• Chat with Jon Atherton, Wobble iPhone App

    Accelerometer. iPhone. Boobs. Put them together and you have Wobble. It's an app that grabs photos from your iPhone's camera roll, lets you add wobble points, then once you shake the iPhone, physics comes into play and just like that you have laughs galore. It's prime purpose is to add motion physics to boobs, but it can be applied to any part of the anatomy really. The only limit is your imagination. But anyways, Wobble is made by an Australian, so I emailed Jon to ask him a couple of questions, Aussie to Aussie. No Yanks allowed. Get out you loud Americans, shoo.

    picture-3What inspired you to make Wobble?
    It all came to me in a blinding glimpse of the future while I was staying at Byron Bay in September last year. There I was sitting on the beach reading my news on my iPhone RSS reader, I looked up to see a woman jogging past just as the iPhone rang and it vibrated... OMG..!

    Did it take a while to get up on the App Store?
    Yes, it took ages to find some developers who were able to assist - some in Australia were nervous that the Application would be frowned upon and ruin their reputation... In the end, some sensible guys in the USA were able to do the job, and they have done a sterling job! The actual approval process took 3-4 weeks due to it being declined several times by Apple, that was quite nerve racking.

    Are you Mac users and/or developers previously or is the iPhone your first foray into Apple-land?
    I owned a large software company which was sold in early 2008, webware - Faces.com, it was .NET based, big unwieldy and expensive - urk. When the iPod Touch came out I knew it was the way forward, and the iPhone was a natural progression. The Appstore is a master stroke of brilliance - the whole distribution and billing system is normally the hard bit, and it is all there on a plate for developers. It took a while to come up with a killer idea that could make it to the top of the charts - the only real way to make solid money I think. There are a lot of hobbyists mucking around in the Appstore - whether they plan to be hobbyists or not, there simply aren't enough ways to make a wacky puzzle game to make a living. I might be wrong of course. Obviously students and people working after hours for supplementary income is a great thing too, I don't think many people will get rich and retire on the strength of one great idea.

    No need to go into actual figures, but how has take up been of Wobble so far?
    Wobble has sold more than 7500 copies in 40 different countries in the first 5 days - I guess iPhoners everywhere have some interest in Boobs, and they want to see them Wobble!? And with that said - before all your readers start work on a Boob application; there are now 103 (YES one hundred and three) Fart apps on the iPhone - I even saw a fart flashlight combination, no kidding! - There is only ONE fart app that has made any serious money, the other 102 split the change between them. You don't see 103 versions of the same song in the music charts!! My belief is that the Appstore will work very similarly to a music chart - good stuff zooms to the top, and then floats back down over time, eventually dropping out altogether after 6-12 months. There are some apps that will stay close to the top with Apple's magic sauce assistance, but there is a LOT of marketing and PR going on in the background - it isn't a set and forget thing.

    What do your female friends or girlfriend/wife think about Wobble?
    Well I believe the quotes were: "Who the hell would buy that?" answer "Um, every bloke on the planet"
    "Don't you think that is a bit puerile?" answer "Yes, but fun"
    Then when I showed the doubters a demo - they laughed their heads off, which is pretty much a standard response. Then they grab the phone to Wobble it themselves.

    What's been the funniest piece of feedback you've received about the app?
    Well a mate of mine showed his 70 year old Mum, and she just about fell over laughing - she's quite well endowed - and he did the wobble thing on a picture of her! I nearly lost my phone while demoing it at a party before Christmas - I think the lovely lady I showed it to was quite proud of what Wobble did for her, and insisted that she show everybody there!

    Any other iPhone apps in the pipeline?
    Yes. And a few enhancements for Wobble. Whilst Wobble is a fun App, I think there is a long way to go with iPhones/Touches as a serious business platform. For example, contractors/franchises for time/billing management, down to restaurant ordering systems. Having a computer in your pocket makes you rethink the way you and the world do things.

    Thanks for your time Jon, now, back to some wobbling...
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