WinSource Interview: Quinn Damerell of Baconit

WinSource Interview is a weekly series of developer interviews. Check out our previous interviews here.

Quinn Damerell is the developer of Baconit, a really great Reddit app for Windows Phone. His app won the People Choice Award at Microsoft’s Big App on Campus contest for student developers. Quinn was kind enough to answer a few questions we had for him, and talk about what’s in store for version 2.0 of Baconit.

Why did you choose to develop for Windows Phone?

I started looking for something beyond Android, and I really fell in love with metro. I try my best to make all of my apps conform to the metro guidelines as much as possible. I really love the UI design, it is just so simple and yet powerful. I also see a lot of potential in Windows Phone, and I wanted to make an app early so I could have a really successful app once the platform became more popular. This reason is also why I am really interested in Windows 8, if you get a app in the marketplace of windows 8 from launch, you will have an app with A LOT of potential.

Have you ever developed for another mobile platform? If so, how is the process compared to developing for Windows Phone? 

Yup, I was an Android developer before Windows Phone. (Android apps) I love the Windows Phone platform, disclosure I will be working for Microsoft on the Windows Phone team, but I would be any developer that has worked with Android would agree. Sliverlight and C# are amazingly powerful and flexible, yet they can be very simple at the same time. I think it is really cool the Microsoft give students free accounts, and gives them all of the tools need completely free.

I have so many horror stories from Android, most having to do with it’s fragmentation. One of my favorites it an bug that still exists in modern Android. It is possible for any app (even with no permissions) to completely reboot the phone by simply adding a corrupt notification to the notification bar. When I accidentally found this bug, I couldn’t stop my phone from rebooting itsself since it tried to add a notification right when the app was started from boot. It was really annoying. You can find the Android issue here. Note this is a publically documented issue, and has been for quite some time.

How much time do you spend working on your apps? Does Baconit get the most time? 

I spend too much time :P And yes, Baconit gets mostly all of my time. I don’t really develop any of my Android apps anymore. I do go back and touch up my other Windows Phone apps from time to time.  Depending on where I am at the product cycle of Baconit, I spend anywhere from 3 – 8 hours a day working on Baconit. Once I get going on an update I just can’t stop. For example for 2.0, I have been working on it almost constantly for about the last week. Literally from 6-8 hours a day working on it. But don’t worry, I also find time to enjoy my college life. :)

Will you be bringing Baconit to Windows 8 phones and tablets? 

I really want to, but I don’t have any plans to right now. This is my final semester at Purdue and I need to get all of my school work done first. Also, maintaining Baconit alone is quite a task (coding, social networks, emails, etc.) and I think a Windows 8 version would just add work. However, I do keep playing around with the idea… We will see what happens. :)

Do you have any juicy details about your 2.0 update that you’d be willing to share? 

Tons! I hope to make Baconit 2.0 a game changing update, since it is the big 2.0! I have change, added, and improved many critical UI elements, and have rewritten quite a few of the pages from scratch to improve their speed and reliability. I also plan to beta test this for quite a while to get it nice and but free. Feel free to check out the change log here, it has most of the new changes on it, but I am still adding a few more. If you send me one of your live account email addresses, I can let you into the beta and you can check out the features for yourself. :) The beta should be out sometime soonish.

You won the People’s Choice Award in the Big App on Campus contest. How did it feel to win that? Have you seen a jump in downloads since then? 

It was amazing! I was so surprised and happy! On top of that though the entire trip was amazing. I had never been to South By South West, but we went there and had a great time. The other students who were their for the compition were really nice and fun to hang out with also. It had to be one of the best Spring breaks I have ever had.

Yes I have seen a pick up in downloads since then. There has also been a lot of press about Baconit recently which has really helped. But in the end, I am writing Baconit because I want to make an awesome app for Windows Phone redditors. Thus I don’t charge for the app or have any ads in it. I simply enjoy coding, and enjoy even more seeing other people using and liking my work. :)
Do you have any plans for new apps? 

Not right now, I usually just make apps when I see a need. I originally started Baconit as a proof of concept because I was unsatisfied with the reddit apps on the market at the time. So I whipped up an app that didn’t even work but you could up vote and down vote stoies directory from the subreddit story list. From there many people encouraged me to really make it, so I did. Since then the project has snowballed and became what it is today.

What is your current device? 

I currently use a Lumia 800 (I won) and a HTC Titan (I bought). I switch about every 3 weeks, I am currently using the 800. Though my girlfriend just got a 900 and I am trying to stop myself from getting one. :)


Thanks Quinn for answering all our questions!

You can find Baconit in the Marketplace for free here, and donate here. Baconit is on TwitterFacebook, and Reddit.

Quinn can be found on his website here.

  • > I will be working for Microsoft on the Windows Phone team

    Can you expand on that? Any idea how big that team is right now and how many new people are coming?

  • Awesome to hear from some Indie devs like this. Hope to see more from him soon. And hope to see more interviews too!

  • the 2.0 beta is really fast and smooth on my gen 1 widowsphone. he’s doing a great job updating Baconit.