Jul 06 AT 6:05 PM Taylor Wimberly 112 Comments

Interested in Android development? Free books inside.

Have you ever dreamed of creating your own Android applications?  Manning Publications has graciously donated several copies of Unlocking Android and we want to share them with our readers.  If you would like to learn more about Android development, this is your chance.

To enter the giveaway, just share an idea of your dream Android application.  We will allow one week for submissions before announcing the winners.  Be creative and give as much detail as you want because the best submission will also receive a $100 gift certificate to Manning.com.

Unlocking Android covers all the topics you need to get started with Android development including:

  • Android’s place in the market
  • Using the Eclipse environment for Android development
  • The Intents – how and why they are used
  • Application classes:
    • Activity
    • Service
    • IntentReceiver
  • User interface design
  • Using the ContentProvider to manage data
  • Persisting data with the SQLite database
  • Networking examples
  • Telephony applications
  • Notification methods
  • OpenGL, animation & multimedia
  • Sample Applications


  • Leave a comment describing your dream Android application to enter the contest
  • Winners will be announced July 13th, 2009
  • US residents only due to shipping charges


For the latest deals, news, and more be sure to follow @ManningBooks on Twitter.

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

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

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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  • Manan Gandhi

    I want to make an android app that can socialise you in a much more better way… it wil have a seperate contact list that wil be common for social networking and emailing and calling…it wil show a contact’s update from various networking sites and it wil also let you update various networking sites at the same time with the same status … i would make app to be optimized for better speed and low data usage…. the app wil show images by a contact from various networking sites too….
    the app though would have so many features would be made as small as possible …. and optimized to run on slowest android phone….

    • s

      it is hard to grok all these features in an intuitive interface, you know? how about a contact widget that display’s updates for this particular contact, what he is listening from last.fm, and icon’s for calling or sms’ing this contact?

  • http://planetsykes.com sykes3

    I have two ideas for my dream apps.

    1. A fps multi-player game controlled using the phones acelerometer. I’m thinking Quake meets Google Street View.
    2. I’d like the phone to start my car. Maybe by attaching a Linux box to the cars ignition and using something like Gmote over Bluetooth.

  • theinnergeek

    I want to integrate call center software like Avaya’s CMS (Supervisor) into an app which constantly monitors call center traffic allowing the user to make instant changes in agent skilling on the fly. This would be a HUGE time saver in the call center world!!!

  • http://sweeterhomeskins.blogspot.com Lemon

    I’d like to develop native app that uses GPS/network location to list nearby tram stops in Melbourne Australia and links to arrival times for trams at those stops polling the trams in real time!

  • http://markbennett.ca Mark Bennett

    I’d like to create a tower-defense game where can create maps and units then share and rate them online. The game would be balanced by limiting funds available with both invader and defender funds increasing over time. Like Spore the game would pull different resources down off the market. It would also track which maps are the hardest to defeat, and which units fair the best.

  • mike mancuso

    I would like a fullscreen widget that can be fully customized. From background image to adding shortcuts. The widget sits on your screen as a small icon and when tapped becomes a fullscreen window used to launch apps, bookmarks, message previews. Think advanced full custom app drawer with a really nice animation when activated.

    • http://n/a Wm. Kritzberg

      Is this the Mike Mancuso I knew in Colorado and California?

      Bill Kritzberg

  • http://sweeterhomeskins.blogspot.com Lemon

    OH! And possibly a fricken half decent NBA scores app since the current ones are mega heavy, slow and overloaded with pointless features…

  • foebea

    I wish for more wishes! Specifically, I would like an app building app, where you can create new applications, such as build a database with forms and save as a stand alone redistributable application – right from the device. This could include internet functions as well such as pulling data based on the contents of various fields. It could be concieved of as a LEGO set. Give me some building blocks to play with.

    • s

      i think that’s a nice idea. however, defining the building blocks is hard.

      i was disappointed when i saw cupcake 1.5 widgets don’t allow text input. if they were ,we would be able to build launcher scripts so for example it would be possible to write “twit hello android!” on home screen to update your twitter status.

      any practical how you might use such a LEGO set?

