8 Master Apple Developers–And They’re All Women

Last week we brought you iOS developers that changed the iTunes App Store with gorgeous interfaces and high-performance code. This week, we’re plunging back into the Objective-C dev community to find the most influential women in Mac and iPhone development today.

Lisa Bettany

Male or female, some developers are just more visible and well known than others and Lisa Bettany is definitely one of the more well-known ones. Her name has become closely tied to her iOS photo app, Camera+, which is put out under TapTapTap studio. Camera+ was not only one of the first most notable third-party camera apps for iPhone, it also rose to that status by implementing unauthorized, sought-after, features like using the volume buttons as the shutter button. A feature Apple has since copied and implemented into the default iPhone camera.


Bettany has created all the scene modes and effects in Camera+ and also keeps up with the app’s main components. Beyond the iOS app and being a professional photographer, Bettany is currently working on a new book which details her trip around the world taking photos exclusively with her iPhone.

Amanda Wixted

There’s a really good chance you’ve played one of Amanda Wixted’s iOS games, considering most have reached the top 10 list on Apple’s App Store. As former tech lead on Zynga’s iPhone team and first mobile engineer, she helped develop FarmVille, Live Poker, Mafia Wars, and more. Users not tied into Zynga’s suite of mobile games might have bumped into Wixted under her other mobile apps, Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man.

Wixted left Zynga and started her own company, Hyperspace, in 2011 which created the location-based mobile game, Turf Geography Club. The app has since been discontinued and Wixted left to start Meteor Grove Software in 2012, which is an independent iOS development and consulting shop based in Brooklyn.


Carla White

Following a movie-like storyline, Carla White switched careers and ended up developing her own suite of apps after the app she was seeking didn’t exist in the fashion she thought it should. Her first app was Gratitude Journal, an app that was designed to capture a user’s thoughts, specifically what one is grateful for. White came up with the idea while journaling what she was grateful for after the passing of a relative. The app has seen the top spot on the lifestyle chart in the App Store as well as being featured by Oprah.

White not only now has three apps under her development company, Happy Tapper, including Little Buddha and Vision Board, but she has also written a book called Idea To iPhone. In the book White says a person does not need to be tech-minded to get into making apps and teaches someone to take a concept to an app.

Claire Boonstra

Layar, the augmented reality app which arguably sparked the consumer awareness of AR as a new and useable technology, was cofounded and developed by Claire Boonstra. Layer has been downloaded more than 26 million times in 209 countries since its inception in 2009.


Layer might be one of Boonstra’s biggest accomplishments and given her a prominent position, but one of her most memorable public acts came with her TEDxAmsterdamED talk about education. Boonstra has since left Layer to pursue her passion of education, as she puts it, “It was suddenly there and I couldn’t stop it.”

Jean MacDonald

Jean MacDonald is pretty well known in the Mac community, working for Smile Software and contributing to TextExpander developing new snippet groups. She’s not an iOS developer per se–she builds Mac apps–but we’re including her here because Objective-C is Objective-C. At Smile, MacDonald also took charge of PR and marketing duties as well as product documentation. MacDonald became a partner at Smile Software in 2009.

MacDonald’s most recent contribution to app development isn’t with specific code or a neat new app, but rather facilitating a camp for young girls to get into app development themselves. App Camp For Girls was a crowdfunded initiative which garnered more than double its goal of $50,000 and has been widely praised in the media.


Cathy Edwards

What happens when you create the best app search engine? Apple scoops you (and your company) up and incorporates it into their offering. Cathy Edwards was responsible for the engineering (including the search algorithm), product management, and design of the app Chomp. Since Apple’s acquisition of the company, Chomp has of course been shut down.

Edwards has been an advocate for women in tech, also constantly repeating that developers should ship within the first 90 days. Considering Chomp was built and shipped in just over 90 days and bought by Apple in just over 2 years, she may have a point.

Prerna Gupta

Prerna Gupta cofounded Khush, a company that developed intelligent music apps. In 2011, Smule acquired Khush and Gupta moved over and became chief product cfficer at Smule. One of Smule’s breakout hit apps was Ocarina, with the ability to blow into the iPhone’s microphone and play a wind instrument, similar to how someone would play it with a physical instrument. Apps from Smule have been downloaded over 90 million times to date.


Gupta made Fast Company’s list of Most Influential Women in Technology 201l for work with her genre-breaking app, LaDiDa. She is also a angel investor and resident mentor at 500 Startups.

Sophia Teutschler

Sophia Teutschler along with John Casasanta were the two founding members of TapTapTap, the app development shop that has been behind many successful apps and much forward thinking about a new generation of mobile development. Teutschler and Casasanta ended up splitting over business decisions which turned out to be irreconcilable in the end and Teutschler left TapTapTap to start Sophiestication. Like any partnership or business, often differences in direction for a product can create an unhealthy working situation. The two ended up dividing up assets including apps, with Teutschler taking Tipulator and the recently finished Groceries. Developing both Mac and iPhone apps, Teutschler and Sophiestication practice a simpler, less high profile art of app development than TapTapTap.


About the author

Tyler Hayes is a Southern California native, early technology adopter, and music enthusiast. You can reach him at