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Irish software whiz strikes gold with new Apple iPad app

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Finbarr Murphy, an enterprising 29-year-old Irish software designer based in Galway, has struck gold with his highly sought-after new application for the just-announced Apple iPad.

Murphy has designed a computer program (called an app, short for application) that allows owners to download over 800 front pages from international newspapers. Murphy originally wrote the program for the iPhone and the iPod Touch, but yesterday he downloaded Apple's new iPad Software Developer's Kit (SDK) and within a few hours he had created a whole new program that is sure to sell like hotcakes when the iPad itself is launched in April.

Titled "Extra! Extra!" Murphy's easy to use application brings the front pages from around the globe to your iPhone (and iPad very soon) and then organizes them all in a one-stop shop application that is easy to install and use.

"I started submitting apps to the Apple Store last year. It's a part time thing, you know, it's not my day job," Murphy told Irish Central.  By day he works as a software engineer creating anti-virus codes to protect networks from cyber attack.

Originally from County Cavan, Murphy now lives in Galway where he has been working for an American company for the past few months. It was owning an iPhone that turned him on to Apple computers. First he taught himself - in just one month - how to program code on a Mac.

"What happened was I was travelling the world for a year and when I came back I had a couple of months before I started working. So I bought an iMac and decided to learn Apple's computer code and design these apps. After one solid month I created my first app."

One day he had a brain wave. Wouldn't it be cool to have an application that could download the front page of the world's major newspapers? Almost as soon as he had the idea he developed the application that makes it possible. First he sold it for iPhone and iPod Touch; but with some very simple tweaking yesterday he had a brilliant new application for the forthcoming iPad.

"It's almost as if Apple had developed a device that's perfect for Extra! Extra! Front pages load on it with ease and they look great. As soon as the iPad was announced I started getting calls from media people who realized I've written the perfect application for it. I'm hoping that it will lead to bigger sales but I won't know until tomorrow - Apple announce your sales a day after they happen."

Publishers love Murphy's application too because it brings them thousands of new readers every day, boosting their advertising revenue in the process. You can browse each newspaper's website right from within the app itself. The simplicity and ease of use are what has made it a hit at Apple's App Store.

Along with Extra! Extra, Murphy has written an application that allows iPhone users to send free text messages called Jelly SMS. Click here for Extra! Extra and here for Jelly SMS.

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