Naveen Naushad, a young, city-based mobile application developer, applies his skills as a programmer to develop apps that click with users
It is not every day that a techie gets a call from software giant Microsoft; especially so, if the person in question works in the Android platform (a popular operating system for smartphones, for the uninitiated) which is a direct competitor to the company’s flagship Windows Mobile OS. It was a high point for Naveen Naushad, a young mobile application developer based in the city, when officials from Microsoft contacted him, requesting him to port his popular, internationally acclaimed mobile application – PhoneGenie to the Windows mobile platform. This 30-year-old developer, who develops applications under the pseudonym ‘App Tuners’, is making waves internationally with a host of mobile applications such as PhoneGenie and TV Guide India, which have crossed over a million downloads.
“My most popular application PhoneGenie capitalises on the average android user’s passion to know more about other mobile phones and to compare them,” says Naveen. “When I released PhoneGenie, there wasn’t any reliable application to browse through the features of mobile phones, let alone do comparisons. PhoneGenie does exactly the same, by sourcing data from the popular website GSMarena.com. The product was an instant success and post-launch it has garnered rave reviews globally,” he explains. “TV Guide India, my first application, helps users to keep track of confusing TV schedules. It continues to be my most downloaded application,” he mentions. Naveen has also come up with a few other applications including Political Digest (that keep tracks of political news), Tech Junkie (that collates technology news) and BrowserSwap (a paid application that chooses the best suitable mobile browser based on the user’s internet connection), among others.
What brought him into the world of gadgets and programming? “I took my baby steps into the world of programming ever since the first computer came home, when I was a child,” says Naveen, who is a graduate in computer science from SCT College of Engineering, Pappanamcode. “I started off by developing desktop applications for the windows platform. It was, in fact, my love for programming that motivated me to choose computer science as the subject for my under graduation. My first recognition came when my application for simplifying file transfers to (now-obsolete) floppy disks was reviewed by Digit magazine, as early as 2001. That was a major shot in the arm and there was no looking back,” he elaborates.
With the advent of smart phones in the late 2000’s, Naveen jumped on the Android bandwagon. “Almost all the android applications I have released were originally intended for personal use. I made them, since I couldn’t find any applications in the market that satisfied my needs. Fortune favoured me, and my applications became popular. Today, they earn me my bread and butter,” he says with a smile.
Since most of his applications are free, how does Naveen make ends meet? “The popularity of my applications ensures that I get steady revenues through embedded advertisements. Today I earn more than what I need through my applications alone,” he says with a smile. With his kind of programming skills, one wonders why Naveen chose not to take up a job at a multinational company (MNC) much like most of his classmates. “I started freelancing right from my college days. In the beginning I just wanted to earn some extra pocket money, but then I realised the potential. By the time I passed out of college, I was making much more than what my classmates would earn from their MNC jobs. And I didn’t have to slog day and night for that either. So I thought I’d rather be my own boss, and work from the comfort of my home. And that was the best decision of my life,” he admits.
Naveen has big plans for the future. “The term ‘paperless world’ has been in circulation for over three decades now, yet we are still hopelessly dependent on paper. With the coming of smart phones and tablets, the situation is all set to change now. I have a few revolutionary applications in the pipeline which will facilitate the same,” he says.
Naveen’s applications are compatible with most Android devices. You can find all of them by following the link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=App+Tuners