Independent developer Amit Aggarwal happens to be a very unique case. While other developers usually focus on a specific niche, he has decided to venture out to other pastures with a very diverse variety of apps. Otherwise known as Mangobird in the Google Play Store, Amit has developed social games, entertainment apps, informative apps and even productivity tools.
This makes Mangobird a very “human” developer. Some of his applications display a playful and even flirtatious nature, while others focus solely in functionality. There is time for work and time for play.
He is most popular for his Truth or Dare game (which comes in a flurry of versions), as well as the now iconic application Find My Phone. The latter happens to be a pioneer of its kind. As Amit mentions during our interview, this has even become a form of lingo in the Android platform. We often refer to this category of apps as “Find My Phone style applications,” or something along the lines.
Developer Appreciation Month is a great chance to learn more from our favorite developers, and we definitely had to take the opportunity to sit with personalities like Amit from Mangobird. Here are our 10 Burning Questions with him, and make sure to check out his applications; the full list will be provided after the interview.
Phandroid: How did you get started with Android Development?
Amit: I got started with Android back in 2009 when I made Find My Phone, the first and original “find my phone” app for Android. Android had just come out and I thought it had a great chance of competing with the iPhone. Also, at the time, the iPhone did not have the necessary “openness” to make a device recovery tool based on SMS (like Find My Phone), so I decided to give Android a shot, and luckily it worked out.
Phandroid: What phone do you personally use?
Amit: I use a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, because I wanted a “vanilla” Android phone with minimal manufacturer tweaks and carrier bloatware. Also, the Nexus series is apparently the only series that gets regularly updated when it comes to over-the-air updates of the Android OS.
Phandroid: What was your biggest challenge in developing your apps and games?
Amit: First of all, I have to give kudos to Apple and Google for making it easier than ever to make an instantly global product with huge potential. The biggest difficulty for apps now, and has been for some time, is getting traction on a new app.
Phandroid: Your portfolio of apps is very diverse in nature. Which applications are you most proud of, and which are your personal favorites?
Amit: Truth or Dare has a large number of users and is a really fun game, but my favorite is probably Find My Phone because it is such a useful tool and has inspired countless copy-cat apps and products. Even the name Find My Phone has now become standard lingo in the mobile world, so it is something I will always be proud of.
Phandroid: Monetization: in terms of driving revenue, can you tell us about your experience, your strategy, and the overall potential?
Amit: The general consensus is that, if possible, making your app free with in-app purchases is usually best, and I would agree.
Phandroid: What do you want to see in future versions of Android?
Amit: Fragmentation is an issue on Android, and I think it would be great if Google made a push to get most devices to certain versions of Android. Also, I would like to see more user-granted permissions that would be useful for security apps. For instance, currently apps are not allowed to turn on GPS by themselves, but some apps have a legitimate need for this. Users should be able to grant this permission on a per-app basis.
Phandroid: Do you develop for other platforms and how does Android compare to those platforms?
Amit: I personally do not develop for other platforms but I would say that from a testing and support point of view, it is hard to beat the iOS with its relatively small set of devices compared to Android. From what I’ve heard, iOS requires more lines of code to do a task, and Windows Phones need less.
Phandroid: If you could give one tip to fellow Android Developers, what would it be?
Amit: This is a lesson that has been well-established on the Web but is worth repeating: don’t underestimate the power of free. Users are a very valuable currency.
Phandroid: Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
Amit: One word: Golden State Warriors, baby. I know those are four words, but who’s counting?
Phandroid: What are your favorite Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne quotes? ;)
Amit: Both are incredible artists. Here’s one by Lil Wayne:
“I bought a brand new attitude.
The hate is music to my ears,
I got my dancin’ shoes.”
Whether you are taking care of work or just having some good fun (or both), developers like Amit make your smartphone what it is. He has told us that a very good application for parents and kids is on its way. He couldn’t say much, but it is an education-related app. For now, here is a list of his apps, so please check them out and support him!
- Tough Guy Facts – “I AM ALL THAT IS MAN. Chuck Norris kicks a$$. Now YOU can be just as bad.”
- Truth or Dare – There is also a Pro, PG and Gay version
- Find My Phone – Also available for free with the Lite version.
- Advertising Calculator – “A simple calculator for web and mobile advertisers.”
- Unexpire – Gift card organizer.
- Other quotes and facts applications: Nicki Minaj Quotes, Lil Wayne Quotes, War Quotes, Battle of the Sexes and last but not least, ABCs of Boobs.
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