Cartoonatic was only released yesterday in the App Store and already has received rave reviews. We wanted to find out more about the development and concept of this app. We interviewed the CEO of MacPhun, Paul Muzok, the developer behind this intriguing app – read our exclusive interview below. You will love it…
1 Please explain how your app was originally thought of and what were your thoughts behind the marketplace, specifically?
That was a pretty spontaneous idea. We have a guy in the team, who plays in the local band, called Cartoonatic. They are not very famous, play covers at different parties and they are big fans of A-Ha band as well. Also, from our market experience, we know that users like all things doodle and cartoon. So we decided to mix that together, took the name of the band and our love to A-HA, added more cartoon style filters and made the app. We planned to make it paid only, but then thought it would be fun to make a high quality app and make it free. Of course we need to cover the expenses somehow, so we made an in-app purchase with more features and if people decide to support the developer and like the app, they can pay a buck for additional features.
2 Explain the design, how you came up with the colors and themes.
Well, it took about a month for the research and creative work. We watched quite a few animated videos on YouTube and also had few brainstorms and came up with the filters. The names were made up, but we wanted to make them sound like the names of cartoon heroes. And the design itself was made by our designer, who is absolutely talented. He is the one who plays in a band, by the way
3 Who do you see as the main target market for this app in terms of age, genre and expenditure?
We don’t target at a particular age group. The app let’s you shoot fun music videos and people of all ages should like that option.
4 How long did it take from the original planning to the production process of this app?
About 2 months.
5 How do you predict sales to be, is there a good solid market for this style of app?
We definitely hope so, as plan to release three more Free video apps. This should happen in April – May. Cant’ share the idea of the apps, but you’ll be surprised why such awesome apps are free.
5b So, presumably as this app is free, it contains in-app purchase options?
Question answered by Alexander Tsepko from MacPhun
This is the period when MacPhun changes and our approach to development changes as well. You might know that we now focus on photo and video apps and want to try different strategies. We have apps, which are paid only (Silent FIlm Director, FX Photo Studio), we have apps, which are both paid and free (Perfect Photo free version should be released soon). And with Cartoonatic it is completely different story, we plan to make 2 or 3 more free photo/video apps, which are great by themselves and have in-apps. So the users first enjoy the app and then if they want get in-app, but not because the free version is limited on features, but because the love the free version and are eager to support a developer with getting in-app.
6 What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome regarding this app development?
The hardest obstacle is always time, you want to make it fast, but planning, testing and developing can take forever. So we tried to release it as fast as possible and see how people react on the new product. All goes pretty well so far and we hope to get to the App Store tops pretty soon.
Third Party Development
7 Would you consider developing apps for third parties?
Not right now, we are busy with in-house apps, preparing FX Photo Studio for Mac; then new free video apps, I told about. Plus Silent Film Director for iPad and a bunch of other apps. Most likely we will develop apps and promote them inside MacPhun, but not for others. On the other hand, we have been in negotiations with some developers regarding creating a joint app, which will combine their and our experience.
8 What have you learnt from the App Store?
You can’t lie to the users, if you have a bad app, there is no way you’ll be able to hide that. Also we learned that one good app is good, but a portfolio of good apps is way better, so we are working on that. We also learned that App Store is unpredictable – you never know what will be the next big thing (app) and you have to work very hard, not to wake up one morning and see your apps down in the bottom. We have one of our best apps – FX Photo Studio in TOP 25 of USA App Store and it took us quite a while to get there, but now, after a number of updates, years of customer and media relations, we see the result and it encourages.
9 Have Apple supported you well with your App development?
They are good. Doing their job. And doing it very good.
10 What next, are you developing another app, would you go for the same genre again, if not which?
We focus on photo and video apps and will stick to that. The next thing we will move some of our iPhone apps to iPad and some of our iOS apps to Mac.
Thoughts on TheAppWhisperer.com
We couldn’t let you rush off Paul without asking you one final question. What do you think of us?
I don’t read many web-sites related to apps, just have about 5, which are bookmarked and I check them daily. TheAppWhisperer had been on the list for quite a long time and that says a lot. Frankly, can’t think of a reason to switch to something different.