Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) A Taiwanese app developer has been awarded a "Top Developer Badge" by the editorial team of Google's Android app store, Google Play, making him one of the few in Taiwan to receive the honor, which recognizes established and respected app developers. The badge puts Chen Kun-chu, a Changhua native, with the likes of WhatsApp Inc., Facebook, Angry Birds developer Rovio Mobile and Skype -- all well-known app development companies on Google Play that have received the honor. The award recognizes established, respected developers for their commitment to launching high-quality and innovative apps on the Android platform, according to Google Play's webpage. "I am utterly flattered by the news," the 34-year-old told the CNA, when he first heard the news. "It is such a great honor for me -- almost like a singer who's just been awarded a Golden Melody Award," he said. The blue diamond-shaped badge that appears next to a top developer's name in Google Play means long-term recognition for all of the developer's apps. For users, it also signifies an additional level of trust and confidence in the developer's products, Google said on its website. Chen, a self-taught app developer who began creating apps in 2010, launched three popular apps for Android that same year and one for Apple's iTunes Store in the following year.
His apps utilize open data provided by the government, such as real-time highway traffic views available from the National Freeway Bureau and weather information provided by the Central Weather Bureau. Known as "KNY" on both the Android and iOS platforms, Chen's Taiwan Highway Free app allows users to see road conditions for themselves via live webcam views. The app hit 1.1 million downloads in September this year and has remained in the top three of the Taiwan rankings in Google Play's transportation category since January this year. Another of KNY's app is Taiwan Weather Information. The app has remained in the top five in Taiwan's weather category for Android apps for the past year, recently hitting 480,000 downloads. The weather app, also available on Apple's iTunes Store, reached the No. 1 ranking in the store's weather category for Taiwan Oct. 28, 2011, only 10 days after it was released. Chen's third app -- Taiwan Zip Code -- allows users to check the often complicated postal zip code system through a single click of his app. It recently hit 140,000 downloads. (By Ann Chen)