In September 2011, India-based CellApp began to gain exposure as a ‘recommended app’ in the Nokia Store, sparking millions of downloads of their content in 190 countries around the world. One of CellApp’s first applications was the widely popular QTorch, an application designed to let users of Nokia Symbian phones turn their device into a torch or flashlight when the need arises.
CellApp developed QTorch – including a Qt-based version of the app – specifically to address emergency situations that leave people without power for extended periods of time. The app uses a custom algorithm to increase the brightness of the phone screen as necessary. To date, the free version of the application has been downloaded 1.7 million times, earning recognition as a “most downloaded” app for the Nokia N8.
Using feedback from Nokia Store customers, CellApp has since moved on to create other successful applications, including DataMonitor, which measures traffic through network connections and displays real-time data usage information. In nearly every market, operators can charge users for data overages. With DataMonitor, users can keep track of their data consumption in real time from the home screen and set alerts to sound as they approach their data limit. This app has helped several hundred thousand users decrease mobile bills. The free version allows users to monitor GPRS data usage, and the premium application allows them to configure and position the ticker window, set a usage alert, and select the network to be monitored (GPRS/Wi-Fi). User testimonials in Nokia Store have showered the app with compliments:
“I have been getting huge bills for using GPRS data connectivity while on the move. With DataMonitor I hope to have some control over my phone bills. Good going! – rahulg_85
“Useful app to know exactly how much you download!” – enzodamato
“DataMonitor helped me to find hidden online costs!” – quax_ge
CellApp was established in 2010 by developers with experience creating applications in Symbian C++, Qt, Java, Nokia’s Web Runtime, Series 40 Web Apps, and Adobe Flash Lite.
“When using Qt, we found it very easy to develop the user interface, and the development time can be virtually cut in half,” said G. Padmakumar, CEO of CellApp. “Qt has a drag and drop UI editor, which incorporates many tools that help in our rapid application development.”
Many of the developers working at CellApp have been working with Nokia platforms for years; and they have recently developed five applications in the Windows Phone Marketplace – in just four weeks.
“For us, it was simple and a great experience developing on WP7, from installing the SDKs and IDEs to transferring the app to the test devices, to uploading the final application to App Hub for publication in the Windows Phone Marketplace,” said Padmakumar. “Help is just a click away and there are developer champions all over the world contributing to the community by posting code-based articles for additional support. With Microsoft slowly opening up the development platform so that complex apps can be developed, it’s only a matter of time before WP development will become the mobile developers’ favorite.”
Windows Phone Marketplace is home to more than 65,000 apps, and counting including the five from CellApp, and is seeing more than 300 new apps published every day. CellApp plans to explore the Windows Phone platform to create more globally relevant applications and is taking advantage of the fast-growing and increasingly popular third ecosystem.
“Innovate, adapt, excel,” said Padmakumar. “Our motto has been a guiding light for our endeavors and will continue to inspire us to work with Nokia for years to come.”