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Belgian to develop 16-year-old iPhone application

Florentin Hennecker, a 17-year-old young man from Brussels, is passionate about the development of mobile applications. After documenting the subject, he decided to develop his own iPhone application himself. This has been validated by Apple and has been available on the apple brand online store since the end of the past year.

You could say that the story of Florentin Hennecker goes unnoticed to say the least and yet his story is not usual. Attracted from the age of 15 by success stories of a few developers, the young prodigy decided to embark on the adventure but the latter did not yet estimate the extent of the task. A first obstacle was already before him: getting an adapted computer and getting specialized works, in order to be able to develop in the best conditions.

"Having no pockets full enough to allow me to have this kind of toy, I reserved a summer to work and earn enough money to finally be able to start developing seriously. The basic programming skills I had at my disposal were obviously not up to the task, and the purchase of one or the other work on Objective-C was welcome. So I started to learn the language but I didn't have a precise idea of ??application yet. ?, he explains.

It was not until a few months later, the age of 16 that the idea arose and this, thanks to the presentation of the iPhone 4 in June of last year.

?As the learning of the code progressed, the idea, it, was always delayed. But it was on the occasion of the presentation of the iPhone 4 that the click took place, mainly thanks to the arrival of the gyroscope functionality. ?. As a reminder, the Cupertino company has integrated into the iPhone 4, an electronic chip allowing to obtain information on the gravity of the device, as a real gyroscope can do.

And it is therefore from this moment that the ideas emerged for Florentin, ?I imagined a sort of crater of which we would only see a small part, and which the gyroscope / acclrometer would allow to navigate in it. Oh, and I could put a ball rolling randomly over it, and we should press different colored buttons to indicate the ball. The concept of my application was born! ?.

The ideas being well placed, it had become time for Florentin to put them on paper and also to think about the interface of the application whose name was already found: Follow Me! (Follow me!)

"I started to put on paper all the other ideas that came to mind, create some first artworks (drawings, editor's note) to try to capture the final design of the game, but also compose the music that would accompany the player.".

A few months later, we are in August 2010. All the elements gathered, code learning partially done, the development of the application can begin.

?I now know Objective-C and I'm getting into game development. I'm going from bug to bug, from idea to idea, and, after 3 months of pure and hard development during weekends and evenings, Follow Me! 1.0 is ready. I will read all the legal documents provided by Apple (I would nevertheless like to thank my father who normally helped me, for this point particularly but in general too).

Florentin completes the compilation of his application in November and immediately submits it to Apple for approval.

?It was exactly on November 9, 2010 that I submitted Follow Me! Apple for validation. The days between November 9 and 16 were probably the longest I have had. It?s quite difficult to stress each received email, saying ?What if the email tells me that my app has been approved?? and to pass the time during this endless week, I shoot and edit a video presentation of the game (see below, Editor's note), to reinforce the launch. ?

A few days later, the answer finally falls!

?The fateful email arrived 7 days later. Follow Me! was approved. The app will be released sometime during the night. Big relief from my side. Finally, not everything done because this email also signifies the start of the marketing phase. I still offer myself a few days off while waiting for the first sales results, which were far from the amounts that we dangled in successes. stories. Fortunately, I expected it and I will not be put down. I continue to develop, release several updates and contact a few people, who do not answer me. Life is tough when your name is not EA games or Gameloft. ?

A Lite application to boost sales? Not so sure …

It was while reading a marketing book that Florentin convinced himself to develop a lite version (a trial version), work therefore resumed and the approval procedure by Apple was restarted.

?People are obviously more likely to download a free game, and I get hundreds of downloads on the first day. Knowing that these numbers will decrease, I make a maximum of noise and I try to break through. Which was not the case. Sales of the full version barely moved their toes. Even if I am already extremely satisfied and proud to have "two" applications on the App Store, I find that the project will not be finished until it has been talked about. I like to do things to the end. ?.

Download Follow Me! on the App Store (0.79).

Download Follow Me! on the App Store (lite version).

Florentin previewed the Belgium-iPhone application.

During his writing, Florentin Hennecker was able to preview the application Belgium-iPhone. Even if the latter appreciates the design of the application and the way in which the information is returned there, it is the feature Reportage which caught the attention of the young developer. ?The idea of ??being able to offer Internet users the possibility of contacting the editorial team of Belgium-iPhone by this means is simply brilliant?. It remains to be seen whether Florentin will send us good news …

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(Photo credit: Dominique Duchesne / Le Soir)

Demonstration video of Follow Me! :