Behind the Apps: Kiva iPhone App

The much-anticipated Kiva iPhone App is almost ready to be launched.  According to the developers, they are 80% of the way there.  And the home-stretch depends on the amount of help they can get for final modifications.  If you’re interested in helping, or just want to stay updated, follow the updates on Twitter @kiva4iphone.
I met Jon & Laura, the app developers, at the Kiva Dev Happy Hour and then again at the Kiva Dev Garage.  Their mission is to help Kiva spread the word, and to ultimately increase the amount of loans that change lives.  They saw an opportunity to do this through the iPhone: “Say you’re at a bar and want to explain Kiva to a friend. Our app lets you simply whip out your iPhone to easily show off the power of Kiva. Your friend will instantly get it.”

While Jon and Laura refined the bare-bones code base and product design that was in place, it is now and open source project. Developers, get moving and help launch the Kiva iPhone App!

Now, more about the developers:
Jon (Co-creator/Lead Engineer) is an iPhone app obsessed programmer who hails from Florida but now is happy living on Treasure Island. He loves coding, his dog Dixie, watching Lost, and social gaming.
Laura (Co-creator/Product Manager) is a Bay Area local who is interested in new technology, microfinance, and surfing. She’s an internet marketing buff and is the community manager for the SF Surfrider Foundation.

After Jon heard about build.kiva, the idea to create a Kiva iPhone app became a no-brainer. It’s the perfect union of two of his interests: building iPhone apps, and the microfinance opportunities Kiva enables. He then shared this idea with Laura and they began to nail down the specifics and think about features, product design, and how to spread the word.

They find their inspiration to build.kiva from the amazing amount of potential to effect other people’s lives for the better.  “This open API lets us tap into the power of Kiva in innovative and interesting ways that will enable many other people to give loans that change lives through our app,” said Laura.

“We also chose to embark on this project because while we may not be able to loan thousands of dollars through Kiva ourselves, we can give resources in the form of our talent, in a way that will enable even more people to access, discover, and ultimately lend with Kiva”.

13 Responses to “Behind the Apps: Kiva iPhone App”

  1. Stefan says:

    Nice. I’m looking forward to this App.
    But the link to the open source project is broken!

  2. Halle Tecco says:

    Stefan, thanks for pointing that out– I fixed it!

  3. Zack says:

    Really looking forward to seeing this application….our Kiva Fellows are too! Keep up the great work – we can’t wait.

  4. Laura says:

    Hi Halle–thanks for writing this great piece. An update on this project–as stated we’re about 80% there. I wanted to reach out and ask if there are any developers out there interested in helping us finish it up. I think it will take about 5 hours or so of dev time. If you’re interested, email me at lforrest at gmail dot com. Thanks!

  5. Boyd Cohen says:

    My company, 3rdWhale Mobile is focused exclusively on building mobile apps for the health/green/social justice sector. We have built apps with Greenpeace, Brave New Films, GenGreen Life, SoCap and others. Would be interested in lending a hand on this project and also to perhaps bring some Kiva content to a new social entrepreneurship app we are looking to build. Please contact me if you are interested.

  6. boyd says:

    I think what you are doing deserves a big thanks. The idea that you can connect a farmer in africa with an iphone in london or australia so they can get a loan is better than any bank will do to connect peoples real needs.

    It could catch on and become ‘the’ main way to fund most things and therefore bypass all banks one day?

    all the best with your application!


  7. jbw says:

    Why not make a mobile web site instead? Then more then just the iphone can use it.

  8. flafeer says:

    Is this native app still an active project? Is this something people still want?

  9. Noah Balmer says:

    This page and the project page both look fine to me in Safari. What trouble did you run into?

  10. hana says:

    Kiva application is very useful for us to share the data that we want for others. This application is all we need in accessing the data that we want to get. so that we can find flaws that we can.

  11. rena says:

    I want to know more clearly about Kiva, because the explanation given is not clear and can not be understood fully. I hope there are more writings on the application and how to use this application.because this application have many benefits.

  12. indah says:

    I hope there are so many other applications that can help me in using software to help my work. but I think this application good enough in helping me. but I want expect other more applications to support my work.

  13. Brendan says:

    I can’t find any updates in the last 6 months on this project. Does anyone know if it is still coming?

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