Jul 13 AT 6:56 PM Taylor Wimberly 14 Comments

Dream app ideas – Unlocking Android book winners

We gave you one week to submit your dream Android app ideas and I’m amazed at the response.  There were over 100 comments on the original post and it was hard to pick just 5 winners.  Thank you to everyone who participated.  If you continue to support our contests, we will work hard to keep them coming.

If your entry was not selected and you are still interested in Unlocking Android, we have a special offer for you.  Android and Me readers can get Unlocking Android for 35% off at the Manning.com store until July 31, 2009.  Simply use the code “andandme” when checking out with any version of the book (ebook or print book).  For the latest deals, news, and more be sure to follow @ManningBooks on Twitter.

The Winners

Each person that was selected will receive a free copy of Unlocking Android.  The grand prize winner also receives a $100 gift certificate to Manning.com.

Submitted by Travis Berthelot:

I would like to see games that have real world uses. So, at some point I have decided to make a game that has real world implications beyond shared processing like SETI and shared work like Galaxy Zoo.

So, my idea is to make real life work into a simulation game that is fun. This could be lab work, bagging groceries, or even war.

Submitted by Jake Reynolds:

I’ve got at least five ideas, some parenting apps, and some aviation related. The one I’m willing to share is a contraction timer for parent(s) in labor. Something similar to the Palm’s CTimer meets contractionmaster, only for a modern OS and free. I have a hard time asking for money for something someone will use between four and twenty hours a handful of times in their life. I’m toying with the idea of unobtrusive ads once Google has their API opened up. I’ve got a ton of other app ideas, but I’d hate to share a potential revenue generating one, only to get beaten to the punch by someone with less rusty Java skills.

Submitted by Frosty:

A beer rating app. You are having a tasty brew, or are watching the tap longingly, and want to know whether it is any good, or to led your buddies know that this IPA smells like feet.

Take a picture, rate it, and add a description. Hit the button and upload your review to the server.

Sit back, and enjoy.

Submitted by Nicholas Rowe:

I’m a home automation enthusiast. I’d like to build an Android application that seamlessly integrates into my automated home. I’ve been working on this system with z-wave. So here’s how I see it working:

I’m heading out for the day, I grab my phone and leave the house. The app is running in the background and can tell when I’m no longer near the house. The lights and temperature set themselves to the away scene.

Later that night I come back and its dark. The app can sense that I’m in the proximity of the house and it’s dark. It brings up outdoor lights for safety and the indoor arriving home scene. As soon as I come into the house I take a setting that I’m home and the outdoor lights turn off.

I watch a movie and use another app as a remote. However during this movie I receive a call. My app will take advantage of XBMC’s notification system to pause the current movie and display the caller on the screen.

Once I’m ready for bed, I get in bed and can access scenes for the whole house. I tap the nighttime scene and all of the house turns itself, the temperature lowers and I’m ready for bed.

As a Computer Science student I’ve learned a lot about Java. I would love to have a copy of Unlocking Android to help me transition the skills I already have and develop on Android and bring my home automation app to the marketplace.

Grand Prize winner submitted by Robert Weber:

I hate spending a lot of tIme in the grocery store, so my app would take the tedium out of finding the most efficient route through the store.

Imagine: you type your shopping list into an email message and shoot the email to your grocery store of choice. Then, on your way home from work, you swing by the store. Inside, you either load the app on your Android enabled phone, or you borrow a handset from the service counter. With handset in hand, you load your list, and the app takes you, turn by turn, through the quickest path to completing your list.

Maybe the app uses GPS to guide you, or maybe your shopping cart has some kind of a link to a proprietary and moderately accurate positioning system installed in the store (maybe RFID for instance). In that case, the app would use Bluetooth to link up to the cart for the sharing of positional data with the app.

As incentive for the grocery chains to offer the app to their customers, the app would beam positionally enhanced and list content enhanced cross selling blurbs into maybe the bottom margin of the screen. For instance, if you’re in the condiments aisle for salad dressing, maybe the app would suggest that you grab a jar of grey poupon. Or pick up two bottles of dressing now and get $1.00 off. Or if you’re in the market for some ground chuck, why not stop in the bread aisle for a bag of Sara Lee buns for just $2.99/bag.

