Kyle Waring thinks his latest project is going to be “yuuuuge.”
The serial entrepreneur — his past ventures include “Ship Snow, Yo,” where buyers could mail snow in a box to their friends — rolled out a smartphone app Thursday called “Trumpoji.”
The app lets people express their mood by sending cartoons of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to friends via text message.
“It’s a terrific app that works on all iPhones big and large,” Waring said, channeling his inner Trump during a telephone interview. “It’s gonna be yuge, mark my words.”
When buyers purchase the app, which is only available to iOS users for the time being, they will get a total of 19 Trumpojis.
The emojis include “Yuge Anger,” an image of Trump with a red face looking upset; “I’m right,” which depicts the candidate wearing black sunglasses; and one of Trump sticking out his tongue — that one’s called :-P.
The slogan for the project is even Trump-themed: “Make Emojis Great Again,” a riff on the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign slogan.
The images were designed by Waring’s close friend, he said, and largely based on comments made by Trump so far.
“We started with the basic kinds of emojis you have on your phone — the smiley face, the heart symbol. Then we took all the standard ‘Trumpisms,’ like his angry faces, and created and modeled them off of that,” he said. “Then it kind of evolved as things got crazier and crazier.”
The app costs $2.99.
Additional Trumpojis are also available for free on a website by the same name set up by Waring.
Those options, however, are images that need to be saved to a smartphone’s photo album, and then pasted into texts, rather than used through the app’s keyboard.
The free Trumpojis include some that were a bit too controversial for the Apple store. One shows Trump wearing a sombrero, and another shows a cartoon version of him hiding behind a wall — the wall.
Trumpoji is Waring’s first attempt at launching an app. He said start to finish, the project took him six months.
“The real reason I launched it was because of the surge in popularity in emoji keyboards,” he said, citing the recent success of “Bitmoji,” which lets people design and then send through texts emojis that resemble themselves.
But with Trump, “it seemed like an interesting opportunity to showcase and allow people to share something they’re already talking about.”
He ran into some hiccups along the way, including getting clearance to feature the app in Apple’s online store, an effort that requires a lot of back-and-forth between the company and developers.
If people choose to buy the app, they must first go through an eight-step process to set it up before sending their first Trumpoji. Then, users will have to agree to allow “full access” of their phone’s keyboard to the developer.
“This could potentially provide personal information to the third-party developer when you use the keyboard,” Apple explains on its support website.
But Waring says people shouldn’t be concerned — it’s common verbiage in the smartphone age.
“It’s a super-standard statement from Apple,” he said. “We aren’t monitoring or transferring any of that data or storing it. All other emoji apps require the same.”
On the subject of using Trump for his project, Waring said the candidate lends himself to both ridicule and high praise.
“Love him or hate him, he is one of the most talked about people in the country,” he said. “And everyone just wants to talk about him.”
But he said that if the app proves successful, his team will consider making similar emoji keyboards for other presidential hopefuls, this time on the Democratic side.
“Absolutely,” he said.Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.