U. of Evansville Student Finds Success with iPhone App

Indiana’s colleges and universities are constantly serving as hubs of innovation and pride for the state. Here’s a great story from the University of Evansville, as computer science major Jesse Squires’ iPaint uPaint finger painting app is gaining global attention.

“Touch-screen devices just beg to be scribbled on,” said Squires, a senior computer science major from Jeffersonville, Indiana. “People want to touch them and interact with them. It’s a childlike, mesmerizing thing.”

The App Store released Squires’ first app, iPaint uPaint, on January 11. It is available for 99 cents at the App Store; developers such as Squires receive 70 percent of revenue from sales of their apps. Just two weeks after launching, iPaint uPaint has been downloaded by iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users in 13 countries.

Squires developed the app as his final project in an iOS programming class, a new course taught by associate professor of computer science Don Roberts during the Fall 2011 semester.

“Since the iPhone and Android have been released, there has been a huge surge of developers for mobile devices,” Squires said. “The iOS programming class at UE taught me the skills I needed to become a successful developer — while still in school.”

Creating iPaint uPaint took nearly two months. “There were some days and nights of pretty intense programming,” Squires recalled. “I remember one day when I started working at 10:00 a.m. and finished at 7:00 the next morning.”

The result of Squires’ efforts is an app that allows users to create virtual masterpieces on the screen of their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. What differentiates iPaint uPaint from other finger-painting apps, says Squires, is the ability to connect with friends’ devices via Bluetooth and paint together.

Users can change the color of the background and brush, as well as the transparency and thickness. iPaint uPaint also features a “shake and erase” function like an Etch-a-Sketch. Users can share their finished paintings via Twitter, e-mail them to a friend, or save them to a photo album.

Squires plans to continue developing apps and hopes to attend graduate school after graduating from UE in May. As for his final project in last semester’s programming course. “I got an A,” he said with a laugh.