I’ve mentioned this before, but despite the many times I’ve covered Fotopedia, I always seem to underestimate it. I pull up the latest app, thinking I’m just going to swipe through some pretty pictures and then get on with my day, and next thing I know, I’ve been staring at my phone in slack-jawed wonder for 20 minutes. It’s humbling.
Like Fotopedia’s other apps, Fotopedia Japan is a rich array of some 1,300 photographs of Japan’s art and architecture, urban spaces, natural beauty, cultural heritage, modern business community, and more. You can browse through pictures of Cosplay, Odetama, Pachinko, Ikebana, Waraji, Torii, Kitigarbha, Ema or Omikuji.
The photos were contributed by Robert Woehnl as well as the Fotopedia community, and like the other Fotopedia apps, Fotopedia Japan comes with interactive maps, social sharing, slideshows, wallpapers, and a “Trip Builder” feature that lets you create your own virtual trip across Japan.
The Fotopedia apps have seen a combined total of more than five million downloads to date since the first app, Heritage, was released in August 2010. SVP Christophe Daligault tells me that Heritage remains Fotopedia’s most popular and most widely downloaded app, and you can usually expect to see it as a demo on iPhones and iPads in any Apple retail store. Heritage was also selected for Apple’s Hall of Fame as one of the 50 best apps of all time. It’s also now available in seven languages: French, Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish, Japanese, and German.
While the company declined to give revenue numbers or growth, I’m told Fotopedia is not yet profitable, but Daligault says that right now, Fotopedia is just focused on building up its brand and growing its user base.
There are still no plans to expand to other platforms. Last time I spoke with Daligault, he explained that the apps are really infused with Apple’s DNA (CEO Jean-Marie Hullot was CTO of Steve Jobs’s former company, NeXT, as well as CTO of Apple’s Applications Division), so at Apple, the apps will remain.