Your iPhone Editor: Meet Kevin Whipps

When working as an editor or writer online, it’s easy to stay behind the scenes and remain something of an elusive shadow. AppStorm is no exception – we have a great team of editors and writers who work really hard to bring you a regular stream of top-notch articles across the sites.

Today, I thought it would be fun to publish an interview with your very own editor – Kevin Whipps. He’s been a member of the AppStorm team for a while now, and is the driving force behind everything that goes on at iPhone.AppStorm.

I hope you enjoy getting to know your editor a little better, and feel free to leave a few questions for him in the comments!

Hi Kevin, how are you doing?

I’m doing well, thanks.

It’s well known that the Envato staff are spread across the entire globe, where do you live?

I’m in Scottsdale, Arizona. I’ve been in the Phoenix area since 1987, and before that I was in Boston, Mass. and Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

How did you begin working for Envato/AppStorm?

I’ve been reading AppStorm for years now, and as a freelance writer, I was always looking for new opportunities. Every few months or so, AppStorm would put out a post saying that they needed writers, and I had applied before, but with no luck. I applied again around September of 2010 or so I believe, and next thing I knew, I was writing for the company.

What is your absolute favourite part of being iPhone.AppStorm editor? Is there anything that really bugs you?

My favorite part is working with a great team of writers that are spread out all over the world. It gives the site a variety that you don’t find on most others, and I enjoy that dynamic. On the flip side, that’s the only real downside to the job as well. I’ve only met two of our writers in person, and that’s only because I knew them from previous jobs. I wish I could get together with everyone and just shake a few hands. Heck, I didn’t even know that Josh (the previous iPhone.AppStorm editor and current Mac.AppStorm editor) lived in Phoenix until shortly before I became editor!

When did you get your first iPhone, how did you feel the first time you used it?

I remember when the iPhone first came out. It was pricey and a bit of a compromise because it didn’t have picture messaging, and there really wasn’t much to it. I liked my smartphone at the time — which might have been a Treo or a BlackBerry, I’m not sure which — so I told my then girlfriend that I would buy an iPhone when they upgraded to 3G and added picture messaging. Sure enough, the 3G iPhone came out and I remember driving by one of the stores on launch day around 10 pm, and there was still a line. But I asked a salesperson, “Do you have more?” They did, so I decided to wait. The next morning I was up early and in line at the Apple Store in San Tan Village. I walked out with a white iPhone 3G and never looked back.

I was used to my BlackBerry, but the Internet connection sucked and it was horrible at rendering webpages. Using the iPhone was such an eye opening experience. It worked, and worked well. I could do everything I wanted to and more, and it was so much faster than anything I had ever used. From that point on, you could expect to see me with a new iPhone on launch day.

Talk us through your home screen, why those apps?

Well, I talked a lot recently about home screen organization, and here’s where I’m at currently:

The Goods: A folder with the stuff I want to use, but don’t need one-touch access. Outside, the calculator and Photos are in there.

Camera: I have a 20-month-old boy. I need access to this all the time.

SiriusXM: I’m a big fan of talk radio, and SiriusXM is my audio supplier of choice. Baba booey to all of you.

Facebook: The app has improved lately, but it’s still not fantastic. I use it to keep up with my buddies.

Twitter: Again, it’s improved, but I don’t like how the pull to refresh has changed in this latest update. I constantly find myself pulling down and having it stop sharply at the end, which it didn’t always do.

Foursquare: I just started using this one, so I’m still very much a newbie. But whatever, I’ll give it a shot and see how I like it.

Instagram: For pictures of the boy.

Music: I stream music to my car’s stereo via Bluetooth, so I have Music available at all times.

AP Stylebook: I’m an absolute grammar dork. I need access to this frequently for AppStorm as well as other writing assignments.

OmniFocus: I find being organized has freed up my life, and I have OmniFocus to thank for that. I don’t use the iPhone app as much as the desktop version, but I do like having it handy.

MLB At Bat 11: Well, it’s unfortunate that I don’t have a use for this right now as my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, didn’t make it to the playoffs this year. But streaming live games is still cool, which is why it’s there.

YouAndMe: I open it up and I can quickly send a text or call my wife.

The Dock: Well, it’s all the standard stuff.

What’s your desktop setup like? What couldn’t you live without?

I’m currently running a brand-new 13-inch MacBook Air that I maxed out with the 1.7gHz i7 and all that. I had a MacBook Pro previously, but I’m so mobile now that having to lug around 5+ pounds just got excessive. Ridiculous, I know, but the Air really has changed the way I work and I can’t imagine owning a MacBook Pro ever again.

When I’m at home, the Air is connected to a 27-inch Apple Cinema Display that I got in February, and now I’m trying to sell it so I can buy the Thunderbolt model. The Air is really great, but I want that Ethernet connection bad. I also have an Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad connected together with a TwelveSouth Magic Wand, and for my mouse I use a Logitech Performance MX — by far the best mouse I’ve ever used.

Behind my main setup is a circa 2007 iMac with a wired keyboard and an old mouse that I found in a junk bin somewhere. This is my iTunes machine, and I use it for the home’s library, as well as for holding all of my backup files for my company, Whipps Industries. I’m hoping it lasts another year or so, that way I can give it to my son as his first computer. If not, I’ll buy a Mac mini to replace it, and my son will get another computer of his own to learn on.

I also have three WD hard drives — 1, 2 and 3TB models — that backup and store my iTunes library. I want to upgrade to a Drobo really badly, but that’s a future purchase.

A snapshot of Kevin

What article are you most proud of? What type of article is your favourite to write?

I was pretty happy with one of the first articles I wrote as an editor, How (And Why) We Review Apps. I was pretty nervous about putting myself out there as the editor for the first time, and I knew this was also something really representative of the entire AppStorm family. Frankly, I didn’t want to screw it up and get fired. But I think the resulting post worked out pretty well, and the comments were positive, so I was happy with how it ended up.

What do you like to do when not Editing iPhone.AppStorm?

I’ve been building custom cars and trucks for the past 15 years or so now, with a few magazine covers to my credit and some big show appearances. So if I’m not writing for AppStorm or anyone else, I enjoy getting in the garage and getting my hands dirty. I don’t have any projects at the moment, but soon I’m going to start shopping for a ’47-’53 Chevrolet 5-window pickup, or a ’67-’69 Chevrolet truck.

I also run my own business, Whipps Industries, and I’ve been doing that full time since 2009.

What’s the best thing you’ve seen/heard/watched/made/read this week?

My one real vice is television, and recently we decided to upgrade our television package so we could get Dexter on Showtime. If you haven’t seen Dexter, you really haven’t lived, and I watched a recording of last week’s episode the other day, and it was fantastic. There really isn’t a better show on TV.

How do you like your steak?

Medium rare, but more often than not, most restaurants screw that up pretty good so I ask for medium.

If you could ask the readers one question, what would it be?

What’s your favorite thing about the site? What would you change if you could?

Thanks Kevin!

Thanks to Kevin for taking the time to shed a little light on how he came to edit iPhone.AppStorm, and what his routine looks like!

If you have a question for him, or would like to answer his questions above, we’d love to chat in the comments. Now’s your chance to quiz your editor on anything and everything related to AppStorm and iPhone apps…


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