Apps from Arabia

2Do iPad and iPhone App

The iPhone and iPad are fundamentally changing the software business.

One of the most remarkable things is how easily these iDevices are making us slip from one software universe to another one: from computers dominated by software from Microsoft, Adobe and Apple to portable devices dominated by, well, no one in particular.

I am finding myself spending more and more time inside applications written by tiny companies or even just one person. My time on the iPad is spent on the Twitter App (before that on Osfoora fo Twitter, written by Said Marouf, an Arab iPhone developer who resides in the US), GoodReader, the amazing all purpose PDF/document reader (developed by Russian iWizard Yuri Selukoff), Pulse, the amazing RSS reader (developed by Ankit Gupta and Akshay Kothari, two Indian-born Stanford students).

Are you noticing the trend here?

The iSoftware revolution is totally international. It is software globalization taken to an extreme.

That’s why I shouldn’t have been so surprised yesterday when, after digging around in the updated version of 2Do, my chosen To-Do app, that it came from Saudi Arabia!

2Do is an extremely capable and elegantly designed app. The iPad version which just came out takes it to new levels. And it turns out to be the result of a collaboration between Saudi developer Guided Ways and a Saudi digital designer who goes by the name Bandar.
Perhaps the most well known iApp of Arab origin is Weather HD from Egyptian development firm Vimov, who have achieved star status on the global iPhone and iPad development stage, with their products reviewed by the likes of the New York TImes, PC World and Ars Technica.

So despite the the fact that Apple App Store is highly controlled and centralized, it has truly flattened the world of software development. Yes of course I use Safari, Google Earth and Adobe Ideas on the iPad, but most of my usage time goes to the above-mentioned apps from companies or developers that no one has heard of just a few years or even few months ago.

With Android rising and other mobile platforms emulating Apple’s success, we can only expect more exciting developments in this field. We are still at the beginning of the mobile app revolution.

And Arabia can have its place on this new map of mobile software, as evidenced by the examples I mentioned and many others that I haven’t even heard of.

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3 Responses to “Apps from Arabia”

  1. Thaer Says:

    There is also a Jordanian company I stumbled on them on Twitter, didn’t try their apps yet.
    Kuwait has few developers for ios but mainly their apps are just a wrapper for ios friendly websites mostly news

    Did you try flipboard? River of news? Reeder?
    Do you see in the near feature our local/ Arab newspapers adapting to ios/android?

  2. Dancing, Reform, HRW Report, Arab iPhone developers « Saudi Jeans Says:

    [...] Jordanian blogger Ahmad Humeid writes about the new opportunities that the iPhone and the iPad offer to software developers in the Arab World, with a shout out to my good friend Bandar Raffah. [...]

  3. David Ashford Says:

    Great article (which a friend shared with me via Twitter). I agree that iOS app development is an international industry and that there is lots of up and coming app development going on in the Arab world.

    That’s why we launched AppsArabia – an Abu Dhabi government investment fund to support app entrepreneurs and developers throughout the MENA region. Please check our web site for more information:

    Anyone with app development expertise in MENA should join (it’s free) as I’m always looking for good quality developers. I only find developers from within the AppsArabia community. I have the projects and the money!

    And anyone with a great idea for an app should join and submit an application for investment. I invest only in app projects and the apps have to be able to generate revenue.

    Sounds like we have the same objective … to help create a sustainable industry for app development in the middle east!

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