Thank you again for everyone that entered.  For even more app ideas, be sure to check out the comments on the original contest page.

Share your app idea and we will send you an Android book.

Use coupon code andandme for 35% off Unlocking Android at www.manning.com

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://simplyblog.net Miguel | SimplyBlog

    Congrats to all the winners. Hopefully, my time will come soon! :)


    • http://www.aisle411.com/ josh

      They shopping app has already been created and has been working on it since around that date or before that date im not sure when but your welcome to check it out they cover like almost 1000 stores and they growing week by week .

    • http://Website josh

      not sure why but it didnt list the link i put the first time i made a reply

  • http://clarklab.net Clark

    The store mapping idea is awesome. When I make lists now I actually do it on my computer so I can rearrange the items into groups based on where I know them to be in the store so I can get in and out quicker. Totally nerdy but now I can make it through the store without ever having to double back.

  • Threed

    Congrats everyone.

    Im interested in the home automation app. My brother works for our cousin who owns are company that specializes in home automation.

    The beer rating one would just be fun for me.

  • GarGar

    Congrats , I’ll be using the beer app as soon as it comes out lol

  • http://blog.seveng.net Jake Reynolds

    Holy carp, I haven’t even checked my email yet, got home late and purging some things from newsgator and I found it here. Sweet! All the other apps sound so much greater than mine I can’t believe I made the list!

  • Artar

    All the ideas are great! Personally I hope the beer app becomes a reality. A beer encyclopedia built in would be awesome as well!

  • http://www.enterpaige.com/ Jake Reynolds

    Holy carp, I haven’t even checked my email yet, got home late and purging some things from newsgator and I found it here. Sweet! All the other apps sound so much greater than mine I can’t believe I made the list!
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  • http://beGNU.wordpress.com luiX_

    Hi, i’m really interested in geeting in touch with Nicholas Rowe, i had a similar idea but ni two separate projects (domotics one and a remote controller form xbmc) would be nice to start the xbmc controller (that seems a little easier in order to “learn”) so, I’m leaving my email here.

    Congrats to the winners, great ideas! :D

  • itemforty

    Congrats to everyone! The beer thing sounds good. The automation thing sounds fantastic. I would get great use out of both applications.

    Having said that, the automated grocery store thing sounds great, but wouldn’t it be better if it were a smaller concept? GPS wouldn’t work, and although you could use a pedometer, it might not be sensitive enough.

    How about just a map from that store with a path-mapper in the app? It tells you the stops, and you click a check on the items you picked up?

    Of course, you would most likely have to make your own map of these stores, or get them from nice people who have [for whatever reason] already mapped them out. Most grocers would be opposed to speeding up a person’s trip to a store anyway (they make their money on impulse shopping).

    Finally, isn’t that the same Travis Berthelot that already makes games on the Market? I’m not sure I understood his idea… sounded like a concept…

  • DenverDave

    To tell the truth, I’m rather disappointed. I was hoping for some app winners that I would love to see, such as:

    “Android Market Manager” with options that would control showing, for example, only apps with 4 stars or more, or those with over 5,000 downloads, or those that cost $1 or less.

    “Android Market Decoder” that shows brief descriptions of apps so you can see through names like “yipyip” or “doda” and find out what these apps actually do – with keyword searches.

    In any case, more power to all app developers, and I wish you all great success and riches!

  • http://abtevrythng.blogspot.com Gaurav

    I am a Technology Consultant by profession and I am fascinated by Android. I have some creative Android App ideas but I am not so good at java so unable to make things work by myself.
    That’s why I am looking for a developer (Preferably from India) who can help me out with this thing. I cannot pay anything but just looking for someone who has the potential to develop Apps but still did not get any attention.

    Why should you help me for free:
    1. App’s devloper section will have your name with me.
    2. I guaranty that the App idea I have will be a hit.
    3. There is no such application still in the Android Market.
    4. You have got nothing to loose.

    So if you have the zeal for developing android app and want to be famous (Yes, I believe my app idea is that good), Please leave a comment and we can then discuss things.
    Contact me on http://abtevrythng.blogspot.com/2010/08/new-app-idea-looking-for-android.html.
    Leave a comment on my blog if this interests you.

  • http://Website yahmorah

    ok how about an app for in-depth over view of the android os for first time smart phone users