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Loren Brichter and the future of iOS apps


GigaOM had a wonderful post about Loren Brichter yesterday. In case you're scratching your head and saying "Who is Loren Brichter?", you may have seen some of his work without even knowing it.

Brichter is a 28 year-old developer and designer -- and the only employee of Atebits -- who worked for Apple during the development of the iPhone, and the brains behind the wildly popular Letterpress two-player word game. Any time you use the "rubber-banding" gesture, "pulling down" the top of an iOS app page to refresh it, you're using a bit of Brichter's genius.

In the post, Brichter mentions that Letterpress is an "insane" experiment with the future of displaying graphics on a mobile device. Brichter built his own version of the UI framework, and now has millions of people testing his code via the word game.

Unlike many young developers who complain about today's iOS and OS X development environments and how hard it is to get noticed in the App Stores, Brichter thinks new devs have it rather easy, saying "someone nowadays has all of these tools available, like Cocos2D, GitHub, StackOverflow; they can get on the App Store and get exposed to millions of people."

Brichter's happy about Jony Ive being named as Apple's senior VP of Industrial Design, saying that "he's true to the materials, to the medium he's working in. One of my complaints about design of iOS is it's doing things that aren't true to the hardware." As such, Brichter designed Letterpress to "do things that the graphics hardware was really good at."

Brichter says he'll continue to work on Letterpress and "use it as a testbed for more stuff." When it comes to future projects, though, he says he'd "like to focus more on infrastructure" before working on one of his "thousand half-baked product ideas."

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