Anvitha Vijay, 9 Year Old App Developer, Lauded by Apple’s Cook

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(Photo: Eddie Jim, SMH)

9-year-old Anvitha Vijay was the youngest attendee selected by Apple to attend their Worldwide Developers Conference 2016 — and the prodigy develops educational apps for children that are available on the iPhone and iPad.

Anvitha Vijay decided to create apps for younger children at age 7, and learned to code and create apps by watching free tutorials on the web at her home in Melbourne, Australia. In the two years since, she has developed two apps that are now available for purchase in the Apple store. Smartkins Animals teaches young children the names of animals and the sounds that they make, and Smartkins Rainbow Colors helps children learn the names of colors. Both apps were inspired by Anvitha’s toddler-age sister.

Her first app, GoalsHi, was created over a single summer vacation, reports Sonam Joshi of Mashable, and won a $10,000 student prize at the OzApp awards in 2015.

According to India.com News Desk, Vijay said:

Coding was so challenging. But I’m so glad I stuck with it.

Turning an idea into app involves a lot of hard work. There are so many components to building an app, including prototyping, design, and wireframing, user interface design, and then coding and testing.

I want to be an app developer so I can make it a difference in the world.

All the hard work does not seem like hard work any more when people download and start using what you have made.

Apple’s yearly Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) took place in San Francisco, reports Nandini Yadav of BGR. At the keynote speech, Anvitha Vijay’s hero Tim Cook of Apple introduced her as one of the world’s foremost app makers. He also introduced iOS 10 to the world.

Out of 10 Apple Design Awards, two went to apps made in Vijay’s home country of Australia: Zova and Streaks, according to Rod Chester of the Herald Sun. Zova was created by James Tonkin and Niall McCarthy in 2007 and helps to motivate people to get in shape with exercise videos that need no special equipment. Integration with the Apple Watch helps users measure their heart rates as they exercise.

The Streaks app was created by Isaac Forman and Quentin Zervaas, and helps people create “streaks” when they do a certain task for multiple days in a row, with the goal of forming lasting habits. The app will help keep users challenged while also keeping goals realistic. The Apple Watch can predict what time you should be doing a particular action.

Vijay applied for the scholarship online. 350 people in total were selected by Apple to receive the same scholarship as Vijay, which offers free tickets to the event for developers who are creating apps for Apple. 120 of those selected were under 18, and 22% were women.

After the conference, Vijay’s family will be celebrating her accomplishments with a trip to Disney World.