Just under a year after CEO Tim Cook announced it, Apple on Friday launched its App Accelerator at Yelahanka in Bengaluru. The accelerator, the first from Apple anywhere in the world, will handhold Indian developers when it comes to skills and tools and onboard them about best practices. India is already an important developer location for the company with tens of thousands of developers coding for iOS.
Here to launch App Accelerator Bengaluru and also meet top Indian developers, Philip Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, told indianexpress.com there are lots of reasons for doing something like this in India.
“One, there is an incredible developer base here with incredible software talent and it is growing stronger and stronger for iOS development. We have around half a million registered developers here and growing dramatically and there are probably about three quarters of a million involved in the app economy with other related jobs. It is a large base, but out of an even larger software community, so it can grow larger still. Then, India is an exciting global market for Apple with incredible growth potential.”
The impact of developers, he said, will help with the impact of Apple products in India and the rest of the world. “Developers here can make software that everyone around the world is interested in.”
Visibly impressed impressed by the “great entrepreneurial spirit” he has seen here along with the innovation and creativity, Schiller said Apple will be able to bring its expertise in user interface design and ease of use to this community.
At the accelerator, Apple experts will lead weekly briefings and offer one-on-one app reviews. Also on offer will be guidance on Swift, Apple’s programming language created to build apps for iOS, Apple TV and Apple Watch.
Schiller, who is on his first visit to India, said they have already seen some incredible developers at the App Accelerator Bengaluru like Practo and Reliance Games create innovative apps to meet customers needs in India and around the world. He said Apple will continue to encourage developers to create apps for India as well as help them reach a larger market around the world, “and that is the benefit of our app store model”.
“I don’t think one has to happen without the other,” he added.
Open to iOS developers in India through a sign-up process, the facility will help the community refine skills for developing iOS apps and transform their quality and performance. It will feature Apple Technology Evangelists, who will provide specialised briefings for over 500 developers every week with detailed app analysis feedback.
Schiller said that like their products, Apple’s marketing strategy also tries to be consistent as possible worldwide. “But there will also be things we will do that are unique to this market as we learn from customers and developers that there is an opportunity to do something special here. The app accelerator is exactly that.”
In an release, NASSCOM president R Chandrashekhar called it a “tremendous investment in the future of India’s digital economy”.
“A sustainable technology sector that champions Indian talent, combined with leading-edge design and insights from Apple engineering creates an innovative pipeline that will have local and global appeal,” he added.
Shashank ND, Founder & CEO of healthcare app Practo which is already part of the accelerator, said the facility has helped them make the best use of iOS technologies. Developers can sign in via the App Accelerator Bengaluru website (developer.apple.com/accelerator/)
The writer traveled to Bangalore on the invite of Apple.