Friday, January 24, 2014

Sri Lanka Wins Big at “Nokia Create” Global App Contest

Cover Cam app created by Sri Lanka student Tharaka
Cover cam lets you set your Facebook profile picture and cover image with one click.

As part of this program Nokia held the “Nokia Create” contest which is a global competition for 
developers to develop apps for Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone 8. Developers from 76 countries 
around the world took part in the contest and Nokia announced the winners last week. It was a delight
 for us to hear that 2 Sri Lankans emerged as winners in two categories. “Cover Cam” app 
developed by Tharaka Wijebandara from Sri Lanka, won the “Master Mission” in Image and Photo 
category. Tharaka is a final year undergraduate, studying Information Technology at University 
of Moratuwa. He is also a Microsoft Student Partner and an active developer in the local scene. 
Heshan Pathirana a student of APIIT won the “Music Master Mission”for his appExtreme Music.
Cover Cam: The app
Cover Cam is an app that allows you to create your Facebook cover picture along with the matching
 profile picture with a single click. The idea is simple. But if you had tried for yourself, such an option 
is practically hard to execute from a single picture. But you should feel lucky if you’re a Windows 
Phone user. Tharaka’s app does that complex work for your, effortlessly. According to Tharaka, 
the app “makes your Facebook timeline header more beautiful, meaningful, and attractive or 
something totally crazy.” The app crops your profile picture and cover image from the original 
image and uploads it to your facebook account. While allowing you to take creative cover images, 
the app also allows you to choose existing photos from your gallery and turn it into creative Facebook
 timeline headers. According to Tharaka, his app is available as a trial version and a paid version. 
So far, it has been downloaded more than 80,000 times. It is also one of the top paid photo apps in 
many countries. As part of winning the competition, Nokia has also featured the app in many leading 
WP markets around the world.
So what inspired Tharaka to come up with such a cool idea for an app?
It was his friends. Few of them had manually uploaded their facebook profile picture and cover 
image in a way that made it look like a single image. Tharaka says that he immediately tried to 
create his own, with the help of Photoshop, but soon realized that not every image will fit into the
 idea. “Suddenly I got an idea. What if we can see the world through Facebook timeline header 
when we capture a photo? Then it will be easy to capture something beautiful for both profile 
picture and cover photo while they look as one image in the Facebook timeline header. So I 
decided to develop a Windows Phone app with this idea.” says Tharaka. And the uniqueness 
of the app is what made it a winner at the Nokia Create contest.
Tharaka Wijebandara, student of FIT, UoM
Tharaka Wijebandara, student of FIT, UoM
Tharaka’s developer career started when 
he was at school. He started to develop 
simple programs using VB 6, and they 
eventually became a hit among his friends, 
who encouraged him a lot. And thus, 
he ended up choosing Information 
Technology for his higher studies too. 
Tharaka enjoys developing mobile apps. 
“Mobile apps have very large audience 
compared to other software products“ 
says Tharaka; “We can have continuous 
feedback and keep on improving the apps”.
Winning a global competition brings 
more recognition for the developer. Our 
local talent gets noticed globally. And there’s 
a lot more. The winner gets a Nokia 
Lumia device of his choice along with a 
Nokia Gear. Winner also gets 5000 
Experience Points from Nokia DVLUP 
reward program. Their app is promoted 
app on Windows Phone Store and 
AppSocial for one week and they also get PubCenter credits to run a campaign, to promote their app.

Nokia CreateAbove all of these, *wait for it* the winners are 
offered an all expenses paid trip to Mobile World 
Congress 2014, where the winning apps will 
be showcased. Yes, you heard it right. Tharaka 
has won a trip to attend the MWC, which is 
happening in Barcelona in February. Mark 
Zuckerberg will be delivering the keynote 
speech this year. According to Tharaka, 
attending the MWC is the most exciting part of winning this contest. “It’s a great opportunity to learn 
new technologies, know about latest trends, make new friends and share experience with Windows 
Developers from around the world”, he says.
The Nokia Create contest was based on 8 Categories and had 15 “Missions” – that included 6 
Mini missions, 8 Master missions and a Do Good mission. Each mission had a specific focus. 
Mini Missions required developers to add Nokia’s APIs and new features to their existing Windows 
Phone apps. To enter one of the 8 Master missions, participants had to develop a brand new app 
or game, or port one from another platform to Windows Phone 8. The Do Good Mission was 
quite different. According to Nokia, the aim of the Do Good mission was to “help enhance the lives 
and mobile experiences of visually impaired people.” The competition also had one Grand Prize.
Tharaka has huge hopes on Windows Phone OS. “Microsoft and Nokia  are very supportive 
and always encourage the developers” – Tharaka says enthusiastically. The Digit team feels 
proud for what Tharaka has achieved and wish him the best with his future endeavours!


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