While most teenagers are purchasing the latest apps on iTunes, two 17-year-old boys are actually developing them exclusively for iPhones and iPads. Cameron Oelsen and Antony Basta have already created seven applications with more in the works.
The two met at A.E. Wright Middle School a few years ago, brought together by a common interest–web site design.
“They’re two completely different languages though–web site design and app development,” said Oelsen, a junior at .
“So maybe you could say the Internet brought us together,” said Basta, a junior at Calabasas High School.
Combining their creativity and fondness for Apple devices, the two first came up with iRingtone, a website where iPhone users could download ring tones for free.
In high school, the boys continued their creative collaboration but moved on to developing apps, spurred by their own day-to-day needs and real-life experiences as end users.
Their first app, QuikSocial, came out about two years ago. This iPhone application helps access one’s social networks all at once.
QuikSocial was quickly followed by BloodPressurePro, an app that uses the infrared capabilities of the iPhone to give a blood pressure reading.
Their most recent product, PaperHelper, an essay writing assistant of sorts, is the most popular and the most downloaded so far. “It splits the screen of the iPad into two–the document and an Internet browser, so you don’t have to keep closing one app and opening another when you’re writing and researching at the same time,” said Oelsen, who is in charge of designing the apps and icons.
The teens launched their own company, RumbleApps, in 2010. “Since we’re minors, our parents helped us register it,” said Basta, who is in charge of coding and bug testing.
“They also invested some of their money which we quickly paid off in just a few months,” said Oelsen, who is in charge of design and making the apps as user-friendly as possible.
Oelsen and Basta run RumbleApps like real-world business executives, with the additional workload of high school juniors. “We mostly hold our ‘meetings’ via video chats between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. usually,” said Oelsen, a self-confessed night owl.
Basta concurred. “That’s when we get most of our work done … or between periods at school when we take care of customer service issues,” he said.
Typically, it takes the duo three to four weeks to develop an app, said Basta.
Apple devices and apps aside, college is still very much in their sights. Oelsen wants to major in film production or business, while Basta is aiming to get into a local pre-med program.
App development will always be in the picture. Oelsen said, “It’s really just a hobby with the added bonus of a paycheck.”