This 13 Year Old App Developer Puts Us All To Shame

This 13 Year Old App Developer Puts Us All To Shame

13 years old and already has more apps in the App Store than I do.

Last year, Nicholas G. was 12-years-old. He convinced his dad to get him a developer account from Apple, and began to learn how to program apps.

Nicholas is now 13, and the second update to his first app, Quick Notes!!, is out on the App Store. Version 1.0, says Nicholas, has already accrued over 3,000 downloads. How many downloads did your app have when you were 13? Mine didn’t have any. It still doesn’t.

Better yet? Nicholas hasn’t taken a programming class, at school or on the internet.

Two years ago, Nicholas’ older brother moved away to college, and got a new Macbook Pro. Nicholas got the hand-me-down Mac at first, but was eventually given the family iMac, since the hand-me-down wasn’t able to load XCode on. “The only thing I knew (how to do),” he told Cult of Mac in an email, “was the open bracket and then the closed one. They would both highlight and it made me feel like I knew something (it really did nothing). Then I just kept playing around in Xcode to fine the interface builder with all the neat objects.”

After a month or two of playing around like this, Nicholas got his developer account. He went ahead and created QuickNote!! 1.0 and released it to the iTunes App Store. The update to his universal app went live today, with the following description:

Easiest Note Taking App In The World! Open the app take a note and that is it! The text, note image, text color, and text font all save automatically, so you don’t have to do a thing!

What’s new in this update? Lots of cool stuff, apparently:

Brand New Design
Brand New Load Images
Brand New Home Screen Icon
Reminders
Twitter
Email
Save Note
Change Note Image
Change Note Color
Change Text Font
And Much Much More

I’m not sure what much much more, exactly, is included, but it sure sounds neat. Nicholas wants to continue to make great apps, so every little download will probably help. He’s even created a trademark on his own business name, NicMac.

I, for one, like supporting young developers who make useful apps like this so that they can continue to make even better apps long into the future, which they will rule.

Thanks, Nicholas, for sharing your story!

  • TheNickF

    Well, I’m 16 and the app/service I co-founded has 300k users. So in answer to your question, yes. :P even more interesting, my name is also Nick.

  • mr_bee

    I like that he cares about the icon for the app. :-)

    The icon is actually one of the most important aspects of any app, but so many developers don’t seem to give a crap about what their icon looks like. Big mistake for them, big win for people like Nick.

  • Rob LeFebvre

    Well, I’m 16 and the app/service I co-founded has 300k users. So in answer to your question, yes. :P even more interesting, my name is also Nick.

    Awesome – maybe you guys could form a first-name app developer company! ;)

    Seriously, though, tell us your story, too?

  • xxTigerShark

    I made the Ultimate Buzzer right when I turned 14 have had over 100,000 downloads. Made Tweet Blaster in January when I was 14 and made Quick Tweeter a while ago with no help and a 2007 MacBook. I think I have done a little more. That’s not even all my apps. I have learned all this on my own and now am learning android. So Uhh yeah :)

  • ggore

    Oh but it’s skueomorphic, a piece of paper on a desk, no one does that any more, that’s ugly, it should just be a blank square space with a cursor. At least that’s what all the pundits have been saying lately. I beg to disagree, this kid has done a good job.

  • ddevito

    kudos to the kid, that’s what this is all about.

  • ddevito

    Oh but it’s skueomorphic, a piece of paper on a desk, no one does that any more, that’s ugly, it should just be a blank square space with a cursor. At least that’s what all the pundits have been saying lately. I beg to disagree, this kid has done a good job.

    I have to agree – I mean, what SHOULD:

    -a Save icon be besides a diskette?

    -a folder icon be rather than a manila folder?

    So on and so forth.

  • bowlingGreen

    This is Nicholas. He convinced his dad to spend $2500 on a Macbook, which in itself is evidence Americans live in sheer gluttony.

  • Jonathan Ober

    This is Nicholas. He convinced his dad to spend $2500 on a Macbook, which in itself is evidence Americans live in sheer gluttony.

    or it shows that his dad believes in his son and what he wants to do with his life which is more important than your short-sighted gluttony angle. I mean seriously if more dads cared about their kids like Nick’s dad did than just impregnate their mom and move on (big problem in the city near me) then we may actually start moving forward as a society. I applaud the expense which was probably cheaper in the long run than buying the kid an xbox and some games for Christmas.

  • Walter Deleon

    Kudos to the kid for doing what he loves. I myself am 16 and i’ve written a few books for the iBookstore, and I’ve gotten a few thousand downloads over a few weeks. But thats nothing. I can’t imagine how dedicated he is for learning how to code.

  • grahamj

    My dad and I built an Apple ][ clone in 1979 and I started coding after that. I was 7. It’s much easier to get into now.

  • Lyosha Blinnikov

    I started programming when I was 13, using an old outdated PC (Pentium with 16MB RAM in 2005), and began working on a paint program (similar to MS Paint but with more features). I had no steady internet access at the time so I would burn CDs of the program and give it away to friends. I had a “company” name and everything, since I was trying to imitate the bigger software companies back then. The program is now known as “NPS Image Editor”.

    The thing that really got me into programming was the sheer amount of freedom I had — programming was free and practically limitless in terms of what I could do. And I hate to say this, but the high cost of Apple programming (a Mac + developer license + ideally an iPod/iPhone) is what discouraged me from trying out iPhone programming when the hardware first came out.

    It’s always great to hear about the achievements of young developers. Keep up the good work, Nick!

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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