Hi, I'm Steve from First Person Coder

Hi, I’m a developer starting my own business in my spare time in the RTP, NC area.

I’m currently working on my first iOS app, a way to help people remember Chinese characters. I don’t expect much from it, but one has to start somewhere, right?

Hi Steve. Welcome to the forums! Let us know how it goes with your first app.

I really need a way to remember Chinese characters! Will there be an Android version? Let me know if you need anyone to test it (I’ve got an iPad if there’s no Android version.)

Thanks @andrey and @danielstudds!

Daniel, it’s encouraging that there is interest in Chinese learning apps even here; thanks for the offer to test. If you don’t have Pleco yet, I highly recommend it. My app is not nearly as comprehensive. I do hope it will offer some unique features which will make it valuable enough for some folks to purchase. If not, it has been a great learning experience.

As a longtime Java developer, the Android Market/Play would have been the natural fit. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t handle the international taxes on apps, so I hesitate to put paid apps into the store. That plus the support burden which comes with many device types seems too much to tackle at the beginning. If I work on a pure game idea, I hope to use Unity and make it available on multiple platforms, paid or ad-supported as appropriate.

Thanks @steve, I did come across Pleco and even paid for the pro version! It’s pretty good. I’d love something that used the ‘build a story based on the radicals’ type of learning; I’ve heard that’s really effective but don’t have the imagination for it myself! I don’t think that Pleco does that kinda thing.

Also, out of interest, who would enforce the collection of taxes internationally? I’m guessing the IRS wouldn’t give two hoots, so long as you’re following all relevant US tax laws. Would any other tax dep pursue you if you don’t have a physical tie to that country? What am I missing?

@danielstudds, Chinese-forums has discussion of the books by Heisig which use the story idea; not something I’ve personally found effective.

I imagine the individual countries would enforce their own tax laws. It’s probably only a real problem if one has a high profile app and enters their country. I’d just prefer to stay on the right side of the law, as being perceived as a tax-dodging “app millionaire” would mean one wouldn’t get any slack from the government or press should a government choose to pursue unpaid taxes.

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Cool idea. I have a bunch of friends who are learning Chinese and they use mobile apps to help them learn/practice.

Regarding taxes, I’m no accountant, but based on my understanding:

  1. Traditionally taxes are only levied on physical goods, not digital products and services
  2. Only the countries/states that have a nexus are able to enforce taxation on your business
  3. Most taxes have a fallback called the “use tax” which is paid by the customer vs “sales tax” which is paid by the business
  4. It would be impossible to run a small business if it were expected to collect taxes for every country, state, county, and city in the world (and then file and pay taxes to the same)

Just some food for thought. Also, be careful of believing what you hear from actual accountants who don’t specialize in internet businesses because it’s very likely they will give you inaccurate information (speaking from experience).

Thanks @sean! The other concern with paid apps on Android is there seem to be fewer buyers/more pirates than on iOS. Ad-supported may just be a better model in general on Android.

I should note I don’t have any direct experience with either market yet, just read the news/listen to podcasts/read tweets from developers on those markets.

I feel like I should give an update:

  • My original idea didn’t pan out, but I came up with another. People really like the prototype, so I feel I have something worth finishing. I also have two other ideas I could implement once this one is finished, reusing the parts I still need to write for the first one.

  • I vastly underestimated the amount of work required to make a MVP in this space. I think now I see the mountains of work I still need to do.

I finished the work to bring the app to MVP status. The last real technical challenge is updating the UI for iOS 8 Adaptive UI, which I’ve started on. Then some small tweaks and I can start on the user guide, videos, website, etc.

I don’t know whether to be pleased or horrified that in all this time no other product has come out which does what this one will do. :smile:

At this point I’m just finishing this to finish it and get experience launching it and marketing it; I have no expectations on how it will do.