AppCubby: iPhone Apps On The Go

App Cubby is an Application Development shop out of San Marcos, Texas, that jumped into the fray of iPhone programming back in March of this year. Focusing their attentions squarely on the iPhone-toting worker on the run. Their first offering, Trip Cubby, easily handles expensible mileage, and the already announced Cash Cubby will handle full expense reports. They’ve already begun work on a 2.0 version of the former, while juggling the latter along with a new project as well.

Approaching their products from the user’s point of view helps App Cubby to rely on carefully crafted features and clean interfaces to provide maximum functionality and ease of use to anyone interested in their applications. While many developers are pushing the bleeding edge, often using gimmicky features, the Cubby apps are straightforward and seem to be fully thought-out by the time they come to market.

Trip Cubby (iTunes link) captures all of the mileage information you could need in order to be reimbursed for any travel you may incur. While the entry screen may appear to be lengthy at first glance, most fields are optional and up to you to fill out. Better yet, Trip Cubby is kind enough to remember the useful stuff for you (like last odometer setting, date/time, and even frequent trips you take), making entry even quicker the more you use it. The app even allows you to keep track of whether the reimbursement has been reconciled or not. Add a very tweakable search feature, and the ability to email the results in .csv format and you’re talking about a real winner of an iPhone application. Oh, and version 2 is supposed to let you track mileage using the 3G’s built-in GPS. Slick, eh?

At a regular price of $9.99 (through the end of September – that’s today folks! – you can nab it for a bargain price of $4.99), Trip Cubby tends to ride the edge of the ‘higher’ priced apps available for the iPhone (everything relative of course, many apps seem to reside in the $.99 – $1.99 price range). I asked lead man David Barnard about their pricing decisions, seeing how lower prices generally bring more buyers. Proud of his team’s work, David described Trip Cubby as a “premium product.” He goes on to say:

“I’d rather provide an incredible product and attentive support to people who see value in a polished iPhone app, instead of growing market share on price alone.”

An honorable and well thought-out plan from someone who clearly believes in their product.

Cash Cubby has already been revealed on the developer’s website to be to expense reporting what Trip Cubby is to mileage tracking. As it turns out, Cash Cubby is temporarily on the back burner to make time for Gas Cubby, a forthcoming catch-all for your auto maintenance records. I currently use some MPG-tracking iPhone app (they’re all named the same, so who knows which it is), and it works well enough. But based on my experiences thus far with Trip Cubby, and my new insights to the App Cubby ‘Mission’, I’m hopeful for the upcoming release.

The opportunity for developers to get any old program out on the App Store and make a few quick bucks is surely an enticing one. But the guys at App Cubby are happy to toil on one thing at a time, making sure they’ve thought it all out before moving forward. David explains the difference he feels that App Cubby is capable of, being comprised of a team rather than a singular coder:

“Had either of us [Jon Johnson, being the “Master of Code”] attempted to code Trip Cubby on our own, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as functional and polished as it is today. Had I not contracted with several designers, the icon, website, and UI would be no where near as beautiful as they are today. I’m thrilled to be selling a product that meets my own high standards for what an iPhone app should be. But, I’m even more thrilled that others seem to use and love Trip Cubby as much as I do!”

As a paying customer, I very much appreciate such a methodology, and feel these guys will reap the rewards in the long run rather than making a few quick sales and petering out.

If you’re in need of an easy way to keep tabs on mileage, head on over to App Cubby’s website for a thorough demo (screencast) of its features. (A nice option to have before plunking down your hard earned cash, if you ask me.) If you like what you see, grab Trip Cubby at the bargain price of $4.99 until October 1st.

Thanks to David for taking the time to answer my questions – best of luck to you and your team!

Writer’s note: I am not affiliated with App Cubby, nor do I benefit from a profile of their company. Such coverage will hopefully be a new and regular appearance on The Apple Blog.