A lot of people wonder what it’s like to build an app and successfully submit it to the iTunes Store, so we asked former Art & Logic intern, Pranjal Satija, about his experience developing and submitting an app that was approved. Oh, by the way, Pranjal is 15 years old.
Pranjal says that he got the idea for his app, Ephemera, after hearing his peers complain about Snapchat. He felt that the issues people were having with the popular messaging app were getting worse with each update and that “People were complaining about performance, battery impact, and just about everything else you could think of.” So Pranjal decided to make a new app, specifically with those known issues in mind.
According to Pranjal, his app differs from Snapchat in that he “built Ephemera to have stuff that people of all age groups can enjoy. I kept everything short lived, to appease teens, but I also added AES256 encryption, which adds a certain level of attractiveness to a more mature age group. I’m also trying to make it more than just a messaging client, and turn it into a true content delivery platform, and it’s something I’m working on in the new version of ephemera that I started.”
As for the process, Pranjal says that the most rewarding part of building the app was “being able to finish it, step back, and say ‘I made this, all by myself. That’s my work.’ . . . Seeing that something you made is out in the real world, where people use it, is really cool.”
Of course that rewarding feeling comes after many hours of work and occasional bouts with serious frustration. Pranjal describes the most frustrating part of the process as that time, when you are “six hours deep into trying to find a bug and the only thing that goes through your head is this is absolutely hopeless, and nothing’s ever going to come of it.” Needless to say, Pranjal pushed through that mental block, and did not allow these obstacles to undo his work. He realizes, he says, that sometimes “having to wait until you’re totally done to see your progress can be inhibiting. But it’s worth it.”
Given his active involvement in apps, we asked Pranjal which apps impress him the most. He says, “My favorite apps would have to be Tumblr and Vine. I like them because they’re very expressive. And because they’re fun. As to improving on them, I think Tumblr could be a little bit more . . . restricted, in terms of what people can post on it. Vine is lovely, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Currently Pranjal is taking an AP computer science course and is focused on expanding his knowledge of web technologies with the goal of moving away from Parse. We’re glad that A&L had a chance to work with Pranjal as an intern, and that while with us he was able to “learn a lot about how companies in the real world operate when it comes to developing things. It was very educational, and because of it, I can certainly say that I plan on being a developer when I’m an adult.”
If you happened to see the article about Pranjal online (or in print), you might have noticed that his cell phone screen is cracked. Apparently that happened when he fell off a ladder and landed on his back pocket. Here’s the link to Pranjal’s app: Ephemera. He also asked that we share the link to his GitHub page, since he used a lot of open source, and decided to make much of the code he wrote open source as well.
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