Tuesday, November 11, 2008

BAK2u CEO on iPhone

Undaunted by the delay of PhoneBAK for iPhone, BAK2u CEO Paddy Tan talks about his company's plans for the iPhone and his take on the iPhone platform.

Bak2u possibly one of Singapore's best known mobile developers. What are your plans for the iPhone? 
We are looking into expanding our existing platforms of mobile security software into the iPhone in terms of anti-theft and at the same time to develop other security related applications too.

So far all your apps involve telephony. Are you planning to deliver other types of apps?
Two other apps we are working on are: 

iHandyman -- Need emergency help in the house because of a broken pipe or a collapsed ceiling? 

iD-me (identify me) -- For use in an emergency to identify the location of the child or person in need. 

Tell us about your iPhone development team at BAK2u. 
Most are cross-trained between several platforms — Android, iPhone, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Mac OS, Windows OS and Java. 

From a developer’s point of view, how different is the iPhone different from other platforms? 
What makes the iPhone different from others is the very strong documentation and support it provides on its site, with lots of examples and references for a developer to start on. 

How would you compare the iPhone's potential to other platforms like the BlackBerry in the enterprise space, or to Nokia in the consumer space? 
All of them have their pros and cons. I believe the iPhone is trying to minimize its cons to cross from a consumer space to an enterprise. 

However, firstly it will have to be more open to developers to make it easier for applications to be approved to meet the demands of corporate users. Apple has much to learn to fill the shoes of BlackBerry in handling what corporate clients may want as it is vastly different from what typical consumers need. 

There is a lot of potential in the iPhone to carve out a piece of the pie against other giants like Nokia for the consumer market. It just needs to understand what typical consumers will need and want and that can be fulfilled by interesting and useful applications. For example it is a big no-no not to have an SMS manager that can forward text messages. 

What has the iPhone's impact been on the mobile Internet scene in Singapore? 
It has definitely encouraged more users to hop onto the Internet with their iPhones. As the case overseas, this may be the only device that Singaporeans adopt en masse within a short period of time. It has also extended the Apple brand. Users that like the iPhone may give a second glance at what else Apple has.

You are obviously a veteran of the mobile development scene. Any advice or suggestions for young developers just starting out? 
I would say, think big for interesting features and functions but don't forget about fulfilling the basic needs that should be both practical and scalable.

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