iPhone App Developer Spotlight: Tucker Roth and EccoNote

Another in the continuing series of discussions with iPhone app developers here on the Business Blog @ Intuitive.com. I encourage you to check out some of the earlier interviews too. This one, with Tucker Roth, is a bit different because he just jumped into the full set of topics rather than following the Q&A script. I hope it’ll mix things up nicely.
I wrote EccoNote, and EccoNote Pro, voice recording apps, allowing you to make note (or whatever) recordings via the microphone. I was startled that the iPhone didn’t already have this functionality, and wanted it for myself. I started out developing this application long before the App Store was launched, but didn’t devote much time to the application during the initial phase. Just didn’t have the time. I then saw, in the App Store, that some other folks had done recording apps. I had a choice to make: forget about developing this app, or forge on and complete it. I really feel that I could do a good little recorder, and so I decided to complete it, and post it for all to see.
The rest of the answers to the questions will concern themselves with EccoNote Pro. Took roughly 100 hours to get it the point where it’s at now. It’s written, of course, in Object C, the only language one can write iPhone apps for now.
Apple iPhone Application Store iTunes : EccoNote ProFirst of all, you should know that I come from a background in development on the Mac. I have worked for Quark, Inc. as a programmer and manager of programmers for several years, and have worked after that in Objective C on the Mac for other companies. Apple’s iPhone Dev Kit and tools are very much like what they, Apple, have been putting out for Mac Developers for years. Having said this, there were several areas where I had to learn new concepts and how to deal with them. For example, the iPhone is obviously much smaller, so the whole UI paradigm changes. Where you might use a menu, you need to use a ‘pick list’….etc. So there was some real learning to do about the various new UI related changes.
Regarding the Application Store: it is relatively straight-forward to get your app up there. There are a lot of little logistical hoops to jump through (put this ID in this box, put that ID in that box…etc). But, as long as you follow the steps, you can get your app up there. It really works. The only hard parts to application submission to Apple are the lack of feedback, and the waiting. Once you submit your app, it’s like dropping it into a black box. You just wait and wait for ‘your baby’ to get published.
I did develop all of the graphics myself. Although, I must admit, EccoNote hasn’t required that much in the way of artistic creativity.
I put EccoNote out for free to begin with because I didn’t feel that it had quite a rich enough feature set. First off, I noticed that a lot more people downloaded the free application than I had anticipated. On the order of thousands in the first couple of days. So I worked very hard to put more features into the application to bring it to a place where I thought it worthy of a price-tag. Although there are/were many voice recorders at the time, I felt that adding the ability to FTP your recordings was worth it. So I priced it at the lower 99 cents, and uploaded it. I have since been adding features… and those will be free upgrades to those that have bought the app.
I would love to continue developing other applications for the iPhone. The iPhone is an amazing piece of technology, both from a hardware and software standpoint. However, development is always very time consuming, and I do have a day job. I work as a programmer at Thought Equity Motion, the world’s leader in providing access to high quality film, music, and video content.
Thanks for your valuable input here, Tucker! I have to say that I am finding this entire sequence of events quite enlightening. And you, dear reader, while you’re enjoying these interviews please don’t forget to check out my extensive free iPhone help over on Ask Dave Taylor.com too!

6 comments on “iPhone App Developer Spotlight: Tucker Roth and EccoNote

  1. I am incredibly frustrated with both the application and your lack of a functional web site link off of the app store site.
    I used the free application and then upgraded to the paid application expecting and automatic way to transfer files from one to the other, including my father-in-laws memorial service.
    There is no apparent way to do that and the files were not stored in the itunes database. Now I have to exchange my iphone with apple due to reception issues and I am losing some incredibly important family files. Your blog implies you know what you are doing. It couldn’t be farther from the truth. This was a very important recording with what appeared to be a promising application….it is junk.

  2. MH, your concern is a valid issue but the way you communicated it is way out of line. I’m sure an update will come along to be able to import files from e-lite to the e-pro ver. So take a chill pill and relax. Till the update comes hold off on exchanging your phone if these files really mean that much to you.

  3. I to have been working with ecconote light and now ordered pro and the same thing here no way to transfere notes form light to pro.
    But worse than that today i recorded a verry imported meeting with a client and allong the way a calendar reminder had popped up this seemd to be the reasen why my recording is not traceble somehow the recording is still on my iphone, but not to be found as tit has not been saved by me due to the simple fact that the calender reminder had disabled ecconote and when i got rid of the reminder and started ecconote it was not recording anymore and also no way to save the recording that was busy during the reminder popup.
    Please as of the highest importentie of this recording would you be so kind to inform me of a way to somehow restore this recording

  4. I tried tapping to the right of the note, as suggested by the website, to attempt to email the notes to myself. Nothing happens. I am running ecconote pro on a brand new Iphone. Am I missing something?

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