TiPb's developer spotlights are like DVD/iTunes Extras for the App Store -- a weekly look behind the scenes at the programers and designers that bring you the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games you love. This week Rene talks with Igor Zhadanov from Readdle.
What's your name? My name is Igor Zhadanov, I am the CEO and co-founder of Readdle.
What's your company's name? Readdle.
Why Readdle? Once the very first iPhone was released, we were thinking about the way to read books on it. There was no API nor AppStore, so we built a web service to store books online and access them via Mobile Safari. Back in the 2007 the term "cloud" wasn't a buzz word, and we were looking for something related to web 2.0 and reading. So we settled on "Readdle" as the name of the service. Later this turned into the company name.
Where are you located? We are based in Odessa, Ukraine.
What's your website address? http://readdle.com
What apps do you make? PDF Expert for iPad, the ultimate solution for all PDF needs: fill forms, annotate PDFs and sign documents on the go. Scanner Pro, which transforms the iPhone into portable scanner. It lets you scan multipage documents, email them and even upload to Dropbox, MobileMe iDisk or any other WebDAV enabled server. Evernote integration is there too. Calendars, the most elegant and easy to use Google Calendar client available on the App Store. Printer Pro, which prints attachments, documents, web pages and more right from the iPad. And ReaddleDocs, a revolutionary document viewer, file manager and attachment saver for iPhone and iPod Touch
How long have you been a developer? I personally was a developer 7 years ago, but that didn't last long. Thankfully, two of my partners has 10+ years of development experience, so our team always have someone to rely on.
How long have you been an iOS developer? Since the day one of the App Store, ReaddleDocs was available. We were also present on the launch of the iPad App Store. Therefore, we are in iOS development for almost 4 years so far.
Do you develop for any other platform in addition to iOS? If so, which one(s)? Not now. We had two Android projects in the past, but those did not succeed and we sold them.
What primary computer setup do you use for your iOS development? Most of the development team use Macbook Pros or the latest Mac Mini with two displays connected to each. Dual monitor setup turned to make the development faster and everybody loves working this way.
What iOS device(s) do you personally use most often? iPhone 4, definitely. Even though I spend most of the day at the computer, 50 phone calls or 20+ new todo items per day are typical to be handled on the iPhone.
What mobile devices, other than iOS, do you currently use? None. We do monitor Android and WP7 phones and there are some great features from both of them, but overall, they lack the integrity of the iOS.
What's your favorite thing about developing for iOS? You never know what is the next step. The iOS is growing so fast, that new discoveries are available daily. For instance, we had some concerns about our products running in the aviation industry, as technically it is close to impossible to ensure 100% stability of the app. But the aviation industry said "We are using laptops now and they are crashing all the time. So the iPads are much better, as they weigh less and you don't have to reboot it".
What's your least favorite thing about developing for iOS? There is no way to know whether Apple approves your app based on a new concept or not. Once you make something really different, there is a chance it won't go live due to some unclear Apple's concerns.
What feature would you most like Apple to add to the iOS SDK? More control for the system-wide aspects available to the application. For example, once I am on the call on Skype, I do not want to be interrupted by incoming cell call. Now it is not possible for developers to do something about that.
What feature would you most like Apple to add to the App Store? The ability to reply to user comments. Some users do not understand that their App Store comments can not be answered by developers. Eventually it leads to cases when irrelevant comments hurt the application sales and reputation, even when the issue can be solved in a single email.
What do you do when you're not coding iOS apps? Everything else related to the business: new business models, application design, marketing, legal deals, payrolls etc. I make things happen and ensure that business runs properly, and each of the 25 people at Readdle does their job.
What should we look for from you next? One productivity product for iPad and one for iPhone. Both are coming in July.
Our new business card scanner for iPhone will be best in class app with the most advanced OCR engine. As for iPad, we are launching a PDF Converter app, which will convert everything (web pages, office files, docs) into PDFs. Moreover, it will have print option, which will make it very handy productivity app.
We'll keep TiPb posted very soon!
If anyone has any follow up questions, leave them in the comments or head on over to Readdle's Facebook page and ask away!