Beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss’ birthday is tomorrow, March 2nd, and we here at Parse are honored to be a small part of the amazing apps that Oceanhouse Media has developed for the brand, including the Dr. Seuss Bookshelf and Dr. Seuss classics including Green Eggs and Ham and Dr. Seuss’s ABC. These innovative apps present a new way for children and parents to interact with these well-loved classics, keeping today’s technology-savvy kids engaged with books whether or not they can read yet themselves.
We were able to speak with Michel Kripalani, President of Oceanhouse Media, about the role Parse has played in bringing these apps to life.
Tell us about Oceanhouse Media.
Oceanhouse Media develops apps that uplift, educate and inspire. Our company was founded in January 2009. We’re the premier app publisher for such beloved children’s authors as Dr. Seuss, Stan and Jan Berenstain and Mercer Mayer among others. We also develop apps for Hay House Publishers, with self-improvement titles from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Louise L. Hay and more. To date, we have released more than 280 apps on the app market. Our apps are offered for iOS, Android, NOOK and Window 8 devices.
And what can you tell us about the Dr. Seuss apps?
We’re bringing all 44 classic Dr. Seuss books to the app market. We currently have more than 30 Dr. Seuss digital book apps and will have the complete collection available by the end of summer 2013. Each Dr. Seuss book app promotes reading in young children and features Oceanhouse Media’s signature reading options (Read to Me, Read it Myself and Auto Play). Plus, all Dr. Seuss digital book apps have been updated to include a “Record and Share” feature, allowing you to record yourself reading a Dr. Seuss story and then share the recording with family, friends and teachers who also own the digital book.
Not all of the apps are built using Parse, so what brought you to us initially?
We were researching push notification implementation and discovered that using Parse would make life much easier for us. This has indeed proven to be true.
What are some of the other key benefits you have found while working with Parse?
The Parse SDK/framework is super easy to implement. The details of what is necessary to push-enable an app are clearly described when setting up an app. In fact, due to the success we’ve had using Parse for our Dr. Seuss digital book apps, we decided to use Parse’s services on a much deeper level for a soon to be released upcoming project.
How is Parse used in your apps?
Currently, we use Parse for push notifications for our product news and sale announcements. For an upcoming, non-Seuss related project, we’ve been using Parse for app data and user account information. For app data, Parse maintains the descriptions and images for the app instead of us having to store all that information within the app. This allows us to update that data without updating the app. For user account information, we utilize Parse for setting up usernames and passwords with their secure login system.
How many overall downloads have you seen?
Millions. Unfortunately, we cannot disclose specific numbers.
You mentioned that there are some other apps in the works using Parse; what can you tell us about them?
As I mentioned before, we have an exciting new non-Seuss app that will be released within the next few weeks which utilizes Parse’s app data and user account information services. This new app definitely showcases the easy-to-use solutions that Parse provides app developers.
What are some factors that have kept you using Parse?
The time savings has been significant. The fact that we don’t need to maintain the server portion of push notifications is huge.
What do you love most about Parse?
Simplicity, flexibility and reliability are the top three things we love the most about Parse. It’s a great resource for our company. Plus, a key reason we chose to work with Parse is we knew our data would be secure.
Any last thoughts?
Using Parse has helped Oceanhouse Media effectively reach out to our key customers. In addition, our lead programmer was relieved to find a reasonably priced, robust solution for storing user data on a server.