Bubble Ball was downloaded over a million times in the first two weeks. I t has now reached over two million downloads. According to an article by John D. Sutter, CNNTech, the app debuted on December 29th, and hit the top of the iTunes chart in mid-January. It even beat out a free holiday version of Angry Birds. But the most amazing thing about this story is that Robert Nay, the developer of Bubble Ball, is a 14 year old 8th grader in Spanish Fork, Utah.
8th Grader Creates Bubble Ball—Most Popular Free iPhone App
Bubble Ball was written at the Spanish Fork library. Robert used a program that’s designed to make app-building easy for anyone, even non-programmers. He used a program called Corona, from Ansca Mobile, to develop the app. “Corona was easy to use,” he said, and also let him write once and publish for both Apple and Android devices.
Nay’s background in computers and coding isn’t very extensive. (Duh, he’s 14!) Hew was spurred on by a friend who suggested since he liked his iPhone so much, he should write an app for it. All Things Digital, the Wall Street Journal blog network, writes, “Although it’s his first game, Nay has been into computers for some time, including Web programming and helping others with their computers. When he’s not at the computer (or school) he also likes reading, especially science fiction, and playing the piano and trumpet.”
If Robert had charged even $1 for this app, he would have made $2 million. Some critics say this app was only so popular because it was written by a teenager. But other users give it rave reviews, liking the 11 levels of play. Robert says since this app was so successful, he will continue to create apps, but will charge at least a dollar per download. (Really?)
Robert was interviewed for ABC News, looking like a teenaged Bill Gates. Video clips showed him pulling books off of library shelves while wearing a blue button-up and jeans, and looking like any other middle school kid. With all the publicity, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is offered scholarships for college, as well as internships to app developing companies when he gets a bit older. For a kid from a little town like Spanish Fork, Utah, this is a dream come true. While his mother helped him with uploading it to iTunes and drew some of the screen shots for him, all the coding was done by Robert.
Have you played Bubble Ball yet? I had to search for it in the Android Market, but found it easily. It was listed as Bubble Ball, by Nay Games. The help menu and game instructions were clear and easy to understand. It gives you a couple of option selections like game level, sound on or off and rotation choices. All in all, I think it could be addictive. As they used to say, “Try it. You’ll like it.”