Perth-made app hits top spot in iTunes store
Sunday, June 19, 2011/
The latest app from Perth-based iPhone app developer Filter Squad has achieved top download status in the entertainment category of the iTunes store, despite launching just last week.
Filter Squad, formerly known as Jammbox, was founded by Dave McKinney and Stuart Hall in January.
It made headlines earlier this year with an iPad music discovery app called Discovr, which became an instant hit and wound up as one of Apple’s featured apps for the device.
Filter Squad has launched a spin-off product focused on app discovery, called Discovr Apps, priced at A$1.19 or US99 cents.
Users search for an app they like, or choose a featured app, and then browse the interactive map to find recommendations for other apps to download.
Discovr Apps pulls in descriptions, screenshots and ratings, lets users buy them from Apple’s App Store, and includes social features to share apps and maps on Twitter, Facebook and email.
The release of Discovr Apps has sparked a renaming of the existing music app, which is now called Discovr Music.
According to McKinney, Discovr Apps is already the number one entertainment app in 16 countries and is number two overall in Japan.
Based on the performances of other apps in this category, it’s likely that Discovr Apps has already attracted tens of thousands of downloads, although Filter Squad has refused to release any figures.
McKinney says he and Hall founded Filter Squad with the goal of helping people find music, namely via apps.
“The App store is a broken user experience. It’s slow and clunky, and it’s not that easy to find stuff. Discovr Apps is an app that helps you find other apps,” he says.
“Search for an app that you like or choose from one of our featured apps. We’ll show you how the apps you choose are connected in a massive, never-ending map of the App Store, and we’ll give you recommendations for other apps to download.”
Filter Squad was recently announced as one of three winners of the 2011 MidemNet Lab competition, an international pitch platform for innovative music start-ups and mobile apps.
Chosen from an applicant pool of some 300 start-ups, the recognition enabled Hall and McKinney to form valuable partnerships.
Filter Squad is currently in the middle of an initial funding round, and already has several new projects in the pipeline.
However, McKinney says he has no intention to relocate somewhere more tech-friendly, such as Silicon Valley.
“We’re pretty happy in Perth actually… We acknowledge that there is a strong culture of investment with start-ups in the Silicon Valley and we don’t have that here,” he says.
“But in another way, it’s good for us to do our own thing.”