In the early days, before the ubiquity of stern-faced, wingless cardinals, Carlos Icaza needed to search, well, he nearly had to troll, the Internet for games built on his company’s mobile-app publishing software. Icaza, co-founder of Corona Labs, wanted to feature them on the company’s website. When Corona Labs’ program, Corona, caught on, Icaza then had 10 messages from developers each day, all using Corona, all wanting Icaza to showcase them.
This year alone has seen the creation of 6,000 Corona-based apps, including an upcoming game tie-in to Warner Brother’s Dolphin Tale. In the past, several reached iTunes’ and Android Market’s Top 10. The program’s popularity rests on two aspects, says Icaza, who quite Adobe with co-founder Walter Luh to start Corona Labs. First, for $349 a year, Corona allows a developer to build an app and then publish it simultaneously in Android and iPhone formats. This cuts down on hiring engineers to build separate Android and iPhone apps and the time expended on fixing the bugs in both versions. “We came from a world where we knew that you didn’t just write for just one platform,” Icaza says.