Interview with Jay Ramadorai of AppManiax, Creators of PhonePlus Callback
Dec 31, 2009 6:00 AM –
Every been on a call and someone else calls in and you want to quickly alert them that you’ve call them back but don’t want to put the existing caller on hold to do so? Well with PhonePlus Callback for Android you can. Today we’ll share our interview with Jay Ramadorai of AppManiax, creators of PhonePlus Callback.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, for the last ten years prior to starting AppManiax, I have been the Chief Technology Officer of several startups and small-to-midsize companies. My particular area of focus is open systems based software-as-a-service offerings.
Why did you create your app?
Most of my apps come from a direct need that I have experienced. PhonePlus Callback is no different. In today’s busy lifestyle, we are constantly juggling phone calls and other activities. This app gives you an efficient way to manage your calls without interrupting what you’re doing.
What technology did you use in creating your App and why?
Java on Android and BlackBerry. Because Java is the platform of choice on these OS’s and it is also my favorite language.
About how long did it take to create your App?
The first version took about three months. Subsequently many more person-weeks of work has been put in to adding features, fixing bugs and porting to new devices. This app is tricky because it involves interacting with the state of the phone while a call is coming in. Usually the OS wants complete control of the phone when a call is ringing, so to get our app to intervene was not easy.
What is a cool uncovered tip or trick you can do with the App?
You can define your own additional custom will-call buttons. You can move the app’s in-call screen up or down based on your convenience. You can have the app popup up during an incoming call ringing or AFTER you have missed or rejected the call. The app has many features and settings, and you can play around with them to see what works best for you.
What other interesting uses can come from the App?
You can use it simply as a callback reminder app without using any of the messaging functions. You can also use the on-screen Accept/Reject button to answer and reject calls.
Can you tell us about future feature enhancements with your App?
Yes, very soon you will be able to do Do-Not-Disturb using this app.
What did you really like about creating Apps on the Android platform?
It’s Java. It has an open community of people willing to share ideas and information. The API’s are well-designed. You can tell that the OS was written by a software company, not a device manufacturer.
What are some things you would like to see improved with Android?
More payment options. Ability to offer subscription services. In-app purchases of add-ons. API’s for more advanced call control and media handling during a call.
What is your opinion of the Android App Market’s distribution method? In comparison Apple’s model (strict control over the iTunes store) or the Windows Mobile model (no store at all).
No market is perfect, but among the different ones available, I like Android Market because it fast and easy to publish apps. You live and die by the reviews and comments, fairly or unfairly. I’d like to see much tighter anti-piracy controls on Android, and support for dymanic key licensing.
What is your Opinion on the state of the Rating/Feedback system in the App Market?
It is getting better but it has a long way to go. It often gets misused, it provides the developer no sane way to respond, and in the end, it is a somewhat self-selecting group, only the people with the most vehement issues take the time to post a review, the ones who are happy with an app are less motivated to take the time to post a review.
Do you have plans on releasing Apps for other markets (i.e. iPhone, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, etc.)?
Yes we already have apps on iPhone and BlackBerry. We are working on apps for Nokia/Symbian and more broadly, J2ME.
Your app is a paid app, why did you choose this model over the free model, and how to you project its success?
Well, that’s simple. Free apps don’t make money unless you have insane distribution. Financially, I’d rate this app as a moderate success. To make big money in the app business you need a service that people want on an ongoing basis for which you can charge a recurring fee. In that model, the app would be the loss leader to bring users to the service in the cloud.
Must-have Android Apps?
PhonePlus Callback, VoxNotes, AirDrop
What advice would you give to another aspiring mobile application developer?
Enter at your own peril. All that glitters is not gold.
Can you tell us what future Android Apps you have brewing?
Well, we have an exciting new Voice messaging service that’s nearing launch. Using this, you will be able to send short voice messages to anyone in the world across platforms, either as phone messages, or files over the Internet or as email attachments. It’s basically SMS for Voice, not just for Smartphones but for all phones. More details coming soon at http://AppManiax.com.
Thank you Jay! We look forward to your voice messaging app and others your firm cranks out. Don’t forget to download PhonePlus Callback and other Android apps by AppManiax!