Nine-Year-Old Designs iPhone: How Far Has it Come?

The iPhone dates back to 2007, but its application has never before expanded to the world of childhood. Ding Wen Lim of Singapore is very different from other nine year olds. This brilliant child who is in the fourth grade has gone far beyond the typical crayon canvas of others of his age and has designed an application for an iPhone specifically for kids. Read his amazing story.






Fluent in six programming languages, Ding Wen Lim started using the computer at the age of 2. He has since completed about 20 programming projects and currently writes applications for Apple's popular iPhone. His latest achievement is a painting program called Doodle Kids, and according to news sources, it has already been downloaded from Apple's iTunes store more than 4,000 times in the few two weeks. A student at Lianhua Primary School in Singapore, Ding wrote the original application within a few days on his computer last year in Pascal originally, and adapted it for the iPhone only recently.




Doodle Kids is a free application that allows kids to create drawings on their iPhones with different colored shapes. They draw with their fingers by touching the iPhone’s touch screen. By merely shaking the phone, the screen can be cleared. Its young creator understands 6 programming languages. These include: ActionScript, JavaScript, Applesoft BASIC, GSoft BASIC, Complete Pascal, Orca/Pascal and a little Objective-C. Although it is not known if the people at Guinness are listening or no, it is likely that Ding Wen Lim has the distinction of being the world’s youngest iPhone developer.





 In Lim’s own words:

“I wrote the program for my younger sisters, who like to draw but I am happy that other people like it.”

Doodle Kids allows for the creation of beautiful effects as children can draw random shapes in all colors and sizes. It’s easy and fun as it should be, since it was designed exclusively as Dim says: “for his sisters and all the kids in the world”.




 This type of aptitude must run in the family as Lim’s dad, Lim Thye Chean, who is the chief technology officer of a tech company, also writes iPhone applications. Mr. Lim has written a similar paint program for adults, called Simple Paint, which also can be downloaded free from the iTunes store.

He says:

“He told me it was his wish to learn programming so I decided to teach him the basics. Every evening we check the statistics emailed to us (by iTunes) to see who has more downloads.”

Ding has unstoppable energy, enjoys reading books about programming and is currently working on another iPhone application. This one is called Invader Wars and is a science fiction game. Currently in the fourth grade where his classmates are still into crayons, Lim can boast of having created by the age of nine about 20 distinct programs including computer applications, animations and games. The child reads voraciously and spends about two hours a day working alone on his projects. He quickly mastered the BASIC programming language and moved on to the others, each more difficult than the one before.




Ding’s amazing achievements could not have been possible if not for Steve Jobs (head of Apple Company) who, along with a lot of help from Apple staff, invented the iPhone. As the story goes, the first person to get the idea to combine the cell phone and the iPod was John Casey from Sacramento, California, an Apple IS&T systems analyst. Someone else seemed to get the credit, but while working at Apple some nine years ago, Casey sent an email to Apple's internal email site, suggesting the combination of the cell phone and the iPod. He named his creative brainchild, “Telipod.”



In that famous email, Casey explained that the only thing a cell phone was missing to transform it into the Telipod was the micro HD for the data storage and an Apple iPod code. He stressed the features they both had in common; namely, buttons, screens, audio circuits, computer chips, batteries, and so on.


Casey got the idea for the name from the movie, “The Fly,” which starred Jeff Goldblum who was also doing voiceover commercials for Apple. In the movie, the main character is fooling around with a Tele-pod when his genes are accidentally combined with those of a common fly. Casey even wanted to use Goldblum in future commercials for the “Telipod.”

So the answer of who invented the iPhone is most definitely John Casey of Sacramento, CA. What more can nine-year old Ding invent? It would seem that the sky is the limit for this brilliant prodigy.

But who knows?

Maybe secretly every once in a while, he really does wonder where his crayons are!