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App stores are big business and with US$15-billion in revenue expected to pour into their combined coffers by 2012, everyone is looking for a slice of tasty, app pie. Especially the Dube brothers, Fredrick and Michael, creators of startup Tappnology. They promise “to go the extra mile to make sure your application shines”. Enthusiasm we like.
Tappnology creates mobile applications for smartphones and tablets, with the iPad being the only current device with a workable app. Tappnology currently has one product to show for its hard work, the clumsily named Tweetwallsaver. Did I need “dazzling photo, tweet and video transitions”? Probably not. But I downloaded Tweetwallsaver regardless.
It’s an exceptionally slick application. The default iPad screensaver is suitable for most users, but Tweetwallsaver offers a mile-long list of customisations. While my videos and pictures scrolled, I could dynamically interact with Twitter. Tweetwallsaver is the ideal app for the image-obsessed.
There are thousands of tablets and a few popular operating systems to work with, so why choose iOS (the iPad’s native OS)? Most likely because it is notoriously easy to develop for and comes with a built-in audience of close to 40-million users across all Apple platforms.
Are the brothers limiting themselves? Not at all. If a media company wants brand recognition, it should stick with iOS. While Android is extending its reach, Apple has created a built-in “I want this!” appeal which competing tablets struggle to meet.
The concept was born last year, when the founders became “aware” of the burgeoning application market, but were unable to find any decent developers to create marketable apps. The brothers then “took a chance and formed our own company to create our own apps.” June 2011 marked the formation of Tappnology.
The company is self-funded by the brothers, Zimbabwean nationals with a passion for technology. Fred is the enthusiastic developer whose love for software led him down the app development road. Michael is a gamer and has worked extensively in the iOS arena as a games developer.
What makes Tappnology different from its competitors? The brothers say, “It is our youthfulness and passion which drives us to fully satisfy the need for creative African developers. We do this by offering affordable app development without skimping on quality to anyone who dares to dream big.”
Companies love affordable, creative developers who deliver professional products with a quick turnaround time. Tappnology promises this and wants to “inspire would-be app developers,” with its success.
From beginning to end, Tappnology promises a “transparent process” where the developers work with the business as a prototype of the app is developed and ultimately, until the finished app is produced. Despite Tappnology’s iOS background, it can create “affordable applications” for Android and Windows platforms.
Tappnology’s marketing ploy is simple, yet bankable. It intends to focus on pushing out as many in-house apps as possible for inclusion in the international iTunes store. This will be followed by an “aggressive marketing strategy.” There is plenty of competition, both local and international which helps to drive the brothers to produce world-class apps.
Tappnology is dreaming big and wants to “position itself as one of the best app developers in Africa.”
While it is showing it can produce the goods, it remains to be seen if it can appeal to the iPad-loving masses.