      • http://sweeterhomeskins.blogspot.com Lemon

        s, you’re thinking of something like Ubiquity in a widget?

        • http://twitter.com/necrodome s

          exactly. and providing a repo for user generated scripts. i think higher level of scripting capabilities would be very useful.

          htc hero widgets seem to accept user input. i hope it will be enabled with donut as well for regular androids.

  • Judeh Tang

    My dream application would be drawn from the idea of openHome, aHome, and dxTop which I hope they’ll implement in the future. A much needed ability to users is the ability to customize our default notification bar which you see on the top right of our screen. It would probabily include:
    - An autohide feature for more viewing area
    - Skinnability for the creative minds out there
    - The ability to be able to “hide” icons and actually change the size of them [I always had this problem with having a widget that tells time and the timer being in the notofication bar, thinking it as an overkill]
    - A battery percentage over the battery icon which would rid the need for widgets and other notification applications that shows up else where saving space
    - And the ability to even maybe click the icons such as the 3G and the option to switch from WIFI and 2G can be toggled straight from the notification bar giving it much more funtionality [keep in mind this is just a dream app, this option probabily will not be possible on this phone, but there's no harm in dreaming]

    • http://sweeterhomeskins.blogspot.com Lemon

      I always thought transparency and autohide should be features in the standard Android framework for the notification bar! Give us the option!!!! :)

  • Chris Comeaux

    I’d like an app very similar to the Delicious Library. A few features I think are a must:
    - Integration with Google Books
    - Add with the bar code scanner
    - Export

    • s

      i think someone is working ona Google Books application (guess it was for reading)

      i also looked at that idea. Google has published their API for Google Books. I think basing such an application fully on Google Books would be great.

    • s

      oh, great. Romain Guy has already wrote that. Chek out shelves: http://code.google.com/p/shelves/ (i couldn’t find it on the market, though)

  • Yoon Min

    Dream application would be the integration of social media into the contacts application like HTC here and Palm pre

  • http://www.nexsoftware.net nEx.Software

    Judeh, that sounds like updates to the firmware rather than an app, but good ideas.

  • 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.

  • http://thedroidyouarelookingfor.com Jesse Priest

    My dream application does the following…
    An application that will stream video to ustream for times when you need something recorded that can’t be deleted. For police encounters, concerts, verbal contracts etc…

    In the app would be a button that you could press to notify all of your contacts with your location, and where to watch the live video.

    You could have police pull over mode that records speed data to prove you weren’t speeding and to record the encounter in case the officer trys something out of line.

    There would be a widget launcher with a couple buttons 1 regular, 2 emergency, 3 contact a set list of contacts and start recording.

    This app could come in handy in so many situations.

    • s

      this one is great, too.
      instead of fiddling with controls and setup, there should be just a big red button that directly starts an online stream.

    • http://sweeterhomeskins.blogspot.com Lemon

      Great idea. Like Qik but more directive in it’s approach.

  • j_norton

    My first dream application is kind of a niche market idea, for people that do a lot of buying online and enjoy contributing to micro-financing and things like Kiva. This wouldn’t utilize a direct loan, but instead it would utilize your purchasing power to get you in touch with sponsored deals through various websites to earn money for charities, organizations or individuals.

    For example, right now I’m paying down my student loans through a program called Upromise(.com) through Sallie Mae. Through this program, whenever I buy online using my own special sales link, I get a percentage of my purchase put into a fund at Upromise.

    Another great example of this is the rotating Amazon links at the bottom of this page. Whenever I decide to buy something on Amazon I try to route the sale through AndroidAndMe’s amazon bar, just to give a little something back to the site that provides me with so much of my Android news and information, not to mention the sweet contests! =)

    This application would make it easy for me to route my purchases through these links, my own personal links, or find ways to leverage my purchasing power to help charities and non-profits that have partnered with corporations like eBay etc for fundraisers. It would also provide a way for users to submit their charities and fundraisers’ information to the database to be screened for accuracy and appended to the list.

