iPhone Developer Interview: Ryan Petrich [3rd Party Cydia Developer]

We are trying to start up a new regular feature, here at iJailbreak.com. We are bringing you interviews with iPhone Developers, jailbreak and legit App Store devs. This will hopefully be a weekly feature, but it will depend if we actually get people to talk to us! ;) Here’s how it works: we send out a bunch of questions to a developer who agrees to the interview. They answer them and email them back. The answers are unedited, so you get exactly what the developers are saying.

For our first interview, we were lucky enough to get a response from Ryan Petrich!

Introduce yourself: Who are you? Where you from?

I’m a 21 year old software developer from Edmonton, AB. My interests include building cool apps, software reverse engineering and drinking green tea.

What projects are you known for, Cydia and/or App Store?

I’m known best for DisplayRecorder, Inspell, ProSwitcher, HapticPro and the now defunct Clippy, but I have over a dozen apps available on Cydia. I’m not well known for my App Store or consulting work.

Do you develop for other platforms besides IOS? If so, which ones?

I’ve worked on the .NET, J2ME, Delphi and OpenWRT platforms. OpenWRT has done amazing things using varying embedded hardware sets with hostile vendors and has a usable toolchain. Delphi (and its spiritual successor .NET) are great for putting simple programs together quickly. J2ME is perfect if you have a trial coming up and need to legitimately plead insanity.

How did you get into programming/coding/app development?

I started through the Trillian chat client community by building skins and worked my way up to building plugins. From there I experimented with a lot of different platforms before settling on the iPhone SDK, shortly after it was released. In late 2008, I discovered MobileSubstrate and have been hooked ever since. There’s some php development sprinkled in there somewhere, but it’s not substantial.

With iOS 4 released,  have you felt any pressure to get your apps updated?

There has been pressure to get apps updated—I spend just as much time answering emails regarding it (iOS4) as I do working on the updates themselves. The best way to ensure an app gets a 4.0 update isn’t to email the developer—it’s to write, blog or tweet about it. If people are still talking about and purchasing an app, there’s a fair chance it will get an update.

We recently heard that Grant Paul (aka: chpwn) has decided not develop ProSwitcher for iOS4. Do you intend to continue with the project, or does it end at iOS 3.2?

Unless another developer steps forward to help with the ProSwitcher for 4.0 effort, it’s unlikely a 4.0-compatible version will come out. As much as I love the project, it was really an experiment both technically and funding-wise. We’re grateful for the donations, but there weren’t many of them. Putting advertising in the Settings pane could work (it has for Activator), but it’s not a particularly elegant idea.

What do you think of all the reported iPhone 4 issues? Is the media making a bigger deal out of this, than it is, or does Apple have a real problem here?

If there’s a perceived problem, Apple has a problem. The media will always blow technical issues out of proportion—it sells. I don’t think this would even be news if there weren’t already network congestion issues in key AT&T coverage areas.

What’s the last game you played on the iPhone/iPad?

iPhone: Fruit Ninja. iPad: Canabalt.

Is there an app that you wish you could have come up with, or developer out there that you look up to? What’s your inspiration?

Everyone who knows of jailbreaking looks, or should look up to Jay Freeman. He’s done a lot for the community to enable building, distributing, and selling software.

What is your opinion on the blog format of journalism? Do you like to get your news from the “little guy”, or do you prefer mainstream outlets?

Journalism is too opinion/sensation focused—both mainstream and new media. I prefer publications that skew away from sensationalism.

In Back to the Future 2, what was the name of the arcade game, that Marty completely pwned those two kids on, in The Cafe 80’s? (Don’t use Google. That’s cheating.)

Haven’t seen that film

Can you give us a sneak peek at upcoming projects? What’s next for you?

I won’t comment on projects that haven’t been announced. Mostly 4.0 updates though.

So, there you go. Our first in a, hopefully, ongoing series of developer interviews. We learned that ProSwitcher is probably not coming to iOS4, and that Ryan was too young to see Back to the Future 2, when it came out. Guess I showed my age a little, there. The answer to that question, of course: “Wild Gunmen”.

You can find Ryan Petrich on Twitter: @rpetrich

If you’re a developer, or know a developer who would be willing to be interviewed by iJailbreak, send them our way. You can contact us by clicking here.

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