RunRev sets sights on £1m sales boost with release of LiveCode

A SOFTWARE company backed by one of Apple's founders is expecting a £1 million sales boost after releasing its programming language for the best-selling iPad and iPhone devices.

• Kevin Miller founded RunRev when he was still at school, in Edinburgh Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Edinburgh-based RunRev unveiled its LiveCode pack yesterday, having given previews at the Apps World trade show in London last week.

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LiveCode allows programmers to write their software using plain English instead of computer code.

Chief executive Kevin Miller founded the company in 1997 while he was still a pupil at James Gillespie's High School in Edinburgh. He bought the technology behind LiveCode in 2003, the same year in which the company received financial backing from Apple co-founder Mike Markkula.

The language - which is already used by Nasa, Siemens and Vienna University - does not need to be "compiled" in order to run and instead can be tested live, speeding up the development process.

Miller said: "The interest in the new product was amazing, much bigger than we had imagined."

Software developers are able to create applications - or "apps" - to run on Apple's iPhone or iPad portable computer, one of the best-sellers in the run-up to Christmas.

"There may already be 300,000 apps available on Apple's App Store, but within a couple of years that figure could well hit three million," added Miller.

"Most of the apps that are needed on mobile phones and tablet computers haven't been written yet, unlike on desktop computers, where the market is very mature."

Miller expects to add up to ten staff next year to his current headcount of about 20. The firm has its head office in Edinburgh and sites in Wales and the US.

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He believes moving into the mobile phone market will help the company to double turnover next year to 2 million.

Miller said the firm had remained profitable this year, despite investing heavily in the new product.

Tim Bobo, president of US-based design agency Left Brain Media, said: "I really think this tool could be a game-changer. I found the editing and testing process to be more intuitive and streamlined with LiveCode.

"The LiveCode team has also impressed me with the speed at which they are adding features and updates."

But the launch of the new software nearly didn't take place: back in April, Apple banned third-party developers from writing apps for its devices.

RunRev carried on developing its tools because they could still be used by those of its clients who were using Apple's enterprise programme, rather than its consumer-focussed Apps Store.

But Apple lifted the ban, leading to the release of RunRev's programming language for the portable devices.

The Scots firm expects to release a version for mobile phones powered by Google's Android system next year.