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Exclusive Interview With A+ Signature App Development Team

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A+ Signature is a multi-usage photo annotation app for iPad, iPhone and iPod which allows you to make your marks on any photograph:

  • Add a signature, a simple watermark or create a fun photo-card.
  • Annotate pictures of friends reunions, family parties, weddings, classmates or meetings.
  • Add any autograph to your photos.

This is a very popular app and rightly so, we are currently evaluating this app and the review will be published soon but first we wanted to find out more from the developers to try to gain a greater understanding and background to this app.

Read our exclusive interview, we’re sure you’ll love it.

If you would like to try A+ Signature for yourself, you can download it below:

US$1.99/Download
UK£1.49/Download

The Beginning

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

I wanted the first app to be a photo app. Our relation to photography has changed so much; it’s no more just for the professionals or special occasions. Tons of pictures are now taken casually for fun or work every day.

We started prototyping a filter app that we morphed into an annotation app when we understood how useful an “open” app like this could be. Open like a paint program. We give you the tools. You use it to create what you want.

The Design

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

We worked hard to make A+ Signature simple, but with plenty of flexibility. As for the visual design, it was second to functionality. We started with a scrap-booking style before V3.0, targeting the “mother of two”. But we adjusted this to its actual more neutral look when we realized how much people like A+ Signature in their work.

Planning Process

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

Once we switched from a filter app to an annotation app, it took us two months to prepare A+ Signature V1.0. Four other months were required to make it a mature application including the catalog, the smooth handwriting, the virtually resizable signature screen and the ability to paste one signature into other apps.

Sales

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

As for sales, I frankly have no idea. Sales depend a lot on the visibility in the App Store and in the media. Also, the idea of photo annotation with text and hand writing is not instinctive to everyone. But those who get it love A+ Signature. Our average rating from all countries is 4.5 stars.

When I read about all the usages that our users express in their email or user reviews, I am happy to see A+ Signature being really useful, especially at work with such diverse usages like form signing, home inspection, watermarking, in the classroom and for contract agreements. Still, A+ Signature is used a lot for fun, to send a picture with a few hearts or a personal note.

Obstacles

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

Output quality had to be really great. When a photographer uses multiple apps to transform its photo and ends with A+ Signature for its watermark, quality is everything. Also, the research and development for the smooth signature technology was a big challenge, but it came out exceptionally good.

Finally, the Apple guidelines are a great base for design. But the market is moving very fast. It is like new interface paradigms come every few months. That’s exciting, but harder for the developer.

Third Parties

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Would you consider developing apps for third parties?

We have been developing business application for third parties for more than 25 years, so yes we like that. Licensing parts of A+ Signature’s code to third parties has also been done.

Android

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Would you consider developing your app on an alternative platform, such as Android?

We are evaluating this now, especially for Android and Windows Phone.

App Store

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What have you learnt from the App Store?

A lot! The App Store is the distribution platform that I had been waiting for years. It is easy for the developers to distribute and easy for the users to buy apps. But it is big! I did not realize how much the visual design is key for Apple in order to promote your application.

Finally, we did the mistake of releasing A+ Signature V1.0 early and adding a lot of functionalities in the next versions. The initial bang in the App Store is a moment to prepare to get the best visibility from Apple and also from any reviewers.

Apple

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Have Apple supported you well with your App development?

I did not have much contact with Apple directly, but I like the fact that they totally understand that apps are what makes it real and personal for the users. So we have great tools and documentations to make the developer life easier.

The Future

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

We have tons of idea and lots of prototypes for new apps, especially for photography or productivity. I just love it. Time and money are the only constraints here.

The iPhone 5

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What are your thoughts on the soon to be announced iPhone 5? How will your app integrate and what will the advantages be?

I think that iOS 5 on iPhone 5 will be a huge upgrade. Photography in general and iPhoneography in particular will get a big boost. Even without modifications, A+ Signature will benefit a lot as the new embedded features will complement A+ Signature’s functionalities.

The iPad 3

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Similar to the above question, but based on the new iPad 3, how will your app integrate and what will the advantages be?

For me, all the specifics about the iPad 3 are only rumors. I certainly hope for better cameras. I must say that the iPad in general is very important; it is a “game changer” device. People looking to improve how things are done have a new playground. It’s just exciting!

Steve Jobs

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Any thoughts you might have regarding Steve Jobs’ resignation, will this affect Apple adversely, or do you think they will ride out this storm?

Steve Jobs may be the greatest cohesion master and Apple benefited a lot from it. But success is also about great ideas, great engineering, great communication and tons of details done right. Apple is very good in all these areas.

TheAppWhisperer

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Finally, please let us know your thoughts on theappwhisperer.com. Have we helped you market your app, have you been pleased with our service and would you recommend us?

I expect theappwhisperer.com to be a huge success over the next year. I personally like to follow it regularly. The Web site has a very clean look. I think that its unique angle will only get sharper. Very easy to recommend.

 

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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