What did I do this past weekend, you ask? Besides cooking an awesome steak and finally enjoying the San Francisco sunshine, I went to iOS Dev Camp 2010, and between the two, it’s really hard to say which was a better decision, so great were both. Before the #iosdevcamp excitement wears down, I wanted to jot down a few on my thoughts on some of the fantastic apps showcased at Sunday’s demo.
There were several standouts, most of which I mentioned on Twitter during the event (@apsalarinc and @angelicaln): ParkU, iScavengerHunt, PayFace, Actors for Netflix, Kitchen Elf, PayKidz, and Transom. There were a few others I’d love to mention, but missed a couple names. (Developers, please chime in on the comments with a description of and name for your app.)
With so much material to present in so short a time, it’s impossible to cover all the bases. Most developers began by defining a commonplace problem. To paraphrase from actual examples, concerns included: I’m always getting parking tickets in SF (editor’s note: I hear you there); my girlfriend is from Mexico and I want to learn Spanish; I’m a kid, and I’d like a PayPal for kids…these are the examples that I remember because they endeavor to offer solutions to very tangible problems, thereby showing just how integral mobile apps have become to our lives, and how much more we will come to depend on them in the future.
Take ParkU, for example. Any SF resident can tell you what a hassle street cleaning hours are (and how little a difference the street cleaning seems to make, but maybe $65 tickets have turned me cynical). Imagine if you had an app that could inform you of the appropriate street cleaning day, and then enable you to set an alarm which would remind you when to move your car (or tell you when the sweeper has already passed, so you can nab a choice open spot). The former is so much easier than parking your car, physically getting out to hunt down the nearest sign, opening up your calendar on your smartphone to see if Friday is indeed either the 1st or 3rd Friday of the month, then setting an alarm from there. But maybe I just like convenience.
These apps are obviously still in the early stages of development and design, but when they start thinking the obvious question—how can I get my app to make money?—Apsalar is here to help. Our previous post explored the current flawed logic in the mobile app market, and we don’t want to see more and more crops of apps falling into the same trap of considering the wrong metric. Acquiring new users is essential, but so is listening to the ones you have. It might surprise you to find out who your users actually are, and for what purpose they are engaging with your app.
Social Media Director
(For a list of this year’s iOS Dev Camp winners, click here.)