iPhone App Developer Spotlight: Mark Moseley and Voyeur

Another entry in my series on iPhone app developer interviews. Haven’t had a chance to read the others? You can do so through this link: The iPhone App Developer Interview Series. This time I’m talking with Mark Moseley about his slick new Voyeur application to let you watch the public Flickr photo stream…
Q: You wrote Voyeur. How long did it take you? How many lines of code is the program?
Voyeur was my first foray into anything Mac related for development. I’ve done .NET and Java in the past, but Objective-C was something new. It probably took me a week or so to get up to speed on the language and another week to get a rough version up and running. It took another week or so to really work out all the bugs in the app. It seems like a lot of apps in the store are “almost” bug-free, but I wanted to make sure that Voyeur was as stable as possible. The app itself is around 1500 lines of code.
Q: Tell us a bit about the application, including your target market and what problem or problems your application solves?
iPhone Application: VoyeurVoyeur is strictly for entertainment. It presents a slideshow of recently posted images from Flickr. The intent is for the user to simply start it up and let it go. I “use” it a lot at work – start some music, switch to Voyeur and start working. It’s a nice distraction every now and then to look up and see something strange, funny or interesting. You can also save the image to the device, visit the image’s page on Flickr or e-mail a link to anyone in your contact list.
Q: The iPhone Software Development Kit has been written about quite a bit, but I’d like to know your opinion: was it easy to get up to speed with this SDK? Is it sufficiently complete that you weren’t stumped as you developed your application?
I’d say about 90% of the SDK is extremely intuitive, well documented and easy to understand. the other 10% of the SDK was a little mysterious to me, but I think that was more of a result of my newness to Mac programming in general. There were very few times during development that I was stuck for more than a few hours on something specific to the SDK. That said, Objective-C took me longer than I thought it would to get used to.
Q: Tell us about the experience of submitting your program to the iPhone Application Store and how long it took to gain approval. Did you have to demonstrate that you weren’t accessing external data like the Address Book? What else was required for your app to show up in the public store?
The process of getting the application in the store was an exercise in patience for sure. I had previously registered with Apple as an individual developer into the program. When I signed up as an individual, I got accepted almost immediately. My business partner and I wanted to launch Voyeur under our LLC, so we had to apply with Apple again for the development program, this time as a company. That approval took around 2 weeks. After that, we had to submit a contract to be able to sell applications – that was another 2ish week wait. During that time we submitted Voyeur as an application. It was bounced back once for a bug (a newbie mistake for sure) after 7 days in review. I fixed the bug and resubmitted and was live about a week later. I really didn’t have to demonstrate anything to Apple – I just submitted the binaries and they ran with it.
Q: Did you develop all the graphics in the app yourself or contract with a designer to create the look-and-feel of your application?
This app really relies on the images pulled from Flickr – there isn’t much of a UI at all. All the menus are default iPhone SDK menus. The one image we have (the splash screen) and the icons were done by my wife, who’s a graphic and web designer in her day job.
Q: How much is your application, and how did you decide on a price-point?
The app is $0.99. To some extent, I wanted to see what people felt was fair for a small app like this. $0.99 is the least you can charge for an application, so that’s the price point I chose.
Q: Are you inspired to write more iPhone applications? What’s in the pipeline?
My partner and I are absolutely interested in writing more iPhone applications. In fact, we have so many ideas for things to write that it’s hard to concentrate on a single project. We’re both gamers at heart, so we’re probably going to concentrate on a game next. Now that I’m more comfortable with the SDK we hope to move it along quickly.
Q: If you’re not a full-time iPhone application developer, what’s your day job?
By day I’m an application architect/programmer for a large corporation. I work exclusively in Microsoft .NET there. It’s a challenging job, but no where near as fun as iPhone development 🙂
Great stuff, Mark. Thanks for sharing this! Are you an iPhone app developer? Then I’d love to hear about your experiences with the development and publication of your application in the iPhone Application Store!

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