A few months ago I received an email from SnappCloud, a company that builds cloud app stores, on behalf of Toshiba. They were interested in including LockerPulse in an app store that Toshiba was launching. Now, I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical at first. I mean, just how many app stores can there be? Then again, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to schedule a call with them, so I did.
And I was really impressed. They had “soft launched” the app store, named the Toshiba App Place and had some pretty impressive results. They came with hard data that kind of surprised me. It also intrigued me that there were no free apps and that there were no sports apps; we’d be one of the first in both categories.
In addition, I was impressed by how tight the integration was on Toshiba devices. While the app store is accessible to anyone on the web, it’s really meant for those who have purchased Toshiba computers and tablets. Users are able to sign up for and launch web apps like LockerPulse right from the local software. And there are a lot of Toshiba devices that this is being shipped on this Fall (I know numbers but I’m probably not supposed to say).
The integration had to be pretty tight on our end as well. Toshiba/SnappCloud needed to be able to register and log in users from their interface. This required LockerPulse to have a relatively robust API, something we didn’t have. I talked it over with my partners and we ultimately decided that the free publicity, and the opportunity to work with such a big company, were too much to pass up.
So, I built my first API. It took some time to build, and then probably almost a month of back and forth with their dev team to get everything to integrate perfectly, but it was well worth it, both as a learning experience for me and for the end result.
Last night, after a final round of QA testing during the day, SnappCloud released LockerPulse in the Toshiba App Place. They have a nice, clean, simple-to-use interface, which is a huge positive. The audience that buys a Toshiba laptop at Best Buy is generally less tech savvy than the audience that uses the Chrome Web App store (this exposure to a more mainstream audience is another aspect that sold us on this deal).
We’re really happy to be the first sports app in the store. We’ve already seen a wave of signups, which came as a nice surprise to me. It’s my understanding that they’ll really be pushing this (and hopefully us) in the Fall when all of the new devices are flooding the markets.
As was the case with being featured by Google in the Chrome store during March Madness, this was/is some unplanned and unexpected notoriety for LockerPulse. As in the Google situation too, it’s been really encouraging to have a large company like this contact us and work with us. It’s another sign we’re moving things in the right direction. We haven’t really done our marketing push yet, so this kind of feels like an added bonus. We have a solid 3 – 6 months left of development until we’re at the point where we think this thing will be ready for prime time. That time frame has been slowed a bit by DI’s very busy Spring & Summer…something you won’t find me complaining about!