    It would also have a marketplace-like area similar to Woot, with all kinds of online sales and products offered from various sponsored charities and non-profits; like those that have generated a lot of traffic, or perhaps have a really great sale going on.

    My second idea is similar to the second part of my first idea, it would basically be a Woot-like service providing links to Environmentally Friendly products at really great prices. This could range in anything from Photo-Voltaic Panels to Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent. It would likely include a widget =)

    ps sorry so long =/


    My dream app (or widget would be much more preferable ) would be placed on the homescreen. When first launched it would import all of the email addresses, phone numbers and other contacts from facebook. Once it has done this it would display four contacts in the widget that would be able to scroll through the rest of the list and you could see their most recent txt messages and status updates from facebook. when you click on a contact it would launch the app and you could see other interactions with the contact such as emails call logs and even picture uploads along with other things from facebook. I would like it to look pretty if I could do it :)

  • R_Hova

    How about an app that modifies how people see your name in caller id. Like say, instead of my name saying “john smith” I change it to say “GOD calling”. So you would have to be able to put in anything you want…

    • s

      this is not possible with client side coding.

  • http://sites.google.com/site/fuzedfiction/ John Rebitski

    My dream application would be a home replacement application that could be customimized to multiple degrees much like my Ubuntu Desktop. Idealistically i would have the same cube rotation effect that Ubuntu with Compiz Fuzion has, and would be able to have multiple wallpapers with multiple desktops. With A simple swipe up or down on the screen would take you to another desktop with another wallpaper ect… I have seen the potential but would like to expand on whats already out there.

  • 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.

    -Nick Rowe

  • Gavin Schiffres

    A news app that would rank the top news sites and thousands of local ones based on quality of news. Then provide small samples of the top breaking news articles for people to scan all at once, somewhat like Google News. However, there would be three screens, one for regular breaking news, which would feature the top news sites for that (nytimes.com, cnn.com, etc. etc.), another for Customized News, so the user would mark off their particular interests, and the second screen would show that type of news and the websites it drew its’ articles from would be specified, so if somebody was interested in technology they might show the hottest articles from gizmodo.com, or engadget.com. The third site would be based on location, so the most Locally relevant news. So if one lived in Boulder, Colorado, the site would link to local papers, and show them the most breaking local news. This would all run on a system where the news sites were ranked, so in the Denver Post might be higher ranked on Local news for somebody living in Boulder than the Wall Street Journal. The person’s location would be identified using the GPS in the phone.

  • http://nwmotogeek.blogspot.com/ NwMotoGeek

    I would like to create an app that tracks your wireless signal and relays this information to a central server where people can view all the information on a large map. This will allow people to really keep tabs on the phone companies and provide people with an accurate map of signal coverage.

    • http://sweeterhomeskins.blogspot.com Lemon

      Great idea! There’s an app that shows signal and a bunch more info and tries to position the actual tower you’re connect to on a map – it’s doesn’t do the web collation side though…

  • ajith502

    1. I would like to integrate the available “Google Maps” [Street View], GPS (optional), Accelerometer with a “Gaming Engine” to create a realtime strategy games that would be more realistic.

    2. A Bluetooth app capable of syncing up with contact list from various mobiles, handheld devices … Something like on fly social media sync.

    3. A GPS based Alarm app, which would ring the alarm once we are within the certain range of our destination location. It would be more useful when a person had the habit to sleep in the public transport.

    4. On fly photo sharing app. This app creates a common medium for sharing pictures with multiple users. The functionality of the app would be more like “Microsoft Surface” experience where the user can simply share the pictures with other users by just sliding the fingers on them to a respective direction.

    5. A musical app, capable to emulate a piano where the keys are virtually present on the touchscreen. User can simply feel playing a piano by just pressing the virtual keys on the touch screen … seems all keys cant be emulated on the touchscreen because of less space ???

