Tampa trio create addictive app - FOX 13 News

Tampa trio create addictive app

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Consider this your fair warning: a new addictive iPhone app is just one download away from your fingertips. This app wasn't created in a hi-tech studio or a fancy Apple lab. It was made in Tampa, by three friends with one big idea.

"We were playing with different apps, talking about what we liked about certain games we had," Phumbler creator Mike Piazza said Friday.

Tampa-natives Mike Piazza, Kris Courier, and Mark Schabacker came up with the idea behind Phumbler by combining the two things that dominated their data plans.

"It's a game but it's also sharing photos," Piazza said.

Phumbler users start by taking a picture. The app then scrambles the image into a digital puzzle for your friends to solve.

The Berkeley Prep grads controlled the project from start to finish, from compiling software codes to creating a stand-out design.

"It's interesting to see all these little bits and pieces that were ideas in our head, combined into one where you click it and play it," Courier said Friday.

Their test audience consisted of family and friends. The guys even got the highest seal of success: spouse-approval.

"Everyone was saying, 'It's kinda fun!' They were having a good time with it. We started to think there's a real opportunity here," Piazza said.

Still, getting Phumbler on the App Store didn't come quite as easily as the initial idea.

"There were a couple of rejections from Apple. A lot of back and forth as they tune the product to what they want to present to their store," Schabacker said.

With some fine-tuning, five months later, an idea thrown together by three friends is now one download away from iPhones everywhere.

"There's something really rewarding about seeing your creation to fruition, and having random people play it that you've never met before," Schabacker said.

Phumbler debuted on Apple's App Store earlier this week. The basic version is free. So far, the game has close to 1,000 downloads.

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