We spoke with Kenny Su, the CEO of Kdan Mobile from Taiwan. Kdan are making some real waves with their excellent Creativity 365 suite. Kenny tells us a little more about these apps and
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I am the father of two delightful young boys as well as the CEO of Kdan Mobile. Father by choice, CEO by fate. I never intended to be a business owner. I studied computer science and information engineering. At my first job I did research for a home automation network project. To assist my research, I bought an iPhone and discovered the amazing world of the Apple App Store. I was intrigued by all the interesting apps and decided to try my hand at creating one. I created my first app, PDF Reader, at home and unexpectedly acquired a lot of downloads. Motivating me to continue creating apps to help people improve their everyday life through productivity. So I established Kdan Mobile Software Ltd. in 2009.
A very important part of our job is to make digital content creation a mobile, pain-free, and encouraging process. We have helped many educators worldwide to teach with ease. I am very pleased with the current services we offer and how they allow users from diverse backgrounds to share and exchange. To date our work’s have been backed by more than 100 million downloads worldwide.
How would you explain the type of apps you make to someone who is unfamiliar with what Kdan do?
We use multimedia, simple interface, cross platform capabilities, and cloud solutions to mold a path where creativity and productivity walk hand in hand. Our apps help users make the most of their time allowing educators to construct an environment where superior learning can take place.
Utilities like Pocket Scanner and PDF Markup can be invaluable in the modern classroom. There are several alternatives to both these apps available though – what makes your ones stand out from the crowd?
All of our apps are designed with the user in mind. We ask ourselves how we can help users to be more productive and creative in their lives. For example, Pocket Scanner is much more than a scanning app. People scan things for a reason and that often means they want to do something other than just store a version of the document electronically. With our app we’ve added features to allow users to do everything we think they could possible want to do with their scanned documents: add to folders and sort by topic or class, fax, edit, email, e-signatures and more. Apps are never finished products. As the world evolves we evolve with it. We are constantly listening to user feedback and thinking about how we could make our apps better.
Animation Desk is really impressive. There are two versions of the app in the App Store. Can you explain the difference between the Classic version and the newer one?
Animation Desk Classic is our first animation app, it offers all the basic features for people who are interested in animations. Users can explore and create animation easily with the app.
Animation Desk Cloud targets professional animators who often need to collaborate with each other on bigger animation projects. The cloud version not only offers cloud storage, but also has features like tagging, note taking, and animation storyboards which help animators to communicate and review their work during the production process.
Write-on Video is another really interesting app. It seems to take the simplicity of something like iMovie and build on it. Was this your intention?
While we do support more features than iMovie on mobile devices, it was not our intention to build on their idea. Our intention was/is to create an app that offers users features our other apps were lacking in. We want to be able to help users in every aspect of their life.
With Write-on Video one can easily crop, cut, and merge videos, as well as add texts, audio recordings, stickers, and drawings on videos. It makes creating a stunning video a piece of cake. It’s easy to use interface makes it possible to create personalized videos in seconds. Teachers can use it to create captivating slideshows and lessons for class and vice-versa students can use it to produce unique one-of-a-kind assignments.
Is there one particular app that you have developed that you are particularly proud of?
Our NoteLedge App. There are many note taking apps out there, but most require leaving the app to get information or add advanced features to your notes. We know how frustrating this can be so we wanted to create a multimedia note app that was all-encompassing. It’s more than just jotting down some words and maybe a sketch or two. I’ll use one of our faithful users for example. She is an educator, author, and mother who uses NoteLedge in every aspect of her life. In the classroom she uses NoteLedge for lesson planning and recording student progress. She will snap photos of assignments and activities, then quickly jot down notes and feedback. Having the visual along with the notes helps her remember more of what was going through her mind at the moment she wrote it making grading and revising lesson plans more accurate and easier than ever. When redecorating her home she used our app to snap pictures of the rooms she wanted to redecorate, then she added notes about where she wanted to move things, downloaded swatches off the web and inserted them in her picture to have a more complete idea of what her project may look like.
What is the Creativity 365 pass and how can educators take advantage of it?
The Creativity 365 pass gives you access to all the productivity and efficiency tools in our Creativity 365 App Series. Lesson planning, staying organized, keeping track of student progress, the list goes on and on when it comes to being a teacher.Educators of all subject matter can take advantage of this series. For example, Pocket Scanner can be used to scan handouts, sections of textbooks, student assignments, etc. You can then edit or add comment to these files as well as upload for students to retrieve electronically.
Educators can use our services for more than staying organized and keeping track. They can also use them to turn and create teaching materials into visuals students can learn from. Animation Desk supports over twenty different types of brushes, rotoscoping , and other advanced frame managing techniques. Educators can use this to turn their lessons into funny little animations. If they happen to be an arts and media educator this is a great tool for teaching students the trade. Teachers can also make tutorial videos for their students using Write-on Video’s built-in camera, audio recording, and script features. No matter how they use it or what they create, they can access all of their files on the Kdan Cloud for referencing and sharing.
We offer volume purchase pricing on a case by case basis for education institutions. We work with schools to find the best deal for them.
What’s next for you? Any new projects that you can share with us?
We are focusing on our online services for creative professions, one of them being AniZone, our online platform for independent animations. We aim to grow this network by making some changes to AniZone’s annual animation contest, iAniMagic. In the past the contest was only open to those who used our Animation Desk software, but this year we are accepting submissions from various mediums and encouraging all artist to explore their creativity.
We are also focusing on students this year. As part of our efforts to build long-term relationships with education institutions, student awards and a school scoreboard have been added to this year’s contest. The contest is open for submissions from August 1st to November 3rd. We invite schools worldwide to join us this year!