer application that is part of DivineOffice Ministry (you can check it out on ) and rest are projects for client.

Do you think we are right now in the middle of an iPhone gold rush just like it was in 1999 with projects ? How to stand out from the crowd ?

Don't be silent. There are many of great developers everywhere, but most of them work in busy environments and do not present themselves. I write about the things I work on and this helps me build a business network. Some of my readers are comrades developers and some of them are potentials clients who send inquiries.

Apple established marketplace for these apps with App store. What kind of apps are the most popular ( genres ) in Apple store and what's the quality of most apps ?

I don’t know much about this but I think that games have a big lead in App Store.

After you make an app, how long it takes for an app to be approved by Apple and ready to go on sale ?

We had a really good experience with approving app issue. Longest time we had to wait was 7 days.

Is there any marketing push needed when selling your app ? Marketing strategy ? Promotion ?

Some of the applications sell themselves by word of mouth and some need a promotion. We are mainly using online promotional methods like Google Adwords or other PPC marketing methods. In some cases, client had an established business network where spreading the word was much easier.

Great thing is that you can decide how much you would charge for your program ? Can an individual programmer live just from developing apps for iPhone, I mean make a living ?

That is the best thing about iPhone dev story. Yes, man can make an iphone app and live of it. Even better - Man can get rich. But I think it is better to form a team then be just an, how you say, individual programmer.

Free app or app for a small fee ? When it is justified to ask for money for your app ?

This is the question you need to ask yourself before the development. If we plan to invest a lot of time and energy, we'll create a free app only if it will create promotional result. In other case, small fee is just fine.
There is one interesting fact. Free apps get much lower rates from visitors than $0.99 ones. Some people download and try just to give the lowest rate.

Good thing is that you as a developer don't have to worry about billing . Is Apple good or evil when taking its cut ( 30 % ) for selling apps through Apple store ?

They are good guys because they do all of comercial job for you so you don’t need to bother with that. I think they deserve it.

There are more than 25.000 apps in the App Store. How do you think average user will find relevant apps in the future? How to solve discovery of apps on the iPhone ?

It depends on users interests. There are few of app’s that help average user to find an app for them. Actually, one app of that kind we have made for a client.

What do you think about iPhone as mass market platform ( new editions of mass market phones coming maybe ) ? Is it doable in the future ? It seems iPhone is getting first mover advantage and gains tremendouse market share all around the world in the smartphone arena ?

iPhone is first of that kind and that is a big advantage ahead of all other. However, like similar devices, it will not last forever. In a few years, we will speak about it in the same way we are speaking about Commodore 64 now.

What are the things you would like to be better in this whole Apple iPhone ecosystem ? What are shortcomings and stumble blocks for the platform ?

I think there is space for improvement in Apple's appy sales reports. The reports are not very user friendly.

Should web publishers optimize their websites for iPhone ? What's the relation between iPhone optimized web ( WebKit browsers ) and mobile web in general ? Iphone web pages are more usable then mobile web in general , IMHO.

Of course they should. For example, there are many plugins and themes for the Wordpress that can converted site to fit iPhone web browser which one can implement in his website.

Is there correlation between iPhone on-device apps and iPhone web apps? Which one is more usable and is there any overlapping ?

It depends what you need. Pure logic. I think that in general both of them are winning combination.

What's the future for Inchoo, a startup company from Osijek, in regard to iPhone development ? What's your target market ?

I hope that number of iPhone developers in Croatia will grow up and when that happens I honestly hope that there will be few brave ones that will try to work as a part of Inchoo iphone dev team. We are waiting. Our target market are a good business in all the world. We do not have any localized promotional activities.

Should croatian companies ( media companies, publishers, software firms ) pay attention to this booming market and how ? For marketing purpose perhaps ?

I think that the answer to this question must or will be found out by every preferable company owner soon.

What do you expect from future iPhone releases ? Do you think there will be more access to device capabilities which will lead to new breath of amazing apps ?

Well, 3.0 SDK has came out and I've seen enough. I will be atrocious and will say no more then just amazing. If guy’s from Apple continue to develop things like they did so far, iPhone might become something like tricoder from Star Trek. :-)

Do you see Google Android project as a serious competion to iPhone ? Google Android Market / RIM AppWorld /Nokia Ovi / Windows Mobile vs. Apple store ?


What would you do differently when looking back at your released apps ?

Good job. :-)
How do you keep up with developer news ? Where to look on the Web for staying up to date with iPhone development ?

There are many sources on the web where you can find fresh news but the main source is the Apple’s iPhone Dev Center.

Describe iPhone in one sentence as an iPhone owner ? What it means to you ?

Great thing and everything - tricoder!

Ivan, thanks for your time and great insight !

Thursday, 16 April 2009


Different aproach. Not the AppStore

Technology review: Gmail sidesteps the AppStore

Google took advantage of features of the browsers running on both platforms to create a Web application that looks and feels like one that has been downloaded onto the device.

It's even possible that more-powerful mobile Web apps could undercut some of the business of Apple's App Store

The user won't care whether the app is running out of a browser or is running directly on the phone, Sharma says, "as long as you get the same sort of experience." A developer also has much more control over the distribution of the software, and she can keep the revenue it generates instead of splitting it with a third-party distributor like Apple.


iPhone RFID: object-based media from timo on Vimeo.


