One-on-one with Nick Maher: the Aussie iPhone developer behind TripView

Nick Maher: by day a financial solutions programmer and by night the mind behind the TripView iPhone app

The TripView iPhone app.

The TripView iPhone app.

Have you experimented with the iPhone 3.0 beta? If so, what benefits do you see for your work, and what do you see as the biggest development for users?

I've only just recently installed it. I was kind of worried it would screw up my development environment, but apparently Apple is now checking app submissions against 3.0, so I've had to bite the bullet it and install it just to make sure TripView runs okay. I don't think there are any features that I really need for TripView, but I love the new spotlight search feature, and cut and paste and tethering should be handy too.

Do you see Grofsoft moving into other areas in terms of iPhone development, or sticking to the public transport area? Are you planning to expand TripView's coverage to other Australian areas?

I would like to try something totally different, but I think TripView will keep me busy for a while. I might add support for other cities once I'm happy with the functionality in the Sydney version, but Sydney is my main priority right now. There's also the maintenance side to consider: the actual parsing is all automatic, but it does need to be updated whenever the timetable format changes.

Many programmers are eager to get into iPhone app development for financial reasons. Is this the main motive behind TripView?

Not so much. It's a really nice side effect, but mainly just it's my hobby and I do it for fun. It's also quite rewarding getting feedback from people who find it useful.

Do you see the Australian iPhone development community as a particularly strong one? How do you think it compares with communities elsewhere?

I'm not sure how it compares with international communities, but I did get a chance to go to the iPhone developer day last year, and if the turnout there was anything to go by there are a lot more Australian iPhone developers than I would have guessed.

Finally, for those who are trying to get into the iPhone development game to make a quick buck, what is your advice? Is there pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or is it just a few exceptions to the general rule?

You probably want to build something that you can sell globally if possible. My app has a limited market (Sydney), so while I'm happy with how it's doing on the Australian App Store, I'm not going to be able to retire anytime soon!

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