  • 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.

  • aDavey

    I have a few apps that I would want to create for Android.

    The first being a better, integrated social app that covers Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Myspace, et al. I know functions lie within 1.5 for instant upload. But I would like to make one tightly woven interface where you can make on update and push it to Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook at once. Or just one and exclude the others. The ability to also tie all said functions into a simplified contacts (not unlike Pre and Sense UI). But just having this done is not good enough. It has to be done intuitively and look beautiful on top of that.

    My next app would be a better photo/video editor. Not really anything groundbreaking…but a real big thing that would most definitely be a big hit. With my old SE W800/810 I was amazed that on that tiny little phone…I could take a video…break it up…and splice in sounds and such. But from there I’d want to take it a step further. Give it non destructive editing. Transitioning slides. Intros, endings, etc. The touch screen gives you ample ability to do this. Imagine shooting a video, then going straight into the editing app. Selecting points and dragging that scene out while leaving behind the rest of the film in tact. Then so you’ll have more room…the film actually slides down in a hidden menu. From there you can add slides, effects, sounds, etc. As much as your imagination (and memory card) allows you to. Then from there you can upload to YouTube, Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter.

    My last app really wouldn’t be a “from scratch” idea, but more so an extension. I would like to bring the messaging/email/calendar widget from the Sense UI onto “with Google” phones. I like the simplicity of being able to scroll thru your emails and messages straight from your homescreen. Of course it wouldn’t be a blatant rip off from them, LOL. But adding more ease to using the Android phones we love so much. And with the calendar…just being able to have the full month view calendar…or even just the agenda on the home page would simplify it even more. Give you click glances of current and upcoming events.

    Another app I would love to make, if at all possible, is a better organizational structure of the market app. I don’t know if it’s possible to make an app that would stream all market info then be able to mold it from there. But if so…I would love to give a crack at it. As it stands…the market is full of gems…but hard to actually look for anything in the disorganized manner it is.

    I just would mainly want to work on apps that bring more simplicity to Android. I love Android for the fact that it replicates a real desktop. You don’t have to open much to get a glance of things. Widgets, to me, are the key of Android. Not having to drill through menus to get what you want. Live folders being present right on your desktop. It works and make phone usage simpler. I’d want to build upon that simplicity and make it even simpler.

  • Dr.Jeckyl

    1: Be able to remote control an Apache/php/MySQL server. ie: reboot, restart Apache, create MySQL dbs etc.

    2: Mobile banking with my local credit union.

  • aDavey

    Oh, adding onto the market app. Also adding in a feature that “learns” from your selections. So if you seem to heavily download social apps along with weather apps and shooting games. It will bring those types of apps ahead of the other apps to suggest to you. Making it simpler to get a good look at new apps that fall into your main download category.

    • Trevor Duke

      you mean it could learn that I want to shoot weather at my friends!?!?

      kidding. Places like amazon and Netflix are making such advances in the area, i wouldnt be suprised to see somthing trickle down soon.

      great idea

  • Aman

    I would love to start my first app on android. My dream app would be the ability to make the camera to take a snapshot of a document and converts it from a photo to a text. It also should be able to input something into the phone as you write it. This feature might need a special pen to make recording pen events more accurate and easier. I would love to fill it with features like cam gestures. This would make using the phone something else. It would be easier to write an article or e-mail with your phone. This would make some people quit using virtual and/or physical keyboard. Would surly add print and share options. Would surely make it open source to get the best help from the best out there and make it better and live longer.

  • http://fotovossblog.peggy-forum.com/ Joerg voss

    Currently i am developing an application to collect all my books by just scanning the ISBN-numbers of the book.

    The application will then collect all possibly information about this book (author, title, price, comments, publisher and so on) and save this information in a database.
    you have the option to synchronise this database with a three tier webapplication database so you have access to this information everywhere.
    It will also be possible to manage books you given to your friends, manage a point of time the book should return and so on. Even books you saw somewhere could be scanned and saved as to be bought in future ..

