On Friday, May 11, 2012, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dean Beeler, programmer of the very popular iPhone and iPad App, iSSH. It's no secret that this terminal emulator is one of my favorite Apps. I've written articles about it, created a video about it, included it in my Dummies book and have finally interviewed the man behind the App. Though Dean is best-known for iSSH, he's also created iX11 and Carve3D. You can pick up any of his Apps by connecting to the iTunes store or his website at http://www.zingersoft.com. He's had phenomenal success with iSSH, due in part (hopefully) to yours truly's reviews and inclusions in articles such as this one.
I enjoy seeing people who are good at what they do receive recognition and success for their work. He should reap the benefits of his hard work and tireless support of iSSH. I'm a member of the iSSH Google Group that he setup to gather feedback and to communicate with his customers. Dean is very responsive to his user base and tries to help each person use iSSH to its full potential. He cheerfully uses the forum's feedback and discussion to add new features, to fix bugs and to assist users with their questions.
To date, iSSH has over 150,000 downloads and continues to grow and gather a huge fan base. Dean warns would be App developers to not expect Angry Birds or iSSH success. He told me that most App developers really don't make much money for their efforts. That said, of course, if you have a really excellent App, reviewers will find it and review it for their audiences who'll boost sales for you.
One of the things you have to remember when creating a publicly-available software program is that you can't just toss it out there and expect people to run to it, buy it and never tell you what they think of it. You have to get the word out to people by requesting reviews, starting a support forum and update your App on a regular basis. It's a commitment not just an easy way to generate some extra spending money. You also have to develop a thick skin. Online customers use their assumed anonymity to openly criticize your work. It's how you handle that criticism that often differentiates the winners from the losers in the App market.
Fortunately, a guy like Dean Beeler has the right personality to deal with criticism and requests. He uses that feedback in a positive way to create a better App so that everyone benefits from it.
Apparently, Apple has a very nice App Developer program with good tools, good information and good support. I've never heard any complaints from any iOS App developer yet concerning Apple's Developer partnership arrangements.
Dean also works at Avatron Software where he proudly develops commercial software Apps such as the now famous Air Display App that extends your PC or Mac monitor onto your iPhone, iPad, Android or second Mac.
I, for one, am glad that Dean and other App developers have the programming skills, the people skills and the desire to continue support for their Apps. His iSSH App has made my life easier in supporting my Linux systems. You should try iSSH for yourself to see if it works for you. For me, there's nothing else like it.
It was great to meet and to speak with him on the phone and I wish him continued success in his endeavors.
If you'd like to hear the man himself talk about iSSH and App development, I've included the podcast.
Have you tried iSSH? Have you programmed and submitted your own App to Apple's App Store? Talk back and tell me about your experience.