Live in the App Store – From Idea to App

It’s a sunny day!  The EpicGem app has launched in the Apple app store.  Functionality included in this version 1.0 is limited to “Creating” and “Reading” story album (what we call “Gems”).  The development team is currently working on “Sharing” functionality to roll out in a future version of the app.

How we got here.

As discussed in earlier blog posts, EpicGem emerged as an idea some time ago.  Connections made through the Founder Institute Hong Kong helped initially refine the idea.  Early prototyping used power point slides with reliance on Mechanical Turk for idea validation.

Initial product development focused on a web application, mainly for cost considerations.  This helped us understand that a consistent user experience would require greater control over a user’s camera and microphone.

In hindsight, it seems obvious that a mobile app was required.  However, that reality actually has been made obvious over time by other factors – such as …

  • growing size of phones (expanding the types of activities users are willing to perform on their phones),
  • shrinking size of tablet computers (making these larger form factors more accessible),
  • improved hardware specifications and growth of social network ecosystems (making phones and tablets more integral for content creation and sharing), and
  • increasing user expertise in navigating mobile apps.

So while where we are today seems inevitable based on where we were, the reality has resulted from a convergence of a number of powerful forces.

(Where is here?)

As mentioned above, version 1.0 of the app has limited functionality.  This is intentional.

With a simple app like this, we can seek input from potential users and conserve valuable resources by focusing development efforts only on functionality that users will find most useful.

To this end, we are seeking persons interested in finding solutions to preserve and share their personal stories, to try the app and provide feedback.  If that sounds like you, please feel free to download the app and share your thoughts (this page highlights how to provide feedback within the app).