What makes one of the iPhone’s most critically acclaimed app tick? It all starts with the people who put in countless hours coding, testing, planning, and staging — the developers.
Murad Nazaraliev — head of development for StarWalk — was gracious enough to sit down with us and reveal some of his team’s secrets to success. Plus he divulges info on a few new features to be on the lookout for in future updates…
1) What does Star Walk do better than any other app of its type, and how did you achieve this?
We concentrated on three main things: interface, usability and “the picture”. We’ve spent a huge amount of time arguing about how to make easiest-to-use interface. Only in the result of real verbal battles had every button found its place. The same amount of effort we have spent on “no less than 30 FPS” for iPhone 2G, which was not a simple task (none of our competitors managed to come even close to that).
2) Describe what your development environment like, and what makes it work for you?
We are a small company which has been forming for about 10 years. As a result – we are a team of creative people who share the same views. The atmosphere in the office is very friendly and almost family-like and I am sure that I am not the only one who goes to work with joy.
3) Besides Star Walk, what’s your favorite app on the App Store today?
I can’t single out one, but I’ll mention a few of my favorites:
Stanza – I haven’t read a single paper book since 1998. And I read a lot.
LogMeIn – thanks to this app I can do basically everything on my iPad.
MotionX GPS – my main hobby outside of work is my bike, so this app has proved indispensable.
4) What can we look forward to in future updates of Star Walk?
We have a lot of great stuff planned for this year, I will give away the closest – artificial Earth satellites and a calendar of astronomical events.
5) What’s the craziest or most interesting feedback or request you’ve ever received from one of your users regarding Star Walk?
When my daughter first saw the app she asked “How do I shoot?”) Another review I remember came from the iTunes appstore and it claimed the app was a virus – but only to attract attention and explain that it is a wonderful app everyone must have.
We’d like to thank Murad for taking the time to sit down with us. StarWalk can be downloaded in the App Store for $2.99.