Indian brothers savor success with Apple gadgets | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 23.07.2012
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Indian brothers savor success with Apple gadgets

The Kumaran brothers are not yet even teenagers, but they are already seeing the fruits of their labors after creating a range of computer apps. More than anything, they hope to make learning more accessible.

Sanjay (10) and Shravan (12) from the southern city of Chennai, India, have drawn admiration from all quarters after developing four iPhone operating system apps.

Not only are their products proving popular, they have also set a record of being the youngest to create and make available such apps. "There was a mail from Apple acknowledging us as the youngest programmers," say the brothers.

The apps - named Catch Me Cop, Alphabet Board, Prayer Planet and Colour Palette - are available for download on iPads and iPhones and are currently free.

A finger of an old man reading

Providing an alternative platform for education has been one goal for the brothers

The results bear testament to the pair's hard work. Sanjay and Shravan point to more than 10,000 downloads from across 30 countries as evidence of their success.

Catch Me Cop is the most favored one, with 2,263 downloads in just four weeks, followed by Alphabet Board and Colour Palette with over 1,000 downloads. The religiously inclined are finding the Prayer Planet app very useful, especially in the Gulf countries.

Aim to be Olympic winners

With Olympics just around the corner, the brothers have also developed an app on a sporting theme. "It is named as Olympic Thief, where one has to steal all the medals amid chasing by cops and various other hurdles," Sanjay told DW.

"We are making a mobile navigation for the visually challenged, which will give them voice alerts about things around them," Shravan said. "Another app is for students who go on leave and are unable to attend the classes. This app will record the class room activity and will put it on cloud. It would then reach their device and they can watch what they missed."

The talented duo, who are especially interested in developing educational apps, started on their projects about four years back. At a very young age the two brothers got to learn their art. Sanjay's favorite gadget is Galaxy Note and Shravan adores his MacBook Pro.

They inherited the love for technology from their father Surendran Kumaran, an IT expert who has been a constant support to his sons. The boys also say their mother Jyothi Lakshami - a teacher by profession - helps them but never imposes anything on them, but encourages them instead to pursue what they like.

"When I was in grade one, I started using the desktop that my father especially bought for me," says Shravan. "We gradually started learning the basic programming languages and made power point presentations, further graduating to seven programming languages."

Inspiration from iPhone

Four years ago, their father introduced them to MacBook Pro, which is when they started developing apps using Mac developer tools.

A boy, who refused to be identified, carries food to his family working at a garbage dump

The boys are keen to help children less fortunate than themselves

"We initially developed PC gaming, later made a gradual shift to android market, but it was the growing popularity of the iPhone operating system market that compelled us to make a concentrated shift and launch our apps," said Sanjay, with the insight of someone far older than his years.

"And now we are planning to again develop some PC and laptop games too," he added.

"We plan to develop a glossy and a glass effect tablet, with double-sided screen and a powerful touch screen," said Sanjay.

At present their work is a hobby - albeit a serious one. However, to give it a professional extension they have launched a company named GoDimensions. Following the example of their idols Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, they have decided to set aside 15 percent of their profits for charities, especially those that help children.

And, despite all their success, nothing has changed much around them - except that now even their friends come up and say how proud they are to know the brothers.

As the boys themselves say, "It is just a beginning."

Author: Tanushree Sharma Sandhu
Editor: Richard Connor

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