Computer whiz kid develops iPhone app for games
by Sally Litchfield
MDJ Features Editor
January 13, 2011 03:30 PM | 5664 views | 4 4 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
William LeGate shows off his iTouch and iPhone application, Game Giveaway, that allows users to try out a game for 24 hours before purchasing the app.<br>Staff/Anthony Stalcup
William LeGate shows off his iTouch and iPhone application, Game Giveaway, that allows users to try out a game for 24 hours before purchasing the app.
Staff/Anthony Stalcup
Sixteen-year-old William LeGate seems like an ordinary teen, but his age belies his business savvy. With the finesse of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, computer whiz kid LeGate develops iPhone apps taking the Apple App Store by storm.

"Age doesn't matter that much. Being young isn't always bad. It can be a good thing sometimes. You think about things differently," LeGate said. He who began developing applications for iPhone when he was in seventh grade.

The Walker School sophomore recently launched a new free app for iPhone, Game Giveaway through his company Imagination Research Labs. LeGate explained that Game Giveaway allows users to try out new paid games for a 24-hour period without obligation and developers to promote their games. At the end of each day, users can opt to purchase the game if they choose.

"It's basically a Groupon for the mobile-gaming environment, except that it's free," he said.

In a marketplace with more than 300,000 game applications available for iPhone users, Game Giveaway enjoyed overnight success. The app had 100,000 downloads in just 24 hours at a rate of almost three hits per second, quickly rising to No. 2 on the Top 25 Free iPhone applications at the time. With a 4.5 out of 5 star rating, the app had reached number 6, above Facebook and Google.

The first game promoted by Game Giveaway, "Paper Ninja" soared to No. 1 in the App store, creating a whirlwind of enthusiasm for game developers to promote their games through LeGate's app.

"I knew people would like it. Who wouldn't want free games?" the east Cobb resident said.

The success of LeGate, who enjoys longboarding and "hanging out with friends, " is no fluke - it's all in the idea. LeGate, a self-taught developer through online research and tutorials, has developed 15 apps with five currently in the App Store.

"You've got to be in the top of the App Store to get exposure," said the son of Lisa and Duane LeGate. "It has to be a good app. It's got to be something unique that hasn't been seen before."

LeGate's creativity when it comes to technology garners attention. His app Fake-A-Text! with almost 1 million hits was featured in the New York Times. Fake-A-Text!, still at the top of the charts for its category, allows fake texts to be sent to the iPhone or iPod Touch. "You can get a fake text from the president or from your parents to get out of an awkward situation," LeGate said.

LeGate's first app, Now News, a news browser for iPhone, reached No. 9 in its category on the first day; Tips and Tricks for iPad provides iPad tutorials; and Twitbook combines social networking sites into one app.

With success knocking at his door, LeGate hopes to attend Stanford University, but notes "it's highly competitive to get in." In the future he hopes to start a technology-related company. "Be an entrepreneur. Work for myself," he said.

"That feeling that a lot of people have my app on their phone is pretty cool," LeGate said.

Whatever his future holds, one thing is for sure - LeGate will apply himself.

Visit www.imagination researchlabs. com for more.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
January 14, 2011
Way to go! You will go far with your passion and drive! You've shed good light for Walker
Very Cool
January 14, 2011
Way to go kid! A super bright future ahead but does anyone else find it just a little funny that a Walker student would come up with a app called Fake-A-Text that can be used to get out of an awkward situation. Say something like "Hold on officer. I just got a text from my dad. Your know, the former high ranking politician." Just saying:)
Bill Hamlet
January 14, 2011
Game Giveaway actually lets you keep the apps for free. There is no one day trial. I have over 30 of the top games in the whole app store that saved me over 50 dollars since December.
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