Feature Stories

Students Design Best-Selling iPhone App

Andrew Harrison and Matthew Bischoff designed a best-selling iPhone app.

Two NJIT students released an iPhone app that’s getting national recognition.

The app, called Quotebook, allows people to store, sort, and share quotations on the iPhone and iPod touch.  It recently ascended to Apple’s 15th best-selling app in the Reference category, and is available on the iTunes App Store for $1.99.

“We didn’t expect the app to sell that well,” said Andrew Harrison, an Information Technology major who developed Quotebook with his roommate, Matthew Bischoff.  “We thought it would rank around 100,” added Harrison, “and were surprised to see it jump to 15.”

The two describe Quotebook as “a notebook for your quotes” and say people use it to store and share their favorite quotes as well as song lyrics, jokes and snippets of conversation.

Working out of their NJIT dorm room, the two spent six months working on Quotebook: Harrison wrote the code while Bischoff designed the interface. They worked on the app during their free time. The two have a website that describes the app’s features.

Building Quotebook allowed them to apply their NJIT educations to a real-world project – an app.  It also gave them a chance to master iOS, the operating system for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. And ultimately, Bischoff said, “we wanted to build an app that people would use every day.”

They achieved their goal: Quotebook continues to get rave reviews on popular sites such as Gizmodo and Minimal Mac. The pair has a YouTube video that describes their app.

And recently Harrison and Bischoff got good news. Apple invited them to its upcoming AcademiX conference held at Northeastern University. At the conference Bischoff and Harrison will present Quotebook and join experts in a discussion of how mobile devices and apps have changed American education. Presenting during the Apple conference will be a great experience for the two, especially since Bischoff is just a sophomore and Harrison a junior.  

And thanks to the success of their app, they needn’t look for jobs this summer.  Rather, their summer jobs will be expanding their app development company, Lickability.

“All the good that’s come out of Quotebook has convinced us that we can make enough money this summer designing apps,” said Bischoff. “We’ll meet at a local café, which will be our office, and try to make more good apps.”

(By Robert Florida, Office of Strategic Communications)