App owner interviews – Vanity.

November 19, 2009
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Vanity has been localized to Simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. Here is an interview to the owner Tav Shande at

1) What made you create Vanity™

As an artist I have always been interested in story telling within whatever medium I am working in. From painting portraits to photography, even in computer graphics, there is no better story teller than the human face, without a word people can communicate so much through minute facial expressions. In the past I had a drawing exercise in which I attempted to draw hundreds of different peoples faces from memory to improve my skills at drawing the human face. When I completed the exercise I noticed there was something off with quite a few of the drawings. I noticed while the drawings were rendered nicely some of the faces were not very attractive.  I couldn’t put my finger on it so I searched for information about human facial proportions and discovered Leonardo DaVinci’s findings on the topic of the golden ratio and human anatomy. I applied the golden ratio to my faces and I was amazed how instantly by moving features to fit the golden proportions, each drawn face looked drastically more attractive. I became fascinated with the golden ratio and attempted to apply it to all my work even music. One day I was taking photos with my iPhone and it suddenly hit me, the device would make a perfect mobile tool to capture and calculate the golden ratio within photographed subjects. The closer the person’s facial proportions matched the golden ratio the more attractive the face would appear to other people. That is the birth of the iPhone app Vanity™ .

2) What was the most fun part of the process?

The most fun part of the process was definitely testing the product with family and friends. I handed the Vanity app to a few of my friends without telling them anything about it or giving them any instructions and watched as huge smiles came across their faces. Some people were nervous about their potential score but couldn’t resist trying. They all really enjoyed the app in the end, taking pictures of countless other friends and celebrity faces while comparing scores.

3) What was the most difficult part of the process?

This was my first iPhone app. Before creating it I had no knowledge of how to go about creating one so I ran into a lot of challenges from simply never having done anything like this before. It took me three hard days of researching the apple developer forums and looking online for answers when I was stumped. Another difficult part of the process was the approval process, specifically the waiting to find out if my app had been accepted or approved.  Originally I had included an overlay in the app to help users line up their photos, you can see this in the YouTube instructional video here:  However, this caused the app to be rejected twice due to altering the camera screen using undocumented API’s. Finally on the third try Vanity was accepted but I had to remove the overlay cross-hairs and include a face placement help screen.

Some other facts:

Vanity was featured in the USA November 2009 issue of the print magazine Cosmopolitan along with numerous other publications.

The iPhone app Vanity has caused quite a bit of controversy and buzz in the industry, it has been a roller coaster ride for me that varies from one morning waking up to a message from a reporter from the NEW York Times who wants to say they are really enjoying the app to receiving random hate mail from unhappy individuals.  Luckily i get a lot more mail from users that are very happy with the app.

In November 2009, Vanity became the #8 top paid app in the photography section for the USA.

Description for Vanity™:

How Attractive are you?

Introducing Vanity™ for the iPhone & iPod Touch. The World’s First Face-Rating App.

This application uses the Golden Ratio to evaluate and score the attractiveness of human faces based on facial structure.

So you want to know how attractive any face is – then take a photo, follow the on screen prompts, and let Vanity™ calculate a score on a scale from 1-10. It’s that easy!

Have you always wondered if that sexy celebrity is really a “Ten?” Well now you can find out!

There are many uses for this app from analyzing artwork to using it as an ice breaker at a crowded bar. Have fun with it and remember, True beauty comes from within, but attractiveness, well let’s let Vanity™ sort that out.

Key Features include:

– Sex: For Females and Males of all Races.
– Pinch and zoom in for precision.
– Works with all faces and races.
– SNAP a photo or GET one from the Roll.
– Fun, intuitive, and easy to use.
– SAVE and share your score card with all your friends via your mail client or social networks including Facebook, twitter, Myspace, Hotmail, Gmail, and yahoo.

*To see the app rate supermodel Adriana Lima’s face take a look at the video:

also visit
to see how you stack up against Megan fox, Brad Pitt, Milla Jovovich, and many others.

Enjoy it & Thank you!

The Buzz:

Allure – “Enjoy the app — it’s great at parties or in a bar.” “I scored a solid 8.5, btw, cute face.” – “Happy that we scored an 8.8” – “Worth paying for confirmation.”

The iPhone App Podcast – “Definitely a fun app to use!” – “Vanity, the latest iPhone app that’s going to change how you evaluate people—or more specifically rate the hotness of the redhead eyeing you from across the bar. Finally, mathematical proof Brad Pitt is overrated.”

IMPORTANT! If you like the app and want to see future updates rate us 5 stars !

It is inevitable that people who get a low score will rate the app poorly. High score or low score please send us your feedback so we can make our updates even better, and yes we read all your emails, thank you for buying Vanity™.

Questions? Feedback? Comments? Praise?
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