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

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).