Developer Spotlight: Graham Clarke of Glasshouse Apps

iOS Dev Spotlight: Graham Clarke of Glasshouse AppsTiPb'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 Graham Clarke of Glasshouse Apps.

What's your name? Graham Clarke

What's your company's name? Glasshouse Apps

Where are you located? Central Coast NSW in Australia (but Nick Takayama, the other half of Glasshouse Apps is located 4,000km / 2,500 mi away on the other side of the country).

What's your website address?

What's your Twitter name? @glasshouseapps

What apps do you make? The Early Edition for iPad, Gift Plan, Barista and Cellar for iPhone

What apps, other than your own, are currently among your favorites? Tweetbot, Twitterrific (yes, both!), IMDb

How long have you been an iOS app designer? I've been designing apps for just over two years now. Barista hit the App Store in early 2009, when there were just 15,000 iPhone apps available.

What's your background? I was born in Sydney Australia, but I lived in a very remote village in the middle of Papua New Guinea for the next 8 years. Our family moved back to Australia and I lived on the family farm until I went to university in Sydney to study design. When I graduated I worked for a few years and after being retrenched I tried my hand at self-employment, which is what I've been doing ever since (10 years and counting!).

Do you develop for any other platform in addition to iOS? Just iOS. We're only a two-man band so supporting other platforms and devices wouldn't be practical (or enjoyable!) for us.

What primary computer setup do you use for your iOS development? Mac Pro with 15Gb Ram, and two displays (27" and 24" ACDs).

What personal iOS device(s) do you personally use most often? Probably my iPhone, simply because it's always there with me. The iPad comes a close second.

What mobile device(s), other than iOS, do you currently use? Ummm, that's difficult! My car's a mobile device right? It's a 2009 Honda Odyssey.

What's your favorite thing about developing for iOS? It's just exciting. Apple make it exciting. I now look forward to getting up on a Monday morning to start work and that blows my mind.

What's your least favorite thing about developing for iOS? Visibility on the App Store is getting harder and that's a challenge. A huge App Store is great for customers, but it makes standing out more and more difficult for developers.

What feature would you most like Apple to add to the iOS 5 SDK? Cloud syncing of app data through MobileMe would be nice. And background, timed events for apps (fetching news for instance!) would really useful - how many iOS devices are sitting there plugged in at night, not doing anything? As a consumer, it would be cool to see a redeveloped home screen.

What feature would you most like Apple to add to the App Store? Whenever Apple introduce new ways of promoting and flagging great apps, it benefits both developers and consumers. I'd love to see an even more comprehensive way of filtering the good stuff from the rest - there's a lot of attention given to the front page of the App Store but still a lot of potential for improving Category views.

If we were to eavesdrop on you while you were designing, what curse word would we hear you use the most? Hmmm, 'bugger' or 'crap' is about as colourful as it gets!

What do you do when you're not designing iOS apps? If I'm not in front of my computer or iPad you'll see me drinking plenty of coffee, riding my Vespa or hanging out with my wife and kids.

What should we look for from you next? (Tease away!) Something big! (well big enough to keep two guys busy for 6 months anyway).

Thanks Graham!

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Developer Spotlight: Graham Clarke of Glasshouse Apps


GREAT new feature!!! You guys keep finding ways to keep this site fresh and a must go-to resource. Thank you.

Nice feature.
It would be interesting for this series to cover developers at different ends of the spectrum on scales of success and developer size if only because the range of developers is so diverse (Its been interesting hearing others' experiences at our local developer group). I'd also like to hear from some who have been developing since the early days of the app store, and others who have just joined.
I'd be more than happy to volunteer my perspective as someone who's been in the games industry for over 25 years as a Programmer then a Senior Producer on console games and has just joined the app developer community 6 months or so ago (with my app "MailShot" released on the app store and building nicely). The scenario now makes an interesting comparison to my first 10 years or so as a solo programmer working from home on BBC Micro, Amiga and Atari ST games way back at the dawn of home computing, there are a lot of points of similarity.
Peter Johnson
Soluble Apps

Excellent interview. Hopefully it will inspire others to build quality, reliable apps.
I could only dream of Graham's development kit.

Its quite ironic that I read this interview using Glasshouses Early Edition app on my iPad.

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