    I would like to enlarge this application to CDs, DVDs, and so on.
    Meanwhile this little nifty app saves me lots of time searching for books i own allready and len to friends. ;)

  • http://organizedfellow.com OrganizedFellow

    I mentioned this earlier on the new forums: http://forums.androidandme.com/topic/when-will-sms-archive-folders-come-to-android

    I’d really like to have custom folders in my SMS box.
    On my old Nokia N73, I had several folders for various texts I wanted to save.

    On my GeeWon, sometimes I just don’t want to delete the entire thread of an 800+ SMS conversation with a friend.
    Maybe some options that let you select all SMS newer/older than ‘X’ hours/days/weeks within a selected thread.

    • http://sweeterhomeskins.blogspot.com Lemon

      Something like SMS Backup? It archives to Gmail (bypasses the inbox) and assigns a label of your choice. You could expand on that by allowing check boxes and backup only you selected SMS conversation to a given label.

      Try it out and see if you could make it better?

  • LoSesmC

    My dream app would be one that you can scan food items and it identifies the ingredients by color coding the danger in eating them. For example, showing MSG (Monosodium glutamate) from a scanned can of Ravioli as red and enabling the user to press and see it’s marked that way because it’s an excitotoxin and what that means for someone eating it.

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  • alexaac14

    i would really love to see an app that makes the background of the homescreen do animations of the current weather.

    or maybe a weather widget that has an animation of the current weather with temperature

    another would be an app that turns your phone into a
    universal remote control. i usually cant find the remote of the tv so next time wouldnt be stuck watching the same channel

    the last would be an app that will use the camera to take a 3D picture of the subject, for an example a stuffed toy and then you can make it stand or walk etc.

  • DDRBoxman

    My dream app on android would allow a user to send, recieve and view the phone’s sms messages while on the computer via a plugin for pidgin or other im client that talks to the android phone while connected over the local network or bluetooth.

    • s

      would you prefer an application that let’s you do that with your browser?

  • Jacob

    I’d like to create an application for use in the car that would intagrate the voice search capabilities of Android. The app would index your music (by song, artist, and album) as well as integrate with the existing contact search via voice command. An option for a “Places” like directory would also be included, allowing you to easily find resteraunts and like.

    For example, the app would allow you to select music MS Sync style via voice command. Saying “Play Artist Something Corporate” would select that artist and begin playing their earliest album. Or “Play Artist Something Corporate Song “Walking by” would play that song etc. The shuffle command would also be included as well as a way to select or shuffle certain playlists.
    I believe the contacts search is pretty self explanatory.
    Places search would allpw you to ask for a nearby restaraunt, “Where is a nearby eatery/restaraunt/place to eat.” The app would then list nearby eateries and ask for your selection, upon selection it would either state the address, plug it in to GMaps and list directions, or plug it into a turn by turn app based on user specifications.

    That’s my idea, spawned from envy of a friends Sync equipped Ford Fusion. Hopefully it stands up to the other great ideas listed above me.

    • Jacob

      Sorry for the typos, I tapped that out on my ADP without my handy Firefox spell check.

  • Trevor Duke

    I would like to see an augmented reality program like LAYAR, but one the user can set up easily. Lets pretend it was marketed towards real estate, I could list my house, and go through the house with my phone, putting in relevant inforamtion. The prospectives check a website on their phone on route to my showing, and it downloads all these ‘waypoints’. Now, they navigate through the house with the phone, seeing things like a piece of information on the stove (replaced in 2008!) or the frieplace (works great, saves us money on heat), etc. also, it could have some wiki functionality to allow the listing agent to add things they know buyers look for, and for the prospectives to ask questions.

  • Travis Berthelot

    I wrote the Allbinary Game Development kit. I have written several games for Android including:

    Zepto Towers
    MiniSpaceWar Vector
    Obama Stimulus
    Don’t Lose Your Balls!

    I am now working on Zepto Wars and RTS.

