Student, 12, one of youngest to create app for iPhone

Posted in iPhone News by admin. Published September 13th, 2012

Student, 12, one of youngest to create app for iPhone

As Apple is expected to introduce a new iPhone on Wednesday, it will come with the next version of iOS, the iPhone operating system. With that introduction, iPhone users will be upgrading apps and trying out all of Apple’s cool, new features.

One of those new apps users may download has been made by one of the youngest app developers in Apple history.

Charley Hutchison is a seventh-grader from Mississippi and his goal was to have an app in the Apple App Store before his 12th birthday.

“I’ve always been really interested in computers. Then my parents had an iPhone, and I really loved playing with apps on there, so I decided, why don’t I make my own app?” Charley said. “If there’s so many already on the store, surely I can make one myself.”

Charley enjoys using his iPhone but is also a fan of the photo sharing website Flickr. He wanted to design a mobile app to sync an iPhone contact list with a corresponding Flickr account.

After becoming frustrated with cross-referencing his friends with their Flickr accounts, Charley wrote FriendsForFlickr. The refresh button on the free app allows users to grab new contact photos as soon as they’re posted and to load photos from multiple contacts simultaneously.

“I’ve been working on computers for several years learning different programming languages, then I finally was able to do it,” he said. “I submitted it on the App Store, and now I’m one of the youngest people to have an iPhone app.”

Charley spent several months developing the app. As his 12th birthday approached in May, Charley emailed Apple to tell them time was running short to get the app out before his birthday. Apple approved the app just under the deadline, too. Charley turned 12 the day after his app, FriendsForFlickr, was approved.

But it wasn’t Charley’s first app. He had written one for Android a year earlier when he was in fifth grade. It was called Doodles for Android, and it allowed users to modify photos on their phones, similar to Photoshop.

That success inspired him to take a step up with Apple, known in programming circles for its rigorous approval process.

Charley has always been interested in technology, his mother said.

When he was in fifth grade, teachers realized he had a very mathematical mind, said Ruthie Hollis, head of St. Andrew’s Middle School.

“I think his math teacher, Virginia Buchanan, realized what a mathematical mind and sequencing abilities he had, then she learned of his programming hobby,” said Hollis.

Of course, it turned some heads when Charley asked about algorithms in middle school. He started taking advanced math classes and reading books dealing with Javascript. The school put him in touch with an alumnus who was already programming apps for several Jackson, Miss., restaurants.

“This is a great kid,” Hollis said. “He’s going to be the next Bill Gates. He’s got a brilliant mind, wonderful people skills and he’s just cute as can be.”



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