Breaking Into the Mobile App Sector

santacallsyou1At the end of August 2014 Matt Heaney, an iOS developer, Aaron Negus and Dean Johnson, two visual and audio creative specialists and Rupert Lawrence, a 3D graphic artist, came together at Innov8 On Sheppey to explore the possibility of spawning an indie app studio out of the business incubator.

The meeting came about because Andrew Deeley, Innov8 On Sheppey’s founder, had met each of the group on separate occasions and saw the potential to combine their skill sets to create an indie studio.

Within four hours their first app ‘Hold This’ was complete.  It was a tough challenge but the group worked well together as a team and it was great fun. They spent another day polishing the app and tried releasing it into the Apple App Store but unfortunately it was rejected. Matt Heaney said, “It was always going to be a long-shot but we thought it was worth a go.”

Not put off by the setback they started work on their second game, an addictive puzzler called Puk It. They managed to get it approved but had lots of little issues to resolve along the way and so they learnt a great deal on how to manage a development project of this nature. This was a free app that relied upon ad revenue to generate an income stream but getting it noticed amongst the millions of apps was a problem.

With Christmas looming the team went all out take full advantage of the Christmas market and came up with a fake Santa phone call app called Santa Calls You. Aaron Negus, one of the team, had found similar apps but was unimpressed with the quality and so they set about creating what they hoped would be the best in breed.

Aaron Negus recalls, “When they pushed the button to submit the app there was a tense wait, the average review time was running at just over 5 days and so every-time Matt’s phone ‘swooshed!’ we all looked at him to see if it was the email from Apple. Unfortunately they rejected the app because the promo video we had produced didn’t conform to their guidelines. Quite what the problem was we still don’t know but Matt removed the promo video and resubmitted. Another agonising 5 days passed by and we finally got the news we were waiting for.”

Dean Johnson said, “We worked hard on the first day of release to promote it but couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw that it had reached number 48 in Apples top 50 Entertainment Apps.”

Rupert Lawrence, who worked on some of the promo material for their release competition added, “We’ve learnt so much in such a short space of time. It hasn’t all been plain sailing but it has been a wicked experience.”

It is early days but it just goes to show you what can be achieved in such a short space of time, with zero investment.

The 3dotJ team comprises of Aaron Negus, Rupert Lawrence, Matt Heaney and Dean Johnson, shown from left to right in the image below.

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Santa Calls You Trailers