My first iPhone app, a week in

Earlier this week, I blogged about how an iPhone app I’d written was now live. A week in, and things are moving on quite quickly.

Midweek, The Stage Jobs & Auditions was selected as a “staff favourite” on the UK App Store, which meant that it got a slot on the App Store main page within iTunes, albeit one well below the fold. Still, that certainly contributed to an increased number of downloads and a peak of number 3 in the “free apps” version of the Business apps chart.

At least, I thought it was a peak…

That number 3 slot lasted for a day or so, and then the app started slipping downwards, as you’d expect. But then it started rising again, and on Friday got to number 2… and then number 1!

As I speak, the app has been the number 1 free business app in the UK iTunes App Store – save for a brief dip at breakfast time on Saturday. Was there a story in the Saturday papers that prompted a run on free currency converters?

In all seriousness, the public appetite for the app has affirmed my belief that it was right to make it, even though the volume of response has been in excess of my expectations. As I write, there have been five written reviews on the App Store, none of which have rated the app at anything less than four stars. That’s been highly gratifying.

In terms of overall star ratings, though, there are just as many people awarding it one star as there are giving it five. Without any feedback as to why, though, there’s not much we can do about it. I’m not about to suggest people leave one-star reviews, but a piece of well written constructive criticism could help shape the direction of the app’s development.

I’ve also received lots – and I mean lots – of questions as to when we’ll develop a similar app for BlackBerry and Google Android phones. The best answer I can give is: I don’t know. If we were to develop such an app in house, as we did with the iPhone one, it would involve either James or myself learning both Java and the relevant application development framework. On the other hand, outsourcing development would add extra cost.

We’ll see. For now, though, developing a free app that’s done so well has been a tremendous education. Version 1.0.1, which fixes some bugs I spotted while I was waiting for 1.0.0 to be approved by Apple, has just gone from “Waiting for Review” to “In Review”, so will hopefully be available to download very soon.

After that, we have had some early discussions about other mobile app ideas – some free, some paid-for. It’ll be a while before any of them get to the public arena, but watch this space…

Author: Scott Matthewman

Formerly Online Editor and Digital Project Manager for The Stage, creator of the award-winning The Gay Vote politics blog, now a full-time software developer specialising in Ruby, Objective-C and Swift, as well as a part-time critic for Musical Theatre Review, The Reviews Hub and others.