Newark student, 12, launches iPhone game

12-year-old Rumi Khan shows off the iPhone app he developed called "Dare to Be Square: The Adventures of the Red Square."

January 31, 2012 2:13:15 PM PST
This game is just one of the half million apps you can download on your iPhone or iPad. It's called "Dare to Be Square: The Adventures of the Red Square."

There are 10 levels where the square has to fight enemies of many shapes, and it's all the work of one very smart and savvy 7th grader from Delaware.

You can often find 12-year-old Rumi Khan taking notes in math class just like every other 7th grader at Newark Charter School.

But crunch some numbers of a different kind: There are currently more than 500,000 iPhone apps. This tween has created one of them. "It's a big deal," says Rumi Khan, 12, of Newark. "I can count the number of kids who made an iPhone app on one hand. It took me a long time actually, a few months of researching and looking at tutorials on the web."

Four months later and "Dare to be Square: The Adventure of the Red Square" was available in the app store.

Khan designed the shapes, crafted the graphics, and wrote the code and even founded his own company, Grabby Arm Games, and manages his own marketing.

"I released the app when it was 99¢, waited for a few weeks and made it free, and there were 700 downloads."

To be fair, he did need help with the music and his father handles the finances.

"Occasionally we take time to be proud of him," Muqtedar Khan says, "But the rest of the time we are working to manage him!"

In his spare time, Rumi writes more than code. He writes a blog about astrophysics and he is fleshing out a business plan.

"My app is free but I want to make some real money with this," he says. " I am going to create three apps that are really high in the rankings and then BOOM a paid one!"

So far the game has more than 1,100 downloads in more than 40 countries.