Three years ago, Cameron Cohen was 11 years old and waiting at the hospital for surgery on a benign tumor in his leg. He was scared and looking for something to distract him from thinking about his upcoming surgery. Cohen turned to his computer and iPod Touch to play games and watch movies, but was really hoping to find an inexpensive drawing app to fill his time. When he couldn't find one, he created his own, and has been donating a good portion of the profits to charity ever since.
How did an 11-year-old boy create an iPhone app? He used the healing and recovery time from his surgery — months spent in a wheelchair when he would have rather been playing sports — to learn how to develop his own app. He watched online app-building videos and college tutorials and tapped into a virtual community where he could get advice and tips from app developers.
The result of Cohen's efforts is the hit drawing app iSketch, which has skyrocketed in popularity in iTunes. It's a simple drawing app that allows users to draw pictures and share them with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Cohen donates more than 50 percent of the profits back to the hospital where he had his surgery to pay for iPads, computers and movie players so that other kids awaiting surgery can utilize the gadgets to distract them from their worries. Last year he wrote a check for $20,000. Pretty impressive, right?
Now 13, Cohen has created another cool app that's rocking the iTunes market. In Animal Grams, players can race against the clock and their friends to unscramble words. Cohen has already promised a portion of the profits from his new app to the hospital as well.
I have to say that my girls adore both of these apps. And I adore the fact that my 99 cents went to an intrepid, creative and philanthropic teen who is sure to do good things with it.
Read more about Cameron Cohen, his apps, and his efforts to help other kids at cccdev.com.