In my previous article, I mentioned how Nokia is working hard to add more quality to the Windows Phone OS with their Lumia Devices and by getting more developers to create apps for the platform, through their “Nokia Developer” program. The recently concluded “Nokia Create” global contest was one such initiative that saw tremendous response from developers from more than 76 countries around the world.
The most exciting part of the contest was that 2 of the 8 “Master Missions” corresponding to the 8 main categories, were won by Sri Lankan developers. And today we will be featuring “Extreme Music” which won the “Music Master Mission”. We had a chat with the talented developer of the app, Heshan Pathirana. Heshan completed his Software Engineering Degree at APIIT recently and has started working at a private firm. Heshan is a person who loves coding. He spends most of his time coding, trying to recreate the apps he comes across, so he can understand how they work. “I developed a Windows Phone app for my final year project at APIIT. I believe that practice helped me a lot to achieve this goal” says Heshan. I can’t agree more with him.
Extreme Music: What Makes it special?
Extreme Music is the best and the most advanced music application available on the Windows Phone Apps+Games Store. The app has some of the most advanced features like Voice Control. One can control the app without even looking at the screen. “With a special screen called “Blind Aid”, even visually impaired users can control the app using the voice command feature” says Heshan enthusiastically. The speciality of the app is that it offers all these advanced features through a simplified User Interface, giving a pleasing experience to the user. According to Nokia Developer Blog, it’s this simplified user experience that led them to choose the app as a winner in this category.
Extreme Music is deeply integrated with Nokia Mix Radio online streaming service API. If you use a Nokia Windows Phone device, then you can also purchase songs through Nokia Music, using this app and get most out of related services. The app is available for free download and a number of advanced features can be enabled through a purchase. While writing this, I was going through some of the user comments for the app and some say this app is “far better than the default music app” and “this should be made a default app”. Those comments speak for the app. According to Heshan, the app currently has more than 17000 downloads. “Initially the app was created to overcome certain Windows Phone limitations like custom playlists and favorites. Then I improved the features to suite Nokia Create Contest” he says.
How did Heshan end up developing mobile apps?
Heshan started developing when he was in Grade 11 at school. He wrote his first program using VB 6.0. He has not stopped since then. Speaking about his motivation, he says “For a developer, sky’s the limit. I think this freedom motivates me all the time.” It was when he was working on his final year project that Heshan decided to venture into developing “Mobile Apps”. “I also decided on Windows Phone OS because I thought it’s better to master a new platform rather than mastering already established ones” he continues.
I had mentioned in my previous article about the prizes offered to the winners of the Nokia Create Contest. In case you missed, the winner gets a Nokia Lumia device of his choice along with a Nokia Gear. Winner also gets 5000 Experience Points from Nokia DVLUP reward program. Their app is promoted app on Windows Phone Store and AppSocial for one week and they also get PubCenter credits to run a campaign, to promote their app. Above all, the winners are offered an all expenses paid trip to Mobile World Congress 2014, where the winning apps will showcased! Speaking about these exciting prizes, Heshan says “I feel extremely proud and happy. Trip to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is the most exciting prize for sure”. He is not mistaken there. He is getting an opportunity to showcase his app at a global event of this nature attended by some of the brightest minds of the tech world.
The Nokia Create contest was based on 8 Categories and had 15 “Missions” – that included 6 Mini missions, 8 Master missions and a DoGood mission. Each mission had a specific focus. Mini Missions required developers to add Nokia’s APIs and new features to their existing Windows Phone apps. To enter one of the 8 Master missions, participants had to develop a brand new app or game, or port one from another platform to Windows Phone 8. The Do Good Mission was quite different. According to Nokia, the aim of the DoGood mission was to “help enhance the lives and mobile experiences of visually impaired people.” The competition also had one Grand Prize.
Heshan is an enthusiastic youngster who is passionate about what he does. He also feels grateful for Nokia and Microsoft for the opportunity. He says he is “hoping to see some groundbreaking inventions and technologies from top notch companies in the world” at the MWC happening next month. We at Digit, are extremely proud of this high achiever and wish him good luck!