iPhone development company OzPDA isn't particularly large; in fact, it only has a single employee. That hasn't stopped it from making it big on the App Store, however. Through its OzWeather utility, OzPDA has proved iPhone app developers can be successful without making a game and that there is a definite market out there for Australian apps. Despite this, the company's founder — Graham Dawson — still believes that his company's main role is to develop apps for global consumption rather than solely for local users. We spoke to Dawson about iPhone development, augmented reality and how Australians are contributing to the wider developer community.
What is your background in software development, both generally and in relation to the iPhone?
My introduction to programming was developing a Fortran numerical weather forecast as an undergraduate assignment while studying physics and meteorology. I subsequently started a career in IT, initially as a consultant in the UK oil industry, and later in Australia as technical director for a business I founded developing consumer desktop astrology applications for Windows. More recently I reskilled into Web application development using weather data and have spent the past year involved in a number of iPhone development projects. Although I initially attempted to outsource the iPhone development, the newness of the platform made it hard to find suitable expertise, so I ended up jumping into the deep end and learning the necessary skills myself. After the success of Oz Weather in the app store, I have been developing further applications, both independently (Climate Eye, Solace & Courage) as well as in association with others.
How did Ajnaware come about and what propelled your move into iPhone development?
Ajnaware Pty Ltd came about after I decided to sell my share in my previous astrology software and move into more Web-focused software development. I set up this company to be a vehicle for these new projects and initiatives. My first efforts were focused on weather-related Web site development, and it was only serendipitously at the suggestion of a business associate (Mick Liubinskas, Pollenizer), that I decided to evolve my efforts to include a related iPhone project (Oz Weather).