    Despite my game development kit, games, and continued improvements I think I completely missing out on more useful applications.

    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.

  • Duniel Deya

    Good luck everyone!

    Here are a couple of dream apps:

    Droid Dj – This app will let you pick from your music files and will let you mix them however you want. It should have options like cross-fader, custom skins that will look like turn-tables for example and when you touch the turntables using your fingers in the screen it will let you scratch like a dj.

    MTF Mobile – this will be a MySpace, Twitter & Facebook mobile app that will let you login into all 3 and will let you fully browse and will have all options available. It should have chat, notifications, photo upload and all the good stuff. It should also let you sign up if you are not a user.

    Run it – this app will be controversial but if it works it will be groundbreaking and will make a lot of happy g1 users. This app will let you run apps from sd card and will let you pick which ones. It will also let you save cache from e-mail, browser and possible others. This might be one of those apps for jailbroken phones and even if you sell it for $5 lots of users will buy it.

    Totally radio – this app will let you find local radio stations and will let you stream them live. This app should give you the names of the artist and all that good stuff. Also should give you the last 20 songs played on that radio station. There is an app very similar for my suggestion available for Blackberry Storm market apps.

    I hope to see a lot of our suggestions become true one day.


    No. 2 idea that I forgot to post earlier.

    What I think android needs now that we have video recording capabilities is a video editing app almost like moviemaker. You can cut down clips or splice them together along a Timeline. You could add some premade transitions or even create your own if you want. The app would have to limit the length or the clip to a few minutes as to not crash it I wouldkeep it free cuz everyone loves a free app don’t they?

  • http://screaming-penguin.com Charlie Collins

    I have a few ideas for “dream” Android apps that I want to write once I get the time, but for now writing books and the day job are keeping me from that ;).

    I just wanted to chime in here and say great idea with this contest. I really like Android (especially the open nature, it’s not as mature as a few other platforms, but it’s open, and it’s a long race) and any encouragement to get people working with it and building for it is fantastic in my book (pun intended).

    – Charlie (Unlocking Android co-author)

  • phi

    I’ve been waiting for a facebook widget and no one has built it. I have also been looking for a way to learn how to write android apps, but there are no good resources.

    All I want is a widget that can show me the last 30 status updates from my friends and give me the ability to add a comment or like their status. Since no one has built this widget, I want to write one myself.

  • http://- Florin-Nicolae

    There are 4 things I must take with me when I am going out every day: the keys (home&car), money, cards & IDs and the phone; ideally a Smartphone with the appropriate application(s) should suffice; this is the phone and application(s) that I want.

  • Ryan

    The app I dream about is one that offers suggestions for shopping alternatives based on your current budget and spending habits .. say you spent money at a fast food restaurant .. the application picks up the purchase via bank API (either instantly or culled over a statement period) and says “For the price of this meal, you could have purchased X meals for a week .. example meals + prep time is X” , a cost chart showing extended savings ..

    Alternatively, the application (or service) holds spending ‘packages’ based on user submissions/suggestions .. i.e. someone says “Canoe Trip for 2″, “Dinner for 4″, and based on user suggested ‘packages’, they are offered a list of equipment or services that may best suit the search and the application is able to search for cheapest prices on said equipment or services and compile a rough estimate on prices as well as locations to make said purchases (online or otherwise).

    Basically, a budgeting program that, instead of just showing you the numbers will offer constructive and positive information to help inspire someone to use their finances more appropriately.

    (Another application would be a blip.fm front-end, but I didn’t think this idea was as inspired.)

  • 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.

    • http://sweeterhomeskins.blogspot.com Lemon

      Could be amazing with a proper world wide data base and user rating averages.

  • http://unkzdomain.com Ankush

    I’d like to create an on-phone IDE that used the new NDK along with the existing SDK, except I would make it kinda like how NetBeans is laid out or maybe like MS’s Visual Studio stuff. It would let people test out how the apps they use everyday are created and how they can make their own to make the Market even better!

