Tapulous Wants To Be The RockYou Of Apple's App Store

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Despite facing competition from thousands of other developers, Slide and RockYou have managed to establish themselves as powerhouses on Facebook’s application platform. Using a combination of social networking and clever (and sometimes shady) marketing, both companies have seen several of their applications rise to popularity in a space where the vast majority of developers fail to have even one success.

Tapulous, a new startup that formed earlier this year, is looking to do the same on Apple’s new app store, which is expected to launch this Friday. The company has accrued a stockpile of finished programs and a team of developers hoping to release new apps on a weekly basis. To conincide with the launch, Tapulous will be releasing three applications, with more on the way over the coming weeks.

The company consists of a team of “all-star” app developers, some of whom have been working on iPhone apps since long before the launch of the SDK. These developers have brought their apps with them, giving Tapulous a significant headstart against many of its competitors (they currently have six on the backburner). For the time being each app will operate independently, but Tapulous intends to build a social network on the iPhone by connecting them together at a later date.

The apps that will be part of Fridays launch are Twinkle, Tap Tap Revenge, and Friend Book. Twinkle is a Twitter client that includes geo-location information along with every Tweet. The client is also effectly a Twitter clone, as it will run over its own network whenever Twitter’s service is down.

Tap Tap Revenge is a rebranded version of the game Tap Tap Revolution, a popular app that has been used by over 700,000 users on “jailbroken” (i.e. hacked) iPhones – a huge number given the fact that many people have not jailbroken their phones.

Friend Book is a revamped address book that hopes to replace the standard app that comes with the iPhone. The app’s coolest feature is a “Handshake” that allows colleagues to exchange their information by placing their iPhones side-by-side and shaking them together (it sounds weird, but it’s actually pretty impressive).

Tapulous has raised $1.8 million in angel funding, with a slew of investors that include Andy Bechtolsheim, Marc Benioff, Rajeev Motwani, Katrina Garnett, and Jeff Clavier. The Tapulous team consists of Bart Decrem (co-founder of Flock), Andrew Lacy, and Mike Lee (Delicious Library).

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