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Interview: On Pocket Reference

January 24, 2010 , Posted by App-reciation Reviews at 10:31 PM

Category: Reference
MEDL Mobile, Inc.
Price: $ 1.99
Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch, OS 3.1.2 or later

Version: 1.0

We've had the great pleasure of doing our first ever interview with developer Tim Vinsant, whose app, Pocket Reference, recently came out on the AppStore. Pocket Reference is an extremely useful and convenient application that lets you browse through hundreds of mobile-friendly websites - categorized and listed from within the app. It's a simple concept, but one that was well-planned and well-executed. We love how we can look up a fact, a dictionary term, or a biography and easily find search engines, social networking sites, and a lot of other useful information sources. In fact, Pocket Reference has got nearly everything covered! Perhaps the only complaint we have is that there should be an option to add a site of your own choosing to the app's directory, and the interface could use a little more work in terms of functionality.

Below are the interview questions and Tim's answers.

There are so many possible categories and types of applications to develop - why did you decide to create Pocket Reference? Where did the idea come from?

I decided to create Pocket Reference from my own personal needs. Since I've worked as a sales associate in the electronics department for many years now, I'm 'The Tech Guy' - who uses his iPhone for everything! I constantly have family, friends, and customers alike ask all kinds of questions for me to find answers to (on my iPhone). Well, I was getting tired of using several apps for this, and became a bit frustrated when I could't find a good, comprehensive reference app to do this, so I decided to look into the possibility of building one myself!

Tell us about the development process. How long did it take to finalize your app, and how has being part of MEDL Mobile helped?

The development process has been a really invaluable learning experience for me since this was my first App to be developed, and hopefully one of many more to come! My App took about 9 months to finalize - my labor of love took from April 22, 2009 when I developed my idea with an app called the App Incubator (from MEDL Mobile), and submitted my idea to this company in competition with 20,000 other entries. Pocket Reference was one of a handful chosen to be developed by MEDL Mobile, who then help me develop and submit it to Apple for approval (it appeared on the AppStore last Jan 14, 2010). Having Pocket Reference developed with MEDL Mobile has proven to be a chance of a lifetime for me. I couldn't have done it without them! They have been great and helped me through every step of the way, from concept design, a powerful but elegant, easy to use, and intuitive user interface to an excellent logo design - I couldn't be happier!

Can you describe Pocket Reference? What does the app do and how do you think it differentiates from other reference apps? What do customers need to know and why do they need this app?

Pocket Reference is a comprehensive library with in-app links to more than 500 various reference, how-to articles, newsfeeds, trivia, and information sites and integrates literally dozens of single purpose apps into a powerful centralized reference tool !!

• This reference tool is efficiently organized into over 50 categories to allow for quick and easy access.

• In addition, 185 mobile-friendly websites have been conveniently added to these categories.

• Favorite sites can be bookmarked for even quicker access, plus users click on the suggest a link feature to get the address to e-mail to request a (site) that they would like to see added in the next update.

• Other convenient features include the ability to use e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter to tell friends about the app, as well as see other amazing apps from MEDL Mobile, or get the App Incubator and create an application of your own.

I truly believe that this app will benefit everyone who uses it by saving them time and money. They will save time browsing the internet to find what they are looking for. There is really no other reference app quite like this one - many are saying that this is an excellent 'Directory to the Internet' from your iPhone! I also think this is by far the easiest, quickest, most convenient way to find anything about everything, no matter where you are - so never be without a fact ever again!

How has the initial reception been for the app? Was it as you expected or was it less or more enthusiastic than you hoped?

The initial reception, while still early in the game for Pocket Reference, has bern very promising and very enthusiastic! I'm very pleased with the initial reviews - 5 Stars!! However, I'll know a lot more about how people value Pocket Reference once press release goes out and I get some more app reviews. When folks hear about my app and hopefully try it out, the reviews will really start to roll in.

Now that the app is out on the AppStore, what's next? Will you dedicate your time to marketing Pocket Reference, compiling notes for upgrades, or thinking about a new idea for an app?

I think I'll be doing quite a bit of all the above. I feel you need to make an excellent app that everyone will want, but if nobody knows it's in the AppStore - who will buy it? So I need to extensively market it to let everyone know it's there, then hopefully, everyone will want to buy the app.

MEDL mobile and I keep track of suggestions for the next group of sites to be added in the next update, as well as working on the next killer feature that Pocket Reference will have. I also have an idea MEDL mobile is still considering developing that I submitted a while back - so I might be doing another project with them as well.

If you could sum up the entire experience in a few words, what would they be?

This has been like a roller coaster ride for me! Full of thrills and chills but better than Six Flags! Being a developer is not just a job - it's an adventure, and it's one that I've just begun.

Interface - 4/5 Creativity - 4/5 Experience - 4.5/5 Controls - 4.5/5
App-reciation - 4.25/5