I have so enjoyed using EasyTrails GPS on my iPhone 3GS, I wanted to find out more from the Developer about it from creation to development. Lorenzo Troni is the most charming Italian, as they all are! He willingly spoke with me and explained the very important aspect of MicroDonations – read more here for a thoughly refreshing and gripping interview.
Thank you Lorenzo for chatting with us, firstly can you tell our readers how your app was orginally thought of and what were your thoughts behind the marketplace, specifically?
Of course, no problem Joanne, basically everybody is moving, movement is life, and somebody once said "if life is worth living, than it’s worth recording!" We then thought, why not literally record our movements, without having to bring with us another gadget or another tool, if we have already a great iPhone in our pocket?
EasyTrails GPS was born with outdoor minded people in mind, not ones who just sit all day sitting in front of a desk. We like to see iPhone users enjoy travelling around, whether it be mountaintrekking, running in the countryside, discovering a new country, or discovering cool places in their city.
Can you tell us how you came up with the colors and themes ideas for your app Lorenzo?
Simplicity, Apple look with and a touch of "made in Italy" are the ingredients of our applications.
Lorenzo, Who do you see as the main target market for this app?
We believe that the person interested in EasyTrails GPS is an iPhone owner who likes fresh air, that want to get the best from their iPhone when they are out and about. We see that both urban traveler and outside sports are the more useful areas of interest. We have have had very cool comments that define EasyTrails GPS as a "super useful" application, one of the most used apps in general everyday life. People use it to find their lost car, or to write down a list of Natural Parks in the country, and even a permaculture friend mapped all the main trees in his garden, to enable him to have a Google Map of his garden!
Lorenzo, how long did it take from the original planning to the production process?
In a couple of months our team were already testing the first feature-reach prototypes, but it took much more time to improve it and arrive to the current level of implementation. There are some applications that can be developed in a very short time, but EasyTrails GPS is not such a small, simple, and not-tested app!
How do you view your sales, is there a good solid market for this style of app?
Yes, the market is very open and we believe that will continue for long time. iPhone users know that we’re supporting ecological projects with the Micro-Donations concept, and we are developing other applications in the same line: giving 10% of Zirak revenues to ecological or social-service projects of small non-profit organizations in the world. Micro-Donations are an important tool, that can really support small projects that help our planet!
What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome regarding this app development?
Well, software development is always difficult and complex, but those who love high-tech find opportunities to learn, not obstacles! Surely in this regard, the Apple-guidelines/rules are quite obsure and complex, but I would not describe them as obstacles…
Would you consider developing apps for third parties?
Yes, of course, with several applications developed for the iPhone, only four of them we have published directly as Zirak, the others we developed for third parties and if somebody wants to contact us, just go on our http://mobile.zirak.com website!
Apart from "normal customers", we like to send a message to cooperations especially to environment-friendly or green enterprises. It is important that people who want to help the world share their ideas and develop businesses to materialize their vision, to support people that are helping this process as volunteers.
Let’s hope that between the readers of this interview there are also ecologists or enterprises that are interested in environmental sustainability!
What have you learnt from the App Store since you launched your app?
We learnt that it is possible to help people and the environment, with a lot of effort and struggle, but it is worthwhile! It’s not an easy field. To survive in the iPhone market it would not be possible without a proper development and marketing team, management and of course, experience!
Compared with other mobile markets, like Android or BlackBerry, where we are also very skilled and develop directly or for third parties, the iPhone is the more difficult.
Have Apple supported you well with your app? If so, in what way?
Apple has given a good tool to reach directly the user, the AppStore. In the future we hope to have more interaction with them, at least with the more important applications.
What next, are you developing another app? Would you go for the same genre again, if not which?
Well Joanne we have developed another application already since the EasyTrails GPS was out in the market! Our app Document Scanner, turns your iPhone into a wonderful scanner. It is very useful if you’re in a meeting, or if you have some documents and you want to get photos with the camera, enhance and organize them within a PDF, send or share with your GoogleDocs or iDisk accounts.
In 2010 we will continue to develop other applications to ensure we explore the huge potential that is, of course, the iPhone!
Thank you so much for this interview Lorenzo, we will you much successful and look forward to working with you in the future, best wishes Joanne