DevDialogue – CineXPlayer App Developer Speaks

CineXPlayer for iPadOne of the Apps which became a rage amongst the App community is CineXPlayer for iPad. This App is a good example of how ideas get generated in response to the real time needs and grow into a huge business proposition. In an interview with TheAppleGoogle, Jeremy Davies from the CineXPlayer team shares his views on the road ahead with the iPhone version and the new features.

1. Considering Apple’s strict terms and policies, what in your opinion allowed them to make a deviation in approving your App for the Store?

As long as you stick to Apple’s terms, example – not using Private API and do not compete with a store like iTunes, then – of course the key to success is that the app has to work, it should not crash and should bring value to the iPad user base. I think our app is all of that – clean and and very simple to use, it just works.

2. Did it take long for your App to appear on the Store after you had submitted it for evaluation?

Actually we had it approved quite some time before the release; however I was not happy with one item, so I held it back until I pushed a pre-release update hence you see version 1.1.

Actually these days Apple’s approval process operates reasonably quickly for most developers.

3. CineXPlayer allows you to play Xvid movies on the iPad and it is just incredible. Yet the App is free. Why so? (Though we appreciate it, thank you).

Today, yes it is free. This allows us to get worldwide feedback to improve the .avi capability of the app. Will it be free forever? No, it won’t. Once we push the next version/update out, I think we will be ready to make it paid. Thereafter, we plan a whole suite of features that will be included in the App (Subtitles, TvOut, CinemaSound and much more).

The key will be to keep the app simple and sleek – no techie interface.

4. The App is only available for iPad currently. Do you plan to release an iPhone version too?

Sure – I already have it waiting to be released. As the iPad and iPhone versions share the same multimedia engine, I’ve been holding it back to ensure version 1.2 is aligned across both platforms (this includes the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 3rd Generation).

5. The App got a tremendous press coverage on the launch day itself and the blogosphere just went crazy about it. What was your reaction?

Actually, I was on a vacation with my family in the UK when we released it. I think it was my eldest daughter who came to me one morning and said “Dad, CineXPlayer is all over the internet”. Then I could not stop myself from looking into Twitter every few minutes. A few week before the release, typing ‘CineXPlayer’ into Google would have returned a single entry – the cineplayer.com website. Do the same today and you get several hundred thousand hits. Totally amazing, this is really the power of the internet at work.

6. How did you conceive the idea of developing this App?

That was quite easy, there were needs. I have 2 young daughters and they love their iPod Touches. They always asked me to load movies. To do so, I had to convert the DVD or AVI to a format recognized by iTunes and then load it. Sync the same movie with multiple iPod accounts which is just time consuming, not to say duplication. I thought that surely we can make something that’s simple even for the kids to use. In fact CineXPlayer ran first on iPod 2nd generation and iPhone 3GS. The problem was that file sharing was not supported until iOS 3.2 or iOS 4.0. Then the iPad came along and it had iOS 3.2 which supported file sharing – that was it, full steam ahead.

7. Apple normally wouldn’t have approved it. Knowing fully well the risk of facing a probable rejection, what made you continue with the development of this App?

As I mentioned the development of the core multimedia engine has already taken place – we needed that for some other app ideas. So when iPad came along it was a perfect match. However I had a hunch that Apple would not reject it.

8. Lastly, what do you think is the future of the iPad? Do we see a 7inch iPad coming?

Good question. I love the iPad, it provides a fantastic video experience. After playing with CineXPlayer on the iPhone 4 for around a month now, video is very watchable. So a 7” form factor, yep that would work. Will it happen, I don’t know. The iPad is a little heavy and costly, so it could be an option – to me it seems a little too soon after the launch of iPhone 4 and iPad. Let’s see if we hear any thing at the Apple Special Event in September. If it happens then for sure CineXPlayer will be ready for it.