Parents are always worried about managing their kid’s expenses and to do it effectively, they need an App of some sorts that can remind them and keep track of the money spent. iAllowance by Jump Gap Software is an exceptional tool to handle your kid’s expenses and also teach them a few things about saving money. We spoke to the developer Jim, who told us about the history of the company and other interesting facets regarding his Apps.
1. iAllowance is a wonderful App to manage the expenses of a child. Where did you find the inspiration for this App?
The inspiration for iAllowance (www.iAllowance.com) came out of a need to manage my own kid’s finances – this was back in 2010. The App Store was relatively new and there really wasn’t anything out there that would allow me to deal with kid’s allowances. Up until the app, we kept track of allowances the old fashioned way – we paid them money and we had different piggy banks for things like spending, savings, charity and one for taxes. This was difficult to keep track of and we often forgot to pay them on time. With a couple of other apps on the App Store, I thought it would be great if there was an app for that. Turns out there wasn’t much back in 2010 so I wrote one.
Version 1.0 launched back in December 2010 when it was popular to name things with that started with ‘I’. It was iPad only and it only supported tracking allowances. It was pretty popular and I got a lot of feedback. Over the years, I added chores and rewards. I also updated the app to support the iPhone.
Flash forward to 2019, iAllowance still does pretty well – but not as well as it used to do. The allowance/chore space on the App Store is pretty crowded and there are a lot of choices today that didn’t exist back in 2010.
2. When did you start your company and how did you manage to make it a success story?
Jump Gap Software (www.jumpgapsoftware) was officially launched on February 18th, 2010 with the launch of a simple margin and markup calculator to support my day job. That app still is alive today but the look and name have changed to keep up with the times.
Since the beginning, Jump Gap Software has been only me. I’ve been a boot strap developer and continue to work in the same way.
3. Can you please elaborate on the App’s features?
The allowance/chore space is pretty crowded. Where I think iAllowance is different from most is that is has more overall features and can be customized to do just about anything you want. One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that each family wants to do something different. I’ve tried to give people the platform with iAllowance to do what they want.
With iAllowance you can add one or more kids. Each kids can have one or more ‘banks’ to store transactions. Each child can have an unlimited amount of allowances. You can pick the allowance interval, amount and if you want it spread across different banks automatically. Allowances can take out money too if you want to setup automatic withdrawals for things like having your kids pay for part of their cell phone bill.
At another layer are the chores. Chores can pay in money, stars and even time. You can setup chores to happen on specific days and even have them happen multiple times per day. When chores are completed, the transactions are logged into the selected banks automatically.
There are also rewards you can setup to give your kids things to shoot for. It will give them a status bar showing how close they are to their goal.
I also offer a number of sync and parental controls that allow iAllowance to exist on different devices and you can lock down the app for younger kids if you want.
4. How has the feedback been so far for your App?
With iAllowance being out for over 8 years, the feedback has been great! Even though my kids no longer need the app (they are 18 and 21 now), I use the feedback from my customers to keep pushing the app forward.
5. How are some of your other Apps doing? Would you like to mention anything in particular?
I have a number of apps that I would like to point out. You can see them all at www.jumpgapsoftware.com
– Currency+ is a full featured currency converter. – My Bills++ is my most recent app. It is a bill tracking app.- Margin+ is my margin and markup app.- Gravity Ring is a free retro style game that my son and I developed together when he was 14.
6. Which App marketing tools do you use now? How do you track reviews and what do you think about ReviewsCollect?
– I don’t do a lot of marketing other than word of mouth. I probably should do more. I’ve used a number of other services over the years with limited success. For reviews, I typically use Apple’s services. ReviewsCollect looks like an interesting service.
7. What advice would you give to the aspiring developers?
1. It’s not too late to start. Get in there and create something.2. Start small. Grow a following. Find a niche.3. Be patient. The App Store gold rush is gone. It was pretty much gone when I started back in 2010. Getting traction on the App Store takes time.4. Have fun and enjoy the journey!