Design an iPhone app in 15 minutes… then build and publish it in a day!

At Barcamp Shanghai this weekend, Matt held a session called "Design an iPhone app in 15 minutes". After a couple of minutes of introduction, teams had to grab paper, stencils, glue and scissors, and mockup a concept for an iPhone app as quickly as possible! When the time ran out, each team had 30 seconds to present their idea.


You can see more photos of the session on Facebook.

The winning concept was by Adriana Gascoigne of Girls in Tech's, called "Save Me!" As the Geeks on a Plane blog put it:

One of the liveliest interactions of the day came from the “How to Make an iPhone App in 15 minutes” hands-on workshop. The winning idea was for a Girls in Tech “Save Me” iPhone app that helps you delicately remove yourself while you’re being chatted up via an incoming call to your iPhone.


We were really inspired by the quality of the ideas, and thought we'd put our coding skills to the test too. How quickly could we turn the concept into reality? Matt and Black rolled up their sleeves ...


...and a few hours later had produced a complete iPhone app! Here are some screenshots:

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The app will soon be available for free on the iTunes App Store... once it gets past Apple's not-so-fast approval process!



  1. Alex | June 17th, 2009

    This has been done before – of course – and anyone who has really paid attention knows this. (yay creativity)
    (among others).

    It remains that if you so strongly insist on egotistically lying your way out of conversations with real people in real life using an iPhone application, then I pity you. You poor thing – – too busy to be a genuine human being.

  2. lazysupper | June 17th, 2009

    There is already an app for this called FAKE CALLER. It’s free on the App Store, and has actually come in handy once or twice to get away from the uber garrulous.

  3. Matt Mayer Matt Mayer | June 17th, 2009

    Thanks for the comments! We’re aware there are similar apps available already on the App Store. This was more of an experiment to see how quickly we could conceive and build an app from start to finish.

  4. Nick Kruse | June 17th, 2009

    @Alex — it certainly has been done, but there are a couple of key differences:

    1) The concept was developed at an event and the attendees voted on the winner. You’d have to be a serious wet blanket to tell the crowd “Sorry, this one can’t win because someone already did it.” The point was to get people involved and to have some fun.

    2) Other apps are generic “fake calling” apps. This one is designed and branded to be for the specific situation of being hit on in a bar. It may be a bit disingenuous, but some girls might not feel comfortable directly telling off an aggressive guy.

    Personally, I think Matt was quite creative in designing the event, running it, and following up with a super-agile dev day. Great work, Matt!

  5. Black Qin | June 18th, 2009

    as addition to nick’s comments, i do think this kind of events is quite useful and fun.
    i’d like to join next time !

  6. Adriana Gascoigne | June 19th, 2009

    Matt –
    I had a TON of fun at your iPhone building workshop. Thank you! I think that I’m going to reproduce this type of concept for a Girls in Tech event in San Francisco (of course, giving props to you and ReignDesign!)
    Thank you for a wonderful experience in Shanghai. You guys opened up our Silicon Valley eyes . . .

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