    I’d also try to add support for developing with OpenGL on the phone, but that would probably not be possible on the G1 with its limited memory. I think that it would be cool to let them use input and outputs like how Yahoo Pipes for RSS feeds is laid out in a modular way. This would let them do a whole bunch of stuff in an easy manner and then once they get the hang of that, they can use a full-fledged SDK to make more advanced apps that may not be feasible to be made on the phone using this app.

  • http://www.curious-creature.org Romain Guy

    @Chris Comeaux: Check out http://code.google.com/p/shelves, it might be what you want :)

    • http://clarklab.net Clark

      Wow I hadn’t caught wind of Shelves yet. Its looking pretty impressive and has a really slick interface. Well played.

  • Marshall

    Mine is for a pretty small market but would be great to have for that market.

    I want to make an app that hosts military gridsquare maps and can use the GPS and a tool to convert lat/lon to 6-digit grid coordinates. This would make land navigation a billion times easier then it is. Currently we use a map, pencil and protractor to plot point to point. This could have a waypoint editor to plot directions for you as well.

  • itemforty

    I would like to make an application that uses the camera to recognize simple geometric shapes and colors to makes educated guesses as to what food you are about to consume. This information would be sent to a server that either knows the items on the plate, or will ask for submissions (to be authorized).
    Once the camera knows which food it is, or has the best guess, it offers suggestions that you can add to a “meal diary” that can keep your calorie/carb/protein/fat numbers for your use.

  • itemforty

    I would also like to make a point and click adventure game starring quirky characters, but I would have to rely on the SD card to store all the art and game data, so it’s on the backburners right now.

    • http://www.droidweb.com Maliek M.

      Not necessarily. You could download some of the game information from the Internet as needed, provided you had somewhere to store it online. Between ‘stages’ you could swap out images / textures, thereby reducing memory overhead. Just a thought.

      • itemforty

        Oh crap, that’s smart. That’s probably something well known too, huh? Thanks for the idea!
        See, this is the perfect reason why I need these books! “I kno nossing!”

    • http://home.ooijer.com DutchMarco

      I’ll admit this isn’t for Android (yet- you can port the resulting games to Linux using an existing program made especially for this purpose) but you can use AGS (Adventure Game Studio) to make your own point-n-click adventure games for Windows, check bigbluecup.com for an interesting community and more info! Who knows, we nmight see you at Mittens next year?

  • Mark

    I want Shazzam for dog breeds. Take a picture of a dog and it figures out the breed or at least identifies breed characteristics. Simple but fun and interesting.

  • http://simplyblog.net Miguel | SimplyBlog

    Wow, my dream app. I’d like to see a fully featured WordPress blog writing application. This application should be able to handle uploading photos, tags, categories… the works!

    Another app I’d like to see: A solid ebook reading app that allows users to search and purchase new books without exiting the app itself. Like the Amazon MP3 application.


  • http://mojavelinux.com Dan Allen

    Dang, @Frosty snagged my idea about a beer rating app. I was just thinking about that as I was enjoying a Stone Cali-Belgique at The Distillery last week. Maybe I can get credit for adding on.

    1. Rate Beer – This app would allow you to enter a beer you are enjoying (name, brewer, style), attach a picture of the beer (bottle, glass, head), and give it a rating. You should be able to rate multiple times, or at least mark how many times you have had the beer). In addition, you could specify where you found it (bar, store) and how it was dispensed (tap, bottle, can). You could also enter how much you paid. That way, people can use an app like Places to find on a GPS where they can find a beer they like (either by name, type, or brewer). This would be a good way to find stuff on tap (since you have a phone in your hand, you could of course call the store to make sure they have it in stock or on tap).

    2. Pandora music player – A lot of people enjoy discovering new music with pandora, but currently there is no way to listen on Android. I would liked to see a Pandora music player developed. You could mark a song that you like and store it in a favorites list. Then you could get more information about the song, perhaps linked to Amazon mp3 where you can buy the mp3 of the song.

