Interview: Al Beebe, Creator Of "SpoofApp" For The iPhone

Al Beebe is the creator of one of the most popular applications for the iPhone; the first native iPhone application for Caller ID spoofing known as SpoofApp. We first came across SpoofApp when Al sent us a quick note via email about his newly released application. SpoofApp was only released two months ago, but has come such a long way since then. We've been beta testing SpoofApp version 2.0 with Al for the past couple weeks and we quickly noticed that Al doesn't sleep. He's constantly working 24/7, yet in between updating the newly redesigned SpoofApp.com and putting the finishing touches on SpoofApp v. 2.0, Al was able to answer some questions for CallerIDSpoofing.info.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I learned how to program when I was 14. I started with Visual Basic 3 and created an AOL add on as my first program. Over the years I learned Perl, PHP, Javascript, and now iPhone programming. I never programmed for a living but I have been constantly making random websites and programs on the side. In fact all my life I have worked in the pizza industry. 3 years at Pizza Hut, 3 Years at Papa Johns, and a little time at Dominos and Papa Ginos in between.

How were you exposed to Caller ID spoofing for the first time and when was the first time you actually spoofed Caller ID?

Believe it or not, Steve Jobs introduced me! I was reading an interview with Steve Jobs in Wired sometime around 2005 maybe. He mentioned that there were ways to spoof the Caller ID number. I was fascinated. That night I came across Camocard and I was hooked.

How long have you been an iPhone user for?

I bought my first iPhone back in October 2007. I say first because ever since I have been buying iPhones off Craigslist and reselling my old one the very same day. I have managed to keep my iPhone new for months! Turns out lots of people cant afford the AT&T bill so they unload their iPhones at a huge discount. People don't realize they can sell an iPhone for around what they paid for it, because the iPhone has kept its value. Occasionally ill see an iPhone listed for $200 which I immediately jump on. If I cant pick the phone up that day, ill typically offer them $250 to hold it for me. Works every time.

So what do you like and dislike about the iPhone?

I love the ease in which I can send and receive email, surf the internet in a real browser, and send text messages without having to use a number pad!

My biggest dislike is the lack of flash support. Flash is the killer app for the iPhone

Can you tell us how you got started in iPhone application development?

I was surfing Digg.com one day, and came across an article about a new way to write iPhone apps. It was called Jiggy. You can basically code an entire app in Javascript without the need to have a Mac or learn a new programming language. That same day I got started, and haven't stopped since!

Have you developed other iPhone applications in the past? Are you working on any other apps that we'll see in the future?

My first program was Powerball.app. It connected to powerball.com, grabbed the numbers and the jackpot, and displayed them on the screen. I wanted a quick way to grab the numbers since I play Powerball occasionally. It was a pretty basic app that revealed the true potential of programming on the iPhone. I am currently working on SpoofApp full time. I don't have any other projects in development at the moment.

What drove you to create SpoofApp and the upcoming SpoofApp version 2.0?

Originally SpoofApp was just a test. I was looking to learn more about iPhone programming, and a caller id spoofing app seemed feasible. If I could transmit the necessary variables to a caller id spoofing provider, the provider could in turn make the call. It took me a little over a month to develop SpoofApp 1.0 because I didn't fully understand how to go about programming it. It was a learning experience. I had all these great ideas for how I wanted the app to work, but I was new to iPhone programming so I spent 75% of my time researching how to go about coding it! Version 2.0 has been in development for about 2 months now. I have had to squeeze programming it into my schedule. With 175,000 downloads, answering emails can take up a big chunk of time. I do pride myself on being very customer service oriented. My phone is always on, and more often then not I reply to emails within 5 minutes from my iPhone.

How many downloads and installs has SpoofApp version 1.0 seen so far?

Last count about 175,000 downloads. The thing that really fascinates me is that at any given time no matter if its 4am, someone is using SpoofApp. I got a funny story to tell you about that. I had originally setup my computer to play a short 1 second ringtone every time someone made a phone call. The idea behind that was I could tell in real time how often people were using SpoofApp. I posted a few links and emailed some friends to get the word out, and over the next few days the rings started to pick up. Maybe a couple rings an hour. It was exciting. Then came launch day! BigBoss added SpoofApp to the installer community sources and within the first 5 minutes over 400 people downloaded SpoofApp. All of sudden my computer grinded to a halt because it couldn't play the ringing sound fast enough. All day long it was a constant stream of phone calls. At times it was 100 calls a minute!

Has SpoofApp lived up to your expectations thus far?

Once I got SpoofApp working on my iPhone I realized the potential for it to become successful. I found myself calling everyone I could. It was just to easy to make a call. No dialing a 1-800 number and entering a pin. No more having to enter the persons phone number. You just click on your contacts, select a number, and hit call.

Where do you see SpoofApp and Caller ID Spoofing going in the future?

I see SpoofApp expanding into new areas of communication. SpoofCard.com offers a great service caller LiarCard which would be great to implement. You can call people and liarcard will monitor your conversation and detect if the person your talking to is lieing. As for caller id spoofing, I think the future is bringing this service directly to your cellphone like SpoofApp has done with the iPhone. Over time everyones cell phone will be able to run applications easily.

How do you feel about Caller ID Spoofing possibly being used for unethical or illegal purposes? Do you keep up with the news about possible Caller ID Spoofing regulation in the US now?

I strongly oppose using spoofing for unethical/illegal purposes. Aside from having fun with your friends, a great example is pizza delivery drivers. I worked in the pizza business for the past 8 years. Ask any driver, sometimes you call the customer because you cant find the house and they don't answer because they don't recognize the number, so you leave a message only to get a reply once you get back to the store! If only you could call the customer and have your work number show up on the caller id! They answer every time.

Hilary or Obama?

Hilary then Obama.

Any last comments? Anything you'd like to say?

SpoofApp contains a little known hack that your going to love! Watch this video to see what I'm talking about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0