Apple’s app accelerator helps some Indian developers live their dream, others keep their passion alive

The gambling industry in India is growing rapidly. Smartphone penetration has made mobile gaming popular among Indian youth. Still, we don’t see many high-quality games from Indian developers. Delhi-based Chirag Chopra, founder and creative director of Lucid Labs, aims to change that. He wants to put India on the global map by producing a global standard AAA game title. He has already taken a leap in this direction. Possessions, developed by its game studio, is the first and only game from an Indian developer on Apple Arcade – a subscription gaming service from the tech giant which was introduced in India in 2019.

Chirag describes Possessions as a minimalist 3D puzzle game about perspective and spatial awareness. In Possessions, you’ll look at various objects from different angles until they appear to belong, while learning the story of a family inhabiting the house. His studio made two games before Possessions and is working on two more (Bloom and Mellow), both of which will be available on Apple devices.

And, he has bigger plans.

“In the next three years, we plan to dabble in AA and AAA gaming titles. That’s what we’re here to change. We’re building the right team for that,” Chirag told India Today Tech.

Chirag Chopra, Founder and Creative Director, Lucid Labs (Possessions).

Apple’s Application Accelerator has played a huge role in Chirag’s history. His game studio was showcasing his games on social media platforms and one of Apple’s representatives contacted them. Although coding has always been Chirag’s strength, the app accelerator has helped him optimize for iOS and other Apple platforms.

“Making games is one thing. But making well-optimized games and feeling native to iOS is where Apple has decades of experience. They know what clicks. They know what screenshots or icons work on the App Store. They helped us with all these things,” Chirag said, while crediting Apple for finding the right audience.

Chirag is not the only application accelerator success story that was installed in Bengaluru in 2017. Mustafa Yusuf, who at the time was studying B Tech in Computer Science at VIT, Vellore and had developed a few apps for iOS, has joined the app. accelerator later and introduced Tasks in 2020.

As its name suggests, Tasks is a task manager. It is available for iPhones and iPads. What sets it apart from other apps in the same category is the number of options it offers users. The app looks complicated at first glance. But, it offers a lot of flexibility to users and lets them decide how they want to use it.

“The Application Accelerator provided a lot of help in terms of design, technical and business decisions. A major inspiration point for me was attending WWDC in 2019 where I met many developers like-minded people and had the opportunity to learn in person from experts,” Mustafa said, while revealing his plans to expand into major Asian countries such as China, Japan and Korea.

The freelance coder is already working on his next app – an expense tracker that will hit the App Store next month.

Maintain the passion

While young Indian developers are taking advantage of this opportunity to live their dreams, there are a few developers like Bijoy Thangaraj, CEO of JSplash Studios, who are nurturing their passion through apps. Bijoy is a music producer and plays piano and guitar professionally. He merged his passion with his profession and released 8 apps under JSplash Studios – all related to music in one way or another.

Its music learning apps (Music Tutor and Aural Wiz) are used in many schools and have been recommended by many music teachers. Its professional music apps like Tuner T1 and Rhythm Pad are used by popular bands and artists professionally. Bijoy credits the app accelerator for fine-tuning its apps and making them look professional. Below is an image of what Rythm Pad looks like before and after.

“I made a lot of changes to my apps after talking to people at Apple. I realized that the retention rate, engagement, and number of downloads went up after that. Even for older apps “revealed Bijoy, who has been building apps since 2012. To date, its apps have received over 12 million downloads.

Stories like these are common at Apple’s application accelerator in Bengaluru. These are not just limited to the number of downloads or rewards. Apple also helps these developers integrate the latest technologies into their application. Prayoga is a perfect example. Built by Krishna and Pragya (a husband-wife duo) who returned to India after spending 15 years in the United States, the app uses technologies like augmented reality to provide an immersive yoga experience for its users.

Raksha Rao, CEO and Krishnaprasad, Head of Mobile Engineering, Parjanya.

The app can be used on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and the companion app on Apple Watch. It offers various yoga asanas and classes run by trainers. Users can actually view these asanas in 3D using AR. The app also recently integrated spatial audio into its meditation programs, once again providing an immersive experience for its users. The implementation of SharePlay allows users to practice yoga with their fans.

“We’ve been associated with the accelerator from the very beginning, so whenever there’s a new framework that we feel aligns with our product and we need to integrate it, we come back to Apple with the design approach. We go through a few rounds of feedback and then the final integration takes place. That way we also get featured in Apple’s announcements,” the duo said.

The accelerator extends the help in several ways. There are frequent workshops, one-on-one sessions with developers, and plenty of international expertise. Sometimes developers come here with just an idea and the accelerator helps them turn it into a polished product.

When Abhniaya Chandrashekar, co-founder of The Unscripted Life (Mystic Land) first signed on with the accelerator, she had just one idea and a few slides to go with it. Today, Mystic Land helps children learn about different cultures and has over 70,000 app users in its first year.

“We’ve been working with them for over a year now and they’ve literally held us in the hand through the process. Right from UI/UX to introducing new features, they’ve been there. Apple has been there for us. also constantly helped to validate the experience,” she added. mentioned.

The app primarily targets children aged 7-13. It offers various interactive games and experiences for them, including a daily journal that provides information on different rhythms. The app also uses an AR kit for some of these games.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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