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A look at Minnesota firms developing mobile device apps

Last week, we focused on DoApp and the success it’s finding. This week, we’ll look at where other Minnesota developers stand as far as downloads for mobile device apps.

Second of two articles

Last week, we talked about local developers of apps for mobile devices, especially those designed for Apple’s platform, and how they are quietly amassing large numbers of users for their creations. This is particularly true in the case of DoApp, as I outlined here.

So this week, we’ll look at where other Minnesota developers stand as far as downloads? Well, here’s my unofficial survey, with respondents in alphabetical order, by company name. The first happens to be the other large player in the iPhone market I referred to earlier, and it may in fact have the largest number of downloads of all, although that cannot be verified.

So this week, we’ll look at where other Minnesota developers stand as far as downloads? Well, here’s my unofficial survey, with respondents in alphabetical order, by company name. The first happens to be the other large player in the iPhone market I referred to earlier, and it may in fact have the largest number of downloads of all, although that cannot be verified.

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CodeMorphic — Bill Heyman, Founder

What is the total number of apps you have had accepted into the App Store? 50. (All under the names of clients.)

Paid vs. Free? 20 paid, 30 free.

What is the approximate total number of downloads of all your apps? CodeMorphic provided a conservative estimate (because its clients have the download figures): 3 million to 5 million. The most popular of CodeMorphic’s apps has been the NPR Public Radio Player, which the firm said had 2.5 million downloads as of two months ago. It also did MPR’s app. Its other popular apps include the “Smarter Agent” real-estate app. Some national brands CodeMophic has done apps for do not allow the firm to publicly disclose them as clients, but these apps have broad reach, too. To see a selection of some of CodeMorphic’s apps, see the firm’s portfolio page.)

Do you have apps available now in the Android Market? None yet.

Mentormate — Bjorn Stansvik, CEO

What is the total number of apps you have had accepted into the App Store? 1 (“MigraineMate”).

Paid vs. Free? Free.

What is the approximate total number of downloads of all your apps? 858.

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Do you have apps available now in the Android Market? None yet. (“LocationMate app to be launched, for both iPhone and Android.”)

Mobile On Services Inc. (BuildAnApp.com) — Scott Pearson, VP-business development – UPDATED

What is the total number of apps you have had accepted into the App Store? 22. (“We’re still in beta.”)

Paid vs. Free? All free.

What is the approximate total number of downloads of all your apps? 4,000 iPhone, 500 Android. (“Will be a much different story in a couple of months.”)

Do you have apps available now in the Android Market? Yes, 12.

MobileRealtyApps.com, and Performant Design LLC — Aaron Kardell, CEO

What is the total number of apps you have had accepted into the App Store? 4. (“Soon to be 5.”)

Paid vs. Free? 2 paid, 2 free. (“Soon to be 2 paid, 3 free.”)

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What is the approximate total number of downloads of all your apps? 20,000.

Do you have apps available now in the Android Market? No. (“But coming soon.”)

Mobile Roots — Lynn Smith, CEO/founder

What is the total number of apps you have had accepted into the App Store? 5. (Three are under Lynn’s name; two apps were developed by Mobile Roots for clients: “Margaret for Governor” and “Brazelton for House.” Two more apps are in development for political candidates.)

Paid vs. Free? 1 paid (“What the Funkytown!” – $0.99), 4 free.

What is the approximate total number of downloads of all your apps? 3,270.

Do you have apps available in the Android Market? No. (“But releasing our first next week.”)

Recursive Awesome — Justin Grammens, co-founder

What is the total number of apps you have had accepted into the App Store? 7 public apps in the App Store; also 5 private apps for one client, which are installed using the limited “AdHoc” distribution method, whereby each app is manually installed on individual Apple devices.

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Paid vs. Free? 1 paid, 7 free.

What is the approximate total number of downloads of all your apps? Estimate provided: 850,000.

Do you have apps available in the Android Market? Yes, 6 — 1 paid, 5 free, and 1 in private development. Estimated total downloads for these: 60,000.

Refactr — Ben Edwards, founder

What is the total number of apps you have had accepted into the App Store? 2. (“And 2 more submitted.”)

Paid vs. Free? All free to date.

What is the approximate total number of downloads of all your apps? One app built for Mayo Clinic: download number not known. The firm says its own app, “Flashbang,” has been downloaded about 20,000 times.

Do you have apps available in the Android Market? None yet.

Tiny Mission — Bekki Freeman, founder

What is the total number of apps you have had accepted into the App Store? 3.

Paid vs. Free? 2 paid, 1 free.

What is the approximate total number of downloads of all your apps to date? 1,600.

Do you have apps available in the Android Market? No. (But “working on it as fast as we can type!”).

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One thing that occurred to me as I was working on this survey over the past few days: it isn’t just software development firms that are doing mobile apps — many of them are firms that do development-for-hire, and some of which are doing self-publishing of their own apps. But there are also other types of local firms that are developing their own apps, some in-house, including startups whose initial product is a mobile offering, or has a mobile version. One such startup I just learned about is this one, based in Stillwater:

Nibi Software — Troy Peterson, CEO

What is the total number of apps you have had accepted into the App Store? 1. (“An educational app called Nibipedia, which mashes all the educational Youtube channels with Wikipedia articles — so that, when reading an article, the app recommends relevant videos. It also tracks your research path for you so you can review later. We have several other apps in the queue. Apple makes taking an idea from conception to market so much easier than with traditional web apps. We’re stoked.”)

Paid vs. Free? Paid – $1.99. (“But we’re offering it to teachers in our Facebook Group for free.” Presumably, that would be via the AdHoc distribution method.)

What is the total number of downloads of all your apps? No specific number reported. (“It was just released, and has not been promoted. But we’ve had several hundred downloads already from people who became aware of it in the educational marketplace. It’s really designed for the larger display screen of the iPad, so we are setting to work to promote that in the next few weeks.” Presumably, that would mean an iPad-specific version of the app is coming.)

Do you have apps available in the Android Market? Not yet. (“But we’re going to, for sure.”)

A footnote: I only contacted firms that I know to be developing for the Apple or Android platforms, but I make no claims that this is a complete list. One firm I contacted that chose not to report its numbers at this time was Handcast Media Labs, creators of the “SparkRadio” app (one of my personal favs), which is available for both the iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad platforms. Another developer I contacted did not respond: Dan Grigsby, who was head of MobileOrchard.com, a company he announced recently he was shutting down.

Now we want your input: Who have we missed? Are you a developer doing mobile apps? Do you know of a Minnesota company that has released iPhone or Android apps? Is your mother doing iPhone apps? How about firms based outside the Twin Cities? If so, please tell us in the comments! Also tell us what apps you like. And, lastly … is the iPad better than sex?