Nice to meet you! We're Steve & Andrea...
Thanks for stopping by!
We thought we'd tell you a little about who we are and how we ended up here.
Who are Steve & Andrea, anyway?
Well, we are the creative force behind Famously Simple. Steve is an engineering software engineer by day (yep, that's a mouthful), and Andrea is a former foreign language professor-turned-statistician and currently an AVP in Program Development and Analytics at her institution. We are married, have three amazing kids, and we all have full schedules of soccer, tennis, track, plays, piano lessons, and on and on. (We're sure that sounds familiar to you - everybody is busy these days.)
Among the five of us, we have five iPhones, three iPads, one iPod, eight PC laptops, one PC desktop, a Kindle, a Mac, Apple TV, a Roku, an Xbox, and a wifi hotspot. (We also have two precious rescue dogs - Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix - and a pet frog.) We use our technology to support every aspect of our lives - print wirelessly, play music in the car or house, cook, shop, read, take pictures, play games, watch movies, book tickets, travel, communicate, write blogs, work, learn - anything you can imagine, all the same things you do. We even have our own online homeschool complete with assignments, presentations, projects, and apps. We also have several other blog sites that we wanted to launch on a different and easier-to-use platform for our readers, like HWYD - Here's What You Do - a free app.
So how did you find the time to start developing apps?
With life moving at the speed of light, we felt like technology should make day-to-day tasks easier. Some of the tasks inside apps were taking waaaay too much time to complete. For us, we wanted to invest that same time in creating much smarter apps that saved time down the road. So, app development started out as a hobby because apps we owned didn't meet our needs. Since we both have programming experience, we taught ourselves a thing or two and plunged right in!
Our goals were to:
create utility apps that meet needs the way we really function - not try to force ourselves into a pattern of behavior that we can't really sustain
create games that expect the user to be smart and to want to get smarter through simple and elegant paradigms with great color and entertaining purpose
create apps that are non-invasive and don't invade the privacy of the user
make all of our apps 99 cents at most (some are free) and never, ever demand in-app purchases
Can you give some examples of how you met these goals?
Two great examples of apps we've developed that are substantially more agile (and time-saving) than existing apps are our Budget App and our Checklist App.
The Budget App gives you the look and feel of working in your bank or credit card account, but it isn't tied to anything private about you at all. It also has adjustable budget periods, it can give forecasts of spending and saving, and you can create your own categories and repeat purchases as needed.
The Checklist App does a lot of cool stuff, but one of the best features is it takes lists that you copy out of your notes, email, calendar, or even webpages with receipes, etc., and it parses the items into bullets. In getting the kids ready for trips, we also like that the checklist can actually be a series of pictures. When sweeping the hotel room at the end of a trip, we just go through the pictures of the important items. And for the ultimate easy route - just speak to it, and it will bullet your items accordingly. We also really love the feature that allows you to view only checked or unchecked items so you can see everything you have accomplished or everything you have left to do. So easy!
We're also a family who plays games and makes up games. All of our game apps have come from ideas we have developed with or for the kids through the years. We have hundreds of them. Finagle was the first to be developed, and it can be tough for the unitiated. Trust me, you'll get better at it. Even our elementary schooler can play it in the car with no app support, so having the app actually makes it easier. Go through a few rounds, and you'll be pretty proud of yourself. If you don't want to think that hard, DiveLand is just plain fun. Great music. Great color.
We have a list of at least one hundred app ideas already under development. Many are games the kids have tasked us to create. Many more are utilities that we plan to tie in to existing apps. We have something new out every few weeks. Check the app store often!