So, we were contemplating creating/developing a text speed testing application. LG has been sponsoring a “Fastest Texter” contest for a couple years now. The LG contest appears to be gaining traction and every recent study concludes that text messaging is becoming one of the preferred means of communicating.
Initially, I thought such an application surely already exists – and, it *must* for LG to build a contest around it, right? But, as of today, there is no widely recognized de facto standard for measuring how fast you are texting. You can find a bevy of typing speed applications on the web, but texting speed calculators or text speed tests are conspicuously absent? (As a friend said, “someday people will be putting how fast they text on their resumes.”)
Developing the Text Speed Measuring Application?
One of the hardest business projects around is mobile phone development. The .mobi domain has not yet taken off (will it ever?) and there are a couple firmly entrenched provider specific platforms (think iPhone, Windows Mobile). While these markets are both considerable, unless you pursue parallel development paths, you’re starting off with a fractional overall market at best. Consider the fact that several cell phone companies include their own platforms (think of Palm and the Pre) and you’re problems expand further.
When you start looking at the whole picture, a distinct solution starts to emerge: the iPhone. Every iPhone is essentially the same (+/- 3g, gps) so the portability of an application is virtually assured. When developing for Windows Mobile, the target phones could be vastly different – you also need to consider things such as screen size and orientation. This could dramatically increase the difficulty of what should be a seemingly “easy” application to develop.
The biggest attraction for iPhone development, however, is the Appstore. The Appstore makes purchasing applications unbelievably easy. Our Texting Speed Calculator could be download in seconds! Compare your average iPhone user who is probably intimately familiar with the Appstore to your average Windows Mobile user – who most likely doesn’t even have a third party app yet.
Developing iPhone Applications
Here are some other good points about iPhone application development:
• The development tools are near professional grade, and are cheap to come by if you’re a Mac guy/girl already.
• Although it wouldn’t help the hypothetical Speed Texting Tester, the iPhone gives you access to a wide array of cool functionality: GPS, accelerometer, wi-fi, camera, etc.
• The xcode developer tools also work with C++ and C code (the sdk is in Objective C).
In the end, I chose not to develop the ultimate Text Speed Tester Application. I think it is a great idea and one that will ultimately make someone $$$ money, but I just can’t make room for it in my currently overloaded life plan…
Oh – apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way about mobile application development.
Wise Man Say, “Saying Is One Thing, Doing is Another.”
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