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Feb. 4, 2010
HPHS Freshman Creates iPhone App

Blake Copeland and his iPhone
By David Hicks
HPISD Communications Intern

When it came to looking up noteworthy events in history, contrary to the popular slogan, there just was not an app for that. Highland Park High School freshman Blake Copeland decided to do something about it: he created his own iPhone app.

Apple Inc. offers tens of thousands of apps available to download through its iTunes software. Some of the apps are developed by big-name software developers such as Electronic Arts and Rockstar Games.

At the ripe old age of 15, Copeland designed an app, all while juggling pre-AP classes and the many rigors that high school freshmen face.

Titled DayFinder, the new app enables the user to pick a date in history and find out:
  • What day of the week it fell on
  • How many days have passed from the selected date to today
  • News, sports and pop culture items of interest from that date.The information is provided through a link to a database that Copeland did not create.
Copeland created the app in late November and finished it in early January. It went on the market Jan. 5, selling for 99 cents, and so far, 35 people have purchased it. Copeland, who keeps 70 percent of each sale, says making a profit was never a motivation for him.

"I just wanted to make the app and finish it," he said. "The price was added at the last minute, just to see how it would work."

Copeland said he got the idea when thinking back to conversations with his childhood friends about what famous events happened on certain days, like their birthdays. He said the most time-consuming aspect of the project was planning the app, designing everything from scratch, right down to the buttons on the screen.

"It got challenging when it came down to the small details," he said.

Kristen Toney, HPHS Digital Graphics and Animation teacher, was not surprised that learn that Copeland pulled off this high-tech feat.

"Some people just talk about what they want to do. [Copeland] just does it," she said.

Toney said Copeland is a successful student because "he has a lack of fear to fail."

Copeland's friend, HPHS sophomore Matt Brodersen thinks it is amazing that Blake created something that is being sold in the global market. The two friends already have plans to create other apps together, with Brodersen coming up with the ideas and Copeland working on the programming.

"Look out, Steve Jobs!" she said.

Copyright (c) 2010 Highland Park Independent School District, All rights reserved.