Billionth app

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


Holy grail: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible


To advertise or to not advertise

Bonus link:
iPhone app buyers survey

AppStore on the Web as it looks in iTunes

4 SHORTS - iPhone the King

Apple's huge NAND order
Apple has ordered 100 million units of 8-gigabit and 16-gigabit NAND flash memory chips, mostly from Samsung. Do they target mass market already ?

Top 100 paid iPhone apps
Play all day for 99 cents

Apple iPhone in the enterprise - evolving story

As of Jan. 2009, almost half of Kraft Foods’ mobile team were using iPhones

Top 20 free and paid iPhone apps according to Apple
the gang in Cupertino are gearing up to celebrate their 1 billionth app download


Video: iPhone game development

Cost structure for iPhone development

Google goes web app way
Sidestepping Apple store

Monday, 13 April 2009


Keep innovating my publishing venture

I am introducing new content section on my blog.

It will be called and tagged 4 SHORTS and it will contain 4 quick web links / comments / stories about things on my mind or what I found on the Web that catches my eye but without extensive story.

4 quickies, pure jewels.
Not shared over twitter, luckily.

Where 2.0 conference
The past five years have seen significant changes in the geospatial web. Its importance and functionality have matured—it's not just maps anymore! Where 2.0 2009 will take the exploration of "location aware" even further.

on a laptop or connected to an HDTV, boxee gives you a true entertainment experience to enjoy your movies, TV shows, music and photos, as well as streaming content from websites like Netflix, CBS, Comedy Central,, and flickr.

Hyperlocal news
a package of information about your neighborhood, or even your block, assembled by a computer.

Web photos with shopping links
Everingham's vision ultimately became Pixazza, an online advertising startup that converts photos on Web sites into interactive advertisements.

Saturday, 11 April 2009


I share, therefore I am

San Francisco- In this funny (and actually poignant) 3-minute talk, social strategist Renny Gleeson breaks down our always-on social world -- where the experience we're having right now is less interesting than what we'll tweet about it later.

Warp illusion

1. Stare at the image for 10 seconds
2. Look at something -- your hand, a book, your friend
3. Enjoy!

via Spiegl

Thursday, 9 April 2009


Exclusive futuristic view ;))
Might look like this


Information architects did it again. Version 4.

TOKYO- This is perhaps one of the most concise and best structured summaries of the 2009 technology world. New version of the Web Trend Map.

A yearly publication mapping 333 web domains, and 111 influential people on a Tokyo Metro map. Read more or download it here

Each “line” on the map is a different category: Application, Publishing, Opinion, News, etc. The map is certainly overwhelming, but pretty fun to explore. You can even send IA an email now to reserve your copy of the printed poster.

Heights represent success in traffic and branding. Subway lines are colored by area of interest. For example, take the orange line to find the creatives. Notice that there are several colors passing through Apple.

Monday, 6 April 2009


Virtual Inc.

DJURDJEVAC- Setting up a virtual company is easy.

You need tools to manage your , usually, small group of people from all over the world in a consisten way. Robin Good posted excellent list of these collaboration tools available online for free or for a small fee .

It's basicly everything you need to work on a project from your home and collaborate with other people in the virtual company.

The mix of these tools depends on the type of project you work on. So, here's my selection of these tools for simple online collaboration based on my experience, familiarity, practicality and value ( relative price ) :

E-mail, IM, web phone, chat
Gmail ( Google account )

Project management:
Zoho Project

Event scheduling:

Google Calendar

Collaborative writing:
Google Docs
Zoho writer

Video conferencing:

Document sharing:
Google Docs

Google groups

Web presenting:

Co- browsing:
Pocket Meeting


But the aim is to keep it simple, easy and uniform. To be clear, these are basic collab tools ( for internal process ) and do not include ''external'' web services you use for other business purposes like PR, marketing, sales or business productivity ( Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, AdSense, SugarCRM, Highrise, YouTube etc. )

Entrepreneur's toolkit

Friday, 3 April 2009


Talent rooster

DJURDJEVAC - As soon as I start my new project, unknown timeframe, but sometimes in the future, I will look for developers with 10 skills that have been listed by Justin James in an article '' 10 skills developers will need in the next five years''.

Let the headhunting begins. I will be picking up only '' kings'' and ''lions''.


2 days late

Zec Financial is up and running ;)
Catch me if you can ! :)))

17 August 1976, Columbus (NE) Telegram, pg. 19, col. 3:
“Buy when blood runs in the streets,” said Mark Nobel, quoting baron Rothschild.

Thursday, 2 April 2009


Mini laptops to rock

What's the catch with netbooks ? NY Times writes about this phenomenon that will reshape PC industry. Great research. Still, wireless plans seems to be problem these days ( slow connection ).

A netbook (a portmanteau of the words Internet and notebook) is a class of laptop computer designed for wireless communication and access to the Internet.

I used to write about mobile internet devices on this blog before which is something similar. Part 1 and part 2.