It was a saturday. Paper, by FIFTYTHREE was released a few days ago and I had been toying with the app. I had no artistic talent whatsoever so I was searching and browsing what other people had drawn with Paper and shared on Twitter. Examples like these came up:

I don’t know how well Paper did in sales, but I thought to myself, if an app makes you feel like getting an accessory (a stylus) for it, it is already a successful app.

I told my wife, “hey, wouldn’t it be fun if we skip over our usual work and work on a little side project over the weekend?”

When dealing with apps and services that deal with visual content, I’m a great fan of chromeless displays. Since the content is pictorial, we decided to just show them in a grid. I have been toying with Parse and thought this would be a good chance to build something with it, leaning on its datastore functionality. We pulled the shared drawings from Twitter’s Streaming API and stored them into Parse, then wrote a web app that pulls the latest drawings from the database and display them. We did a quick wireframe and she went off to do the design while I coded.

This became Paper Board, the website.

When we were finally done with it, she said, “Why don’t we build an iPhone app?” You can see where this is going (and using Parse was brilliant foresight!) So we did. We wanted to keep a similar, simple user experience where the content was front and center (and because we didn’t want to spend too much time on it).

After more coding, using and testing the app, we submitted it and waited. And waited. The app was rejected.[1] After appealing and more waiting, it was finally approved yesterday.

Here it is: Paper Board, the iPhone app.

And this is how a geek couple spent a weekend (and a few more days) together :)

PS: I just learned about this while I was writing up this post.

[1] Rejected for the reason: “Apps that are simply web clippings, content aggregators, or a collection of links, may be rejected”, while apps that con users into thinking they offer lock-screen functionality is approved and floating in the top 10 continues to amaze me.