Gizmodo's Developers Cubed series offers a behind the scenes look into Australia's up and coming dev scene. This week: Ron Voon from Rocket Innovation Group explains how he shifted into app development after spotting an all-too-rare gap in the market.
Who are you and where do you work? I am Ron Voon, director and founder of Rocket Innovation Group (RIG). RIG is a startup app technology company which I incorporated in late 2012. The company's mission is to produce world class innovative mobile apps for personal and business users. The company is focused on producing apps with excellence in design and providing brilliant user experiences.
Why do we know you? What have you created? I have created a mobile iOS app called My eVault. The app has been developed to allow users to proactively manage their valuable personal assets and important documents by way of a digital mobile inventory register which is a first-to-market type of app in Australia. It was developed because the general population do not keep proper records of their valuable possessions including photos, receipts, warranty and insurance information. This is important when it comes to loss of such records due to circumstances beyond our control (victims of crime, natural weather events and so on).
What platforms do you develop for? The company currently develops for iOS only but we are looking to develop for Android in future given this is a leading mobile ecosystem globally. In Australia, iPhones still have predominant smartphone ownership followed by Android handset owners which are growing quickly in size. This is the reason why with our debut app we have chosen to build only for iOS pending market interest and funding to build for other platforms.
What are you working on right now? We are working on the next enhancement of My eVault including user analytics and the iOS native tablet version of the app. We are also monitoring market interest from the app and seeking potential partnership and licensing of the app with financial services companies looking for a way to better engage with their customers. There is also an opportunity to improve the customer experience with insurance companies through this mobile application.
What do you think about the rise and rise of App Stores? How has it influenced your titles? The increasing number of apps on the App Stores (800k+ on iTunes) means developers have to produce higher-quality apps with fantastic user experiences and provide some sort of utility to encourage user stickiness to their apps. Developers also need to better promote their apps through their networks, social media and attending courses (such as Social Media Knowledge) to be ahead of the game.
What's your favourite app that you didn't create? Wunderlist - I am a to-do list professional and this is the best to-do list organiser on the market. It is well-designed, simple to use and shares the same high app development standards that we also expect from our company.
What phone do you use? Why? iPhone 5, because it's a high quality, premium designed phone with the best apps that you can download from the App Store. It works every time and is generally a very reliable and intuitive phone to use for all ages. I am also looking to acquire the Samsung S4 to see what all the commotion is about.
What advice do you have for budding Aussie developers out there? If you have any new app ideas do an internet search and check all app stores for similar competing products because someone may have already thought of the idea before you. The market is also full of "sub-standard" or poor quality apps so there is an opportunity to create apps that are incrementally better.