    3. Bookmark an address – This is really just an enhancement to the maps feature. I wish it were possible to bookmark a GPS location (or address) so that you can return to it in the future. When you are mapping out travel plans, it is helpful to have some addresses prepared so that you can quickly bring them up on the map and get directions from your current location.

    I’m totally digging Android. Good luck with the book.

  • http://Website(optional) Mike

    I like applications that give me tools for building applications. None of them are android-specific; they’re just things I want to have in my pocket, and could work on pretty much any sufficiently bright device. Figuring out how to leverage the capabilities of android to help them show off those features will have to wait until after I win a book on android development to know how.

    1) Super graphing calculator. This lets you edit “calculators” that provide a fixed function. The user declares one or more inputs, along with their types, one or more outputs, also with types. Types include not only the obvious numeric types, but vectors, matrices and maps as well. Output options for the latter should include a variety of charts and graphs. The last step is to provide the calculations that figure out the outputs based on the inputs. This should allow simple calculations to be expressed simply – outputvaname = formula(inputs), but powerful enough to allow doing things like estimating roots and recursive functions. Throw in the ability to scrape data from xml on the web so you can do currency conversions. You can see a very crude desktop version at http://www.mired.org/downloads/P(x)-0.2.tar.gz

    2) A database builder. Has a gui interface for declaring tables – actually sqlite tables, but with type names for people who don’t speak SQL – like “phone number”, “number”, “text” (a single line), “note” (multiple lines), picture (can be pulled from the camera or other photo album or web browser or ….), along with the ability to require that some column be unique. No need for multi-column keys. One type should be “value from column in other table”. The ability to create views of any table, which has a nice, gui way to specify where & order clauses in the SQL. In a view, let me perform actions on fields: in particular, dial phone numbers and follow a reference to another table to a view of that table, sort by a column either up or down, etc. The standard system databases should be available for use in views, or to reference from another table. An expert mode that lets me create and run SQL expressions when a field is “used” in a view. Oh yeah – and have it sync with either a desktop sqlite database, or a real SQL server.

    Either of these two apps should allow a tool built in them to be saved to the home page, so you can put your favorite database or calculator at your fingertips.

    And a couple of trivial apps, just in case someone is looking for ideas to start on:

    3) A multicounter app. Lets you create – and save – multiple counters. Each counter displays the name, current value, and optionally last change time. Tap the left side to increase it, right side to decrease it, hold on it to bring up options to delete, edit or get stats. Editing lets you change the name, current value, and size of increment.. The values need to be saved across runs. Stats – let your imagination run wild!

    4) Web searches: just a list of your favorite web searches, along with a button to launch your favorite browse. Adding a search involves searching for a known string on your favorite search engine, then telling this app the name of the engine that the top page in the browser is looking at. It then figures out the appropriate search URL for you. Won’t necessarily work for all search engines, but it’ll work for all my favorites. Icons,editing the list, etc. – all things that would make it nider.

  • Lemon

    Ahh my other idea is for a fully user skinable analogue clock Widget!!! Really, it’s been this long and we still don’t have one? Zip skins (pngs) face and hands only would need skinning…

    • http://www.nexsoftware.net nEx.Software

      Hmm… Never thought about that… One of the weather widgets allows you to replace the images, so we know it is possible. Though I am not sure I get the whole analog clock thing, personally the digital clock in the status bar works well for me and doesn’t take up my valuable home screen space.

      • http://sweeterhomeskins.blogspot.com Lemon

        Agree, but it’s more about eye candy. People LOVE those Hero clocks – and considering the level of user skinning on something like Lock 2.0 I think a user skinable clock could be a real winner.

      • http://sweeterhomeskins.blogspot.com Lemon

        FYI – the user skinable weather widget is made by the same guy that makes Lock 2.0. I think he does a skinable battery as well, although it might not be released yet…

  • William

    My dream Android app would be to have a way to make it so there is a program for chat like BBIM but like how that is for blackberry make a version that is Android