Two Years as iPhone Developer


Two years ago today I released my first iPhone application. I had spent the week leading up to it’s release learning how to code on the iPhone OS 1.0 Toolchain and it was my first experience using Cocoa and Objective C.  I didn’t know what to work on, so I chose to do a quick port an AJAX powered Blackjack game I had written previously. The result of this hard work was the first alpha build of iBlackjack, which as a VERY basic proof of concept Blackjack game for the iPhone touch screen to issue casino-like commands.

iBlackjack Alpha 1 Gameplay

I continued to maintain the game over the next few months in my spare time when I wasn’t working late already at my day job.  It generated over 500k downloads in it’s time via the Pre-appstore Installer application. It was a fun hobby that I enjoyed tremendously more and more as time went on.

After six months, I found a great opportunity to turn this hobby of mine into a job.  So I went to work with an established mobile development company on their new offshoot company just for iPhone software, mobileAge. Together we grew a little demo game iBlackjack into a full fledged Blackjack simulator called Blackjack 21 for the official iPhone SDK. Blackjack 21 was released on July 10th, 2008 for sale on the iTunes AppStore.

Blackjack 21

It even got as high as the number 5 app in the store at one point!

I’ve since made other iPhone products for mobileAge; namely Shanghai Mahjong and the Wine Enthusiast Guide.  Both apps have gotten plenty of acclaim as well. For instance Shanghai was runner up for best Phone Game of 2008 from iLounge and is seen on Apple Store fronts worldwide. We were even lucky enough to have Wine Enthusiast Guide be selected by Apple for as in-store demo application.

One of the best things about iPhone development is all the great people I’ve met over the years at local meetups, Apple special events like WWDC and just finding others via Twitter.  It’s a great community with a lot of great people all learning from each other as this new iPhone development community has grown over the years.  Never met a better group of people in my years developing for other platforms.

Our current project is an yet unannounced application that is coming very soon, actually the first wide Beta release of that Application is being sent out to our testers next week. For fun, I just took a teaser shot of the source and destination of the next application.

Next App Teaser Image

I hope to show more of our new product off soon, so stay tuned to this space!

Also if you are interested in snagging a free copy of Blackjack 21, the great Just Another iPhone Blog is having a contest giving away a few copies.  They will likely be giving away copies of Shanghai Mahjong sometime next week too!