Springdale man takes shot at success with photo printing app -- Gazette.Net



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Relying on his iPhone just as much as his camera for family photos, William Mapp of Springdale invented a mobile application for busy parents who want professional prints of the pictures they snap but lack the means or time to print them.

“Parents don’t have a lot of time,” said Mapp, a photographer and app developer who has two daughters. “They’re running around chasing their kids, taking them to soccer or ballet, in my case. We know that because we are them. We wanted to make it easier for them.”

Mapp, founder of technology firm Studio Codeworks LLC, created “Snapperific,” an app geared toward people who want to put creative twists on their iPhone photos and generate professional prints. The app originally debuted June 8, and a second version with adjustments such as better scrolling debuted the week of June 25, Mapp said.

The app, which is available free by download from the iTunes store, differs from other photo apps in that users can add filters such as black and white, Polaroid and sepia tones, Mapp said. Images always are in a preview mode for review in case a user wants to make changes, and warning boxes come on the screen if the resolution on certain photos might result in fuzzy pictures before they purchase prints, Mapp said.

The prints, which can be paid for via PayPal or credit card, are available in sizes up to 16-inch-by-20-inch posters, Mapp said. Users then can pay to have the photos mailed to an address.

“I really wanted to build a superior user experience,” Mapp said, adding his target audience is parents and pet owners, because those demographics tend to take more photos to share with others.

The whole process of creating the app took seven months, Mapp said.

Mapp said users also can print images through Flickr.com, a photo-sharing website, and through photo filter programs such as Hipstamatic and Instagram.

Mapp is paid a commission for every print purchased through the app, but did not have profit data as of press time because the product has only been in the App Store for a few weeks.

Print costs range from 75 cents for a 4-by-6 photo to $60 for a 16-by-20 photo on canvas. He said he has gotten at least 200 downloads since June 8 — some from users living as far away as Canada and Mexico — and said he’s already been getting questions about when he will develop a version for Android phones. Mapp said the arrival of an Android version is yet to be determined.

Eric Huang of Capitol Heights, who previously worked with Mapp on a 2010 census program, said he likes that he is able to review prints before ordering and said the design makes it easy to reorder previous prints.

“I think it’s something everybody can use,” he said.

Kathryn Greenwood Andrews of Cheverly wrote in an email to The Gazette that her concern about the app is it requires allowing Apple permission to access one’s iPhone photo albums, which also allows Apple to track one’s location. Users cannot use Snapperific if they don’t allow the access via Apple, the Snapperific website states.

“That’s a shame, because it’s a great idea for anyone who doesn’t have that much experience editing or printing photos, but many people aren’t too excited about anonymous companies using their location,” Andrews wrote.

Mapp said it is Apple’s requirement through its operating system to ask phone users for access to its albums, but that Studio Codeworks LLC does not store customer information.

Mapp introduced the product in front of 120 people at a Washington, D.C., area Mobile Developers, or MoDevDC, Meetup on May 16. The group represents 2,000 mobile developers in the Washington, D.C., area, meet-up founder Pete Erickson said.

Erickson cited a May 2012 study from App-Promo.com, a website that assists developers with marketing apps, which surveyed mobile developers and revealed 40 percent of mobile app developers make a profit from their apps and 60 percent are not breaking even.

Erickson said what makes Mapp’s app stand out is that it’s easy to use.

“He put a lot into his user experience design and that is oftentimes the differentiator for apps,” Erickson said.

nmcgill@gazette.net