Chad Holder of App Development for PADPORT.
PDF version can be found here: PADPORT
We have recently launched a portfolio app for the iPad. It is called PADPORT and we are very excited about it. This app is designed to showcase a wide range of artistic expression through your iPad. PADPORT is perfect for any artist: the photographer, illustrator, model, industrial designer, architect, handbag designer, cabinet maker, party planner, interior designer, painter, general contractor, anyone who needs to showcase their work. PADPORT is designed to present your product in a simple, thoughtful format. Upload image or video to your library and create a specialized portfolio to show to your clientele. Add or remove media on a whim as you customize the order, look and style of your portfolio. – Chad Holder
PADPORT Can be found at any of the links below.
Website, iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, Email
So with our first question, tell us a bit about the PADPORT team.
I am Chad Holder, I am a photographer based in the states. My brother and I are working on PADPORT together, it has been a really fun family project and we are thrilled with how it has turned out and excited about its potential. I am in Minneapolis and my brother is in South Carolina. We have an overseas alliance who are doing the programming, they are based in India, and an awesome design team working out of Texas. All in all there are about seven people working on PADPORT.
And are you also a photographer yourself?
Yes, I am a photographer. But PADPORT isn’t just for the photographer. It is for anyone who wants to show what they do. So, any model, stylist, performer, architect or cabinet maker. We provided a Title section that will display whatever it is you do on the HOME screen. We also allowed for the option to leave this section blank and it will be blank on the HOME screen.
What gave you the inspiration to write PADPORT?
When I first saw the iPad I thought it would make the perfect portfolio. It renders images better than print, and the chance to showcase video with stills in the same package was the perfect opportunity. But PADPORT isn’t just for the photographer. It is for anyone who wants to show what they do. So, any model, stylist, performer, architect or cabinet maker. We provided a Title section that will display whatever it is you do on the HOME screen. We also allowed for the option to leave this section blank and it will be blank on the HOME screen.
Is this your first App for iOS?
Yes, the first. We had some other app ideas, but this is the one that made the most sense. We are also working on some more apps that will tie into PADPORT and create a family of apps.
What are these other Apps you plan to do? Can you tell us a bit more about them or are they top secret with ‘top men’ working on them.
The other apps are at a stage too early to talk about just yet. But they are going to be for the photographer and the photographer’s client. With some of the look and feel of PADPORT.
How easy was it to create PADPORT? How long did it take to get PADPORT to Version One?
We started the ball rolling in June/July of 2010. So version 1.0.0 took about six months to design and develop. We had to make a few compromises for the first version in order to get it into users hands, but we are working on some updates that will make the app even better.
Do you write any other Apps for iOS?
No, just PADPORT for the iPad for now.
“With the iPad your portfolio could be more than the printed portfolio.”
Will you write other Apps for iOS devices? More importantly, photography related ones.
We feel that the iPad is the best device to show images and video and so we are focussing on the iPad for now because of the larger format.
PADPORT is a relatively new App in the App Store. Arriving after the release of 4.2. Did coding for iOS 4.2 make much of a difference compared to iOS 3.2? What made a difference in iOS 4.2?
The timing just worked out to launch right after the release of 4.2. We didn’t really plan it and 4.2 didn’t really change anything with the app.
How long did it take to write PADPORT?
That’s hard to gage, but we had about 7 people working on different aspects of it for the past 6 months.
Where do you want to take PADPORT with future updates, where do you see yourself in a years time?
We really want to be the go to app for showing your portfolio on the iPad. PADPORT is theme based and so the sky is the limit in terms of different looks and feels. We can always design a new theme to meet our users needs or wants.
Right now we are working on it being able to show images full frame on the iPad and also the ability to zoom in and out. We are working on portrait orientation, and also external display ability. The option to change the order of portfolios, and a few more things that are going to be cool.
We are about to release version 1.0.1 which has sharper thumbnails. (That was a big compromise that we had to deal with in order to launch when we did, but it is being fixed in this next little upgrade.) Also, we received some feedback that users didn’t know to tap the top 2 inches of the screen to reveal the back button, so we are now changing it to tap anywhere to reveal the back button.
Because we just launched last month, we are working on catching up to where we think we should be. It might be a few more months, but we will eventually get there.
Branded Home Screen
What do you as a Developer want to see in the next iPad, either to aid your Apps or just for your own pleasure?
We really want more memory so the app will function faster. Also, a bigger pad would be awesome. I think the camera would be a nice addition to have.
Considering how new your PADPORT is, I’ve already seen FolioBook vs PADPORT in discussions and Google search results. You have a competitor with a similar feature set. How do you see yourself differentiating from your competitor/competition?
PADPORT can show video which I think is very important, Foliobook doesn’t. Our user interface is so much more user friendly, I still cannot figure out Foliobook and how to get it working. We worked hard on getting the swiping action right, if you compare the two, PADPORT is much smoother. Our themes allow for more options on how the HOME screen looks not just a row of galleries along a horizontal line. We wanted to give the user more options so the layouts are unique. Both are great apps it’s all preference.
Are you a one man operation or is this a group effort?
It’s a group effort. We have about 7 people working on the app.
Where are you based and where have you seen the greatest uptake of PADPORT at the moment?
We are in the states, 85% of our purchases are from here. 10% from the UK. 5% other countries.
Do you have thoughts as to why so many of your customers are based in the US? Those are striking differences.
We think the first reason is that we have been marketing to US photographers through email blasts. Not that we are excluding the other countries for any reason, it’s just that out email lists are US based. Also, simply because of geography the US has a bigger population and therefore a greater number of photographers.
I found the built in Photo Application lacking anything for a Pro Photographer, others will feel it’s good enough. Were you concerned of your App’s uptake by other Photographers before committing yourself to creating PADPORT?
Not really, We knew from the beginning that it was a great idea and it was something that we really wanted to build.
Can you explain anything about the creation process behind your app? Did you involve other photographers or even editors to ask what they would want in a digital portfolio that attempts to replicate the printed portfolio and its presentation?
We started out with some rough sketches that I drew up, we brought in an awesome designer, talked to others to see what they expected in a portfolio and went from there. Throughout the process we got as much information as we could from anyone who was willing to help out. It turned out that with the iPad your portfolio could be more than the printed portfolio. I’m talking about the ability to hot link to your website, compose an email from the app to receive feedback, put your video in a gallery next to an image, change your images and order on the run. It’s an incredible tool.
How do you see PADPORT existing alongside a printed portfolio?
I have heard of some photographers doing this. I think because they want to show bigger then the iPads screen. I think if that is what works for you then that is a great way to go. A photographer may want to add a few extra images to PADPORT and their video to pull out if the showing is going well. It’s not a bad idea.
And to just wrap up, anyone notable who is using PADPORT?
There are many great photographers using the app. We are actually thrilled with how sales are going, and are excited to be involved in helping people show their work.
PADPORT at the time of writing is priced at £5.99 and $9.99 on the Apple App Store