Cloud Computing: Google App Inventor: 10 Apps We Want to See Pronto
Google App Inventor: 10 Apps We Want to See Pronto
by Clint Boulton
OK, everyone smirked when Larry Page and Sergey Brin waxed ecstatic about the accelerometer built into Android smartphones. How about a scale? Who wouldn't want to check their body mass by simply holding their cell phone, or speaking into it to command a weight gauge. Android probably isn't set up for this, but it should be.
What if consumers could build an app that trolled their favorite networks on Android, from the people they follow on Facebook and Twitter to their contacts in Gmail and Skype, to see how they feel about a particular topic? The topics could be the Major League Baseball World Series, a restaurant or a movie. Such an app would certainly help users.
Location, Location, Location
Someone offered the New York Times' David Pogue a great, great App Inventor idea: a to-do list app that leverages the GPS in Android to remind users of what to do when the user is in the right time and place. Sure, there are many apps like this, but none of them was built by amateurs, for amateurs. This takes on a different shine. Moreover, why not up the ante by having the app sync with spouses, family, friends and colleagues where applicable to alert them when a task has been completed? It would save a phone call or text message.
On a more sober note, how about an app that monitors diabetic users' blood sugar and alerts them when they need to take an insulin injection? Better yet, the app monitors users' insulin stock piles and beams an alert over the air to the pharmacist to have the prescription refilled. And would it be asking too much to have the phone send out an alert to local EMS in cases of diabetic shock?
In the spirit of a "Confessions of a Shopaholic," here's an idea for an app that users can tailor to alert them to specific sales and deals as they pass by stores. Yes, Google is already toying with such technology with Android and Google Maps. But with this app, users would set up favorite brands they want to be targeted with sales notifications. Then, when they pass by the store in a mall or outlet, they would get an alert. Maybe even a coupon.
An app that pings you when a book you reserved from the local library comes in. This is simple, but useful.
As a companion app to the scale app, we'd like a fitness goal app that monitors physical activity throughout the day and tells users how many calories they have burned. Users can then provide proof to their personal trainers.
Store Path Finder App
Ever get lost in a big store like Target or Wal-Mart? We'd like an app that lets users punch in what they're looking for at a store before they enter it, then receive turn-by-turn navigation (really) to find the product. Seriously. Who wants to bug the busy sales attendants, consult a map, or walk and search?
How about this one? Provide one application that lets users integrate all of their Google Web services updates and activities from one Web page. Think of it as Google Dashboard and iGoogle rolled into one, only actionable. Track Gmail, Latitude and Buzz, and play YouTube content. Host conversations on Google Wave and play Google Pac-Man in a one-stop shop.
App Inventor, Crowdsourced
While we appreciate the idea of the lone geek coding (or cutting and pasting, as it were) away with App Inventor, it would be nice to see some collaborative development efforts. This is why we'd like to see the App Inventor Mashup Maker, a tool to let many amateurs work together on an application in real time.