It’s NFL Sunday, and it’s a common practice to flip from game to game in between TV commercials-but in that transition you might miss part of the game, or worse, that next big play by your favorite team. One local developer and creator of the GameGuy app, Mike Donnelly, aims to help football fans decrease those missed moments and know when TV commercials are over in order to watch one game, keep your eye on another, and flip back to a game without missing a play.
How it works… simply install GameGuy on your phone or tablet and tell it which NFL game(s) you’re watching. Every time that game comes back from a commercial break, GameGuy will notify you with a vibration, sound, or screen flash! No more missed touchdowns or big plays.
I sat down with Donnelly about his innovative new app to learn more.
Is this the first app you have created?
This is the first one I have developed and released on my own. I have a long history with software. My buddy and I had a company way back when the first iPhone came out and we released a couple apps, but I’ve learned there’s a lot of luck involved with this industry. There are so many app developers out there and we could spend hours making something and then some guy could come and make an app called “Pull My Finger” and it makes a fart noise and then it could get a million installs.
I stayed out of app development for a long time, but then when I thought of GameGuy, I had to go with it. I was at a friend’s house and he kept changing the channel during the game to check on other games and then we’d miss part of the game. I was just like, “Man, if there was an app for that…”
How long did it take to develop?
I did a bunch of contract work for iPhones and androids so I remembered how to write the code. I probably wrote a quarter of the iPhone code right here in this coffee shop. I just sat there and kept re-running it. I started full-time on this app about the end of March, with 50-60 hour weeks of working on code. The only thing I didn’t do was the graphic design – I hired a designer for that. The implementation process was a lot of work, but definitely worth it.
Tell me who will buy this app.
People who love to watch football. I want people to follow their game day ritual and be able to keep up with all their favorite teams without missing a beat. The great thing about this is that you don’t have to be staring at your phone or leave the app open for it to work. You can just keep doing your own thing and it will pop up and alert you when the game’s back on. It’s most fun when it’s Sunday and there’s ten concurrent games because that’s when it will really work its magic. I’m hoping that people will try it out because it’s free for the first quarter of the game and $5.00 for the season. For die-hard football fans, that’s a great investment.
What have you learned throughout the process of creating this app?
I’ve learned that it’s always a bit of a risk developing an app of this nature because there really is no category for it. It’s not like I’m competing with “the other guy” because there is no “other guy” right now, so I kind of just have to take it as it comes.
I would love to create a college football version of the app next because that’s a huge market. I did NFL first because it’s a fan favorite and there are people who just go nuts when it’s football season – buying shirts, sports gear, season passes. I think it was a great way to start and get a basic feel for how it will go. I’ve been thinking about the Superbowl too and the funny thing is that a lot of people watch the Superbowl for the commercials, so maybe I’ll program it to work in reverse! (laughs)
Since the launch last week, Donnelly has had hundreds of downloads with a 20 percent conversion on iOS.
You can purchase GameGuy in the app store here.
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Photos courtesy of GameGuy.