- Apple App Accelerator was set up in Bangalore back in 2017. It’s the one and only kind in the world right now.
- Here is a profile of five Indian apps (and their developers) that have been part of the App Accelerator in Bangalore.
- We have apps ranging from productivity to gaming to music to kids.
Apple launched the App Accelerator program in Bangalore, India, in 2017, intending to inspire Indian iOS developers and help them take their apps to the next level. Five years have passed since then, and the program is now targeting developers worldwide, thanks largely to the global pandemic that has moved sessions and meetings online.
We first learned about the Apple App Accelerator in 2018 when we met some Indian iOS developers who were preparing for WWDC 2018. With WWDC 2022 only about a month away, we met some new app developers who are building apps in a variety of genres, from engaging games to productivity apps to music apps and more.
What is Apple App Accelerator?
Before we look at the apps, here is a brief overview of Apple’s App Accelerator program, which is currently set up only in Bangalore.
The App Accelerator provides a unique opportunity to get inspired by learning about the latest advances in Apple platforms directly from Apple experts.
Apple platforms include iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS and macOS. Apple has made it relatively easy for developers to offer cross-platform support, but given the pace at which the tech industry is evolving, this could still be overwhelming for many. App Accelerator promises to help developers fast-track their apps so they can become part of the thriving app economy.
The worldwide pandemic has impacted the fitness industry in several ways. Prayoga, from Parjanya, is one of those new-age fitness apps trying to make life easier for people around the world. Founded in 2019 by husband-and-wife team Krishnaprasad and Raksha Rao, the bootstrapped company has developed and released six apps on the App Store so far. However, Prayoga is by far the most successful app, and they hope to become the best yoga app in the world.
The app works on all products in the Apple ecosystem, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Apple Watch. It is a smart, proactive app that analyzes the user’s day and helps them develop a healthy lifestyle through timely, gentle nudges. In addition, the app features over 75 asanas, routines and classes curated by yoga experts.
While there are quite a few yoga apps on the App Store, Prayoga leverages the best Apple frameworks to enhance the experience for those who want to stay fit with yoga. For example, the developers use ARKit to bring the yoga instructor into users’ living rooms with animated 3D models. With the Vision Framework, Prayoga can track posture and provide live feedback and corrections. In addition, it is one of the few apps that use ShazamKit to use the Apple Watch as a personal concierge, reducing dependence on the phone during workouts.
Krishna said of the Apple App Accelerator, “We were lucky to get into the App Accelerator. We got access to Apple engineers who helped us with various technical issues, especially new frameworks.” Raksha said, “The UI /UX guidance from design evangelists at Apple helped us bring the app closer to Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines.”
Krishna and Raksha are working to take Prayoga to the next level. They plan to integrate more closely with Apple Watch and HealthKit, add spatial audio to yoga-based meditation, introduce 360-degree video content, LiDAR-scanned environments for immersive experiences, and more.
Prayoga has been featured on the App Store multiple times, such as during World Yoga Day 2021, and was also an exclusive Shazam launch partner.
Tasks was developed by Mustafa Yusuf and is a unique approach to task management. Most task managers and to-do apps are based on a binary status – “To Do” and “Done”. Tasks, on the other hand, lets you track when you’re actually doing something, mark it according to your needs, and prioritize tasks accordingly. It’s more like a project management app without the complexity associated with such apps.
Tasks works on all Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad and macOS Monterey. Just pay once and use across platforms.
Mustafa, who is a BTech graduate in Computer Science from VIT, Vellore, started programming with Swift when in college. The indie developer now has a team of six working from various locations in India. He plans to expand collaboration support within the teams and is also looking to expand to other major Asian countries such as China, Japan and Korea. He is already working on an expense tracking app, which should be available in the App Store in June 2022.
Like Krishna and Raksha, Mustafa has been going to the Apple App Accelerator in Bangalore for advice and insights since he was a student. “What I have learned has helped me develop beautiful and accessible apps with comprehensive system integration with Apple hardware and software, which greatly benefits both my users and me. In addition, they have helped me a lot with design, technical and business decisions. A key inspiration point for me was attending WWDC 2019, where I met many like-minded developers and had the opportunity to learn from experts in person,” says Mustafa.
Possessions is the only game developed by an Indian developer for the Apple Arcade. That should say a lot about Chirag Chopra and his game studio, Lucid Labs. Possessions is a minimalist 3D puzzle game about perspective and spatial awareness.
As you play Possessions, you see different objects from different angles until they appear to be in the right place, all while learning about the family that owns the house. There are 33 hand-crafted levels complemented by a soothing soundtrack, making the game suitable for people of all ages.
Chirag has added an AR mode to Possessions, in which you solve levels in augmented reality by physically moving around the room. In addition, progress is synced across devices, so you can just pick up the device of your choice and play anywhere.
In addition to Possessions, Chirag is currently working on two other games (Bloom and Mellow), both of which will be available for Apple devices. He has also had great success working with the App Accelerator. “It’s one thing to develop games. But Apple’s expertise is in creating games that are well optimized and feel comfortable on the platform. They know what works.”
RhythmPad Pro is one of the eight apps developed by Bijoy Thangaraj, CEO of JSplash Studios. All of these apps are related to music in one way or another. Bijoy is a music producer who plays piano and guitar professionally. After being trained in Western classical music and playing music professionally, Bijoy set out to develop apps to help music professionals.
His music learning apps (Music Tutor and Aural Wiz) are used in many schools and are recommended by many music teachers around the world. In addition, his professional music apps such as Tuner T1 and Rhythm Pad are used professionally by famous bands and artists.
Rhythm Pad was first developed in 2011. “I wanted to develop a professional drum app for mobile devices, and at that time, Apple was the only platform that supported low-latency audio playback for mobile devices,” Bijoy says. Music Tutor has been downloaded over 4.02 million times, while Rhythm Pad has been downloaded over 3.61 million times.
Bijoy joined the App Accelerator in late 2019. “I was able to implement iOS platform-exclusive features such as App Clips, Widgets, SharePlay, etc. I also received important input on improving the user interface of my apps. The changes I made to my apps based on the feedback resulted in improved user interaction and adoption of my apps,” says Bijoy.
MysticLand is a unique learning app for kids to help them become world citizens. It is an interactive learning app set in the fantasy world of MysticLand, where characters take young people on a learning journey through the world with new content every day.
It encourages young children (ages 7-12) to learn about our planet, discover new cultures and geographies as they travel through numerous countries via the app, and explore unique aspects such as food, music, flora and fauna, history, landmarks, and more.
The app includes the MysticPost module, a world newspaper covering world news, science and technology, business and innovation, animals and the environment, sports and entertainment. It is a daily animated newspaper with content rewritten in the form of stories between characters to help users get the most out of this learning app for kids. Moreover, modules like quests, quizzes and rewards make the app interesting for young kids.
Abhniaya Chandrashekar, co-founder and creator of MysticLand World Discovery, says of the Apple App Accelerator support, “What started as regular app review sessions quickly evolved into product features, UI /UX best practices, and cool new tech features that can add immense value.”
For an app developed in India and used globally, it is very important that it provides a similar, seamless experience for kids in all regions. This is where Apple’s expertise comes into play. “Apple has been our constant partner in conversation. Today, over 70% of our paying users are from Australia, the Middle East, the UK and the US,” says Abhniaya.
MysticLand is already part of the curriculum of more than 800 schools in India. Abhniaya is working to integrate the app with Apple’s ClassKit to begin expansion into international schools.