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Exclusive Interview With IntoWine Food & Wine Pairing App Developer, Brad Prescott

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We reviewed the IntoWine Food & Wine Pairing App a short time ago, (you can read the full review here) but we also wanted to find out more background to this remarkable app. We interviewed Brad Prescott the developer and he provided us with a very honest and comprehensive interview. It reveals the trials and tribulations of app development as well as the successes and rewards that make it such a worthwhile exercise. Read our exclusive interview below…

The Beginning

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1    Please explain how your app was originally thought of and what were your thoughts behind the marketplace, specifically?

We have a ton of wine recommendation content on the parent site IntoWine.com (http://www.IntoWine.com), including a food and wine pairing tool (http://www.intowine.com/food-wine-pairing-tool ). As the app market was starting to explode, I asked myself what content on IntoWine would be most useful as a wine app. I didn’t want to make an app that was just another way to access the web site. Wine and food pairing and wine recommendations became the obvious choice. The tool is just super handy at the grocery store or wine store when you are planning a meal or if you need to bring a certain type of wine to a dinner party.

 

Design

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2    Explain the design, how you came up with the colors and themes.

We just tried to keep it user friendly and crisp. Ease of navigation is key.

 

Target Market

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3    Who do you see as the main target market for this app in terms of age, genre and expenditure?

The app (and IntoWine.com as a whole) are both geared towards the wine curious. These are people who have realized they love wine and have embarked on the life long journey to learn about it. There is just so much to learn about wine before you ever feel like an “expert”. Having guidance, be it a friend who knows more than you do about wine, your local wine shop owner, or an app like what we have with the Food and Wine Pairing App, is key to learning. Otherwise you are just tasting randomly, which is fun of course, but not ideal for education yourself.

Production Process

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4    How long did it take from the original planning to the production process of this app?

A few months but it was not a full time project. I outsourced the development to an excellent app developer, Sumit Kataria, who is based in India. He was patient, helpful, and most importantly willing to work within my budget.

 

Sales

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5    How do you predict sales to be, is there a good solid market for this style of app?

For an app like this that isn’t a game or gimmick, it’s tough to know what constitutes “success” as apps as a channel are so new and evolving so rapidly. I mainly just wanted to be in the game and learning. The whole process has been eye opening and very much worth the effort. I can’t wait until we do the upgrade to version 2.

 

Obstacles

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6    What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome regarding this app development?

Promotion on the iTunes store. The app is but one of many features associated with IntoWine.com. iTunes is great in so many ways but one way they are not is that the search function to find apps is very poor. They base their results on sales and activity (comments and reviews) and often reward the apps that have the most time and money to spend gaming their system. I know there are a lot of wine apps that aren’t nearly as useful as ours that “rank” better in the store.

Third Parties

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7    Would you consider developing apps for third parties?

I did and I would again.

 

The App Store

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8    What have you learnt from the App Store?

I can see why Apple gets some push back from developers. Apple has their system in place and it’s not very flexible. I can see why they do it this way but it makes the launch process much more difficult. My wish is that they would really invest in a robust iTunes search platform that takes into account more than just sales and activity. You could build the best app in the world but iTunes won’t “rank it” highly unless it has sales and activity associated with it. Sort of a chicken and an egg issue. If it were me, I would hire category managers and have their input factor in concerning which apps get featured. Finding the best apps in a sea of apps is tough for the consumer.

Apple Support

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9    Have Apple supported you well with your App development?

For the most part yes. Their launch system is very sensitive. You must jump through every hoop they put in front of you or your app will never launch. Sometimes the hoops are frustrating or their response time slow. For the most part I am happy though.

 

The Future

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10     What next, are you developing another app, would you go for the same genre again, if not which?    

We will just keep improving our same app for now. Refining it and making it that much more useful.

 

Our Support

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11    What do you think about TheAppWhisperer.com? Have we helped you? Would you recommend us? Have we been supportive?

TheAppWhisperer.com is great. I am proud to be a part of it. Thanks for including us.

By Joanne Carter

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said.
Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London.
Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art.
Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK.
She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com

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