Toronto iPhone start-up launches user-centric apps

I recently wrote about Airbourne’s recent mobile application Homes on Mobile Phones.  With mobile being a very popular tech topic these days, I thought it would be pertinent to shine a  little bit of the spotlight on another mobile app developer:  Toronto-based iPhone application start-up Endloop.  Endloop is committed to creating and designing applications that are user-friendly at its core.

Here is a little conversation with Endloop founders (and brothers) Garry and Ken Seto. 

The Endloop Story

How did two brothers end up working together in their own tech company?

Before we started Endloop, both Garry and I had already been working together in various companies for the last 4 years.  Due to our complementary skill sets, it was inevitable that many of the companies that each of us worked at would end up hiring the other.

I started my IT career as a web developer about 14 years ago.  I’ve always appreciated design and architecture so I naturally gravitated towards user experience and interaction design.  Having specialized in front end development and user experience, I was, of course, drawn to the iPhone’s natural and compelling hardware and software design.

Garry is the hard core coder of our dynamic duo.  He’s a University of Waterloo CompSci grad who spent the last 8 years coding enterprise portals  and web apps before falling in love with the iPhone platform.

So you began by working for others in the tech industry and decided to join forces and create Endloop.  How did you get started?

In early 2009, we decided to start developing some iPhone applications.  Both of us were doing full-time consulting at the time so we could only devote nights and weekends to this new endeavor.  We soon found our day jobs too distracting so we ended those contracts and decided to jump into iPhone development as a full-time activity.  We even sold our cars to help bootstrap the company so we could focus on development and not worry about the money, yet.

That’s a great lesson for budding entrepreneurs.  What were some of your first apps and how did they come about?

Our first app, iHeartRate, was developed when Garry was doing the P90X exercise regime at home and got the idea of making his own heart rate monitor.  For iHeartRate, we came up with a clever, simple, fast method to give a heart rate reading during home workouts.  It was featured on multiple iPhone review sites and, ultimately, the Sep ’09 issue of Men’s Health as one of three innovative health-related iPhone apps.

We also developed a camera app called PhotoCaps that lets users take pics and add captions and graphics before submitting to Facebook and Twitter.

And now we’ve just launched our first game, Arcade Solitaire: TriTowers.  Early reviews and impressions from our testers and some app review sites have been extremely positive!

(Here’s a sampling of Arcade Solitaire: TriTowers)

That’s fantastic!  What is the growth potential of mobile applications for businesses?

We truly believe that the mobile space is one of the most important channels for businesses to establish their presence.  The exponential growth of the iPhone and mobile internet computing is evidence enough that the 2000s belongs to mobile.

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that it is enough to simply recreate their websites as an iPhone app.  We don’t believe this to be an effective use of that platform.  Our objective is to help business create highly memorable, engaging mobile experiences for their customers.

What about Endloop specifically? What do you see in the future for the Seto brothers?

In the short term, we expect to hire up as the demand for our services grow. The strength of our execution, user experience design and software engineering are helping to establish us as one of the top iPhone dev shops in town.

Ten years from now what apps will Endloop be working on?

In 10 years?  Who knows what will happen in 10 years, we might be focusing on augmented reality games and apps for contact lens displays by then.