Recently we had an opportunity to speak with Todd Boufford, the Founder at TCB Inventions, LLC about LockScreenIt
Please share with us the backstory of what motivated you to create this app.
I first came up with the concept for LockScreenIt when lock screen widgets were officially introduced in iOS 10, and I was traveling quite a bit for business. The idea was to make life easier, by allowing myself to place electronic boarding passes for multiple airlines onto my lock screen widget, and avoid issues where the apps would not load when I needed them to (which in most cases was while trying to board). I actually still use the app for that same purpose today, even though it has morphed into much more! Here is my first whiteboard explainer video that I scripted, and talks about that particular use case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRikvaedmSI
What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?
Version 2.4 of LockScreenIt is in development as we speak, and I plan to submit it to the App Store within a week or so. One of the really nice new features coming in that release will allow users to add Email, Phone, and/or Notes info to a "Show contact info on widget" option, after which that information will display in the app's lock screen widget. This is a simple extension, and will be very helpful should a user lose their device and it is found by someone; with or without Internet connectivity. As I look towards version 2.5, I see us enhancing our sharing capabilities, by allowing users to publish their helpful reminders and checklists to a centralized library for other users to easily bring down and use within their copy of the app!
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of this app?
Without a doubt, establishing a growing customer base and getting feedback from them. I pride myself on designing new features to solve the workflow challenges that end users bring to my attention.
What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?
I would say the lock screen widget, given that we extend our core functionality and make it accessible while the iOS device is locked. Apple only provides us with a limited amount of memory to work with on the widget, and what we have done with it so far has been very well received. It's very helpful to have one or more reminders readily available without having to continuously unlock your iPhone and/or iPad, and then re-open an app!
Do you have any recommendations or advice for others wanting to create a mobile app?
Start small and get continuous feedback. I definitely feel that designing your initial concept around a few main business or workflow challenges allows you to keep things consistent, and lets you gain invaluable information from family and friends that begin to use the app. With so many apps available, you want to be sure that yours stands out as one that users will gravitate towards, and will use more and more as you provide them with new releases. Establishing a focus group can also be very helpful to validate your ideas!
How did you decide which platforms to release your app on and do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms?
My main reasons for starting with iOS were based on the updated concept of the lock screen widgets within iOS 10, and using Apple products myself. I am definitely getting more requests for an Android version of the app, and plan to build that out in a future release.
How is your app different than the rest of the market? Which unique need does it fill?
The app not only has in app feature-functionality, but lock screen widget feature-functionality as well. It allows users to interact with the app while their iPhone and/or iPad is still locked, and from the iOS notifications that we send that are 3D touch enabled. As I got deeper into the app and started to acquire my initial user base, I found that in addition to having an image handy with a reminder on your lock screen was incredibly helpful, having a checklist of items to work down was also something that people needed. That led to adding to-do lists that are reminder specific, and can be easily accessed while you're at the store, or anywhere else for that matter. It also brought up the benefits of being able to share things with family and friends, and then having discussion/message threads around any given reminder. Here are my two latest whiteboard explainer videos that will give you a glimpse of those features:
What surprised you most in your journey to create this app?
Just how many people love to use to-do lists in their daily lives, and how bringing more functions together into one convenient app can really help users to stay organized!
Which other mobile apps or technology have inspired you?
New technologies such as home assistants, augmented reality, and the ability to easily develop apps that live and breathe completely within the Cloud, have inspired me to think of more and more ideas to create features that will make life easier for people.
You can view LockScreenIt here
For more information, visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lockscreenit/id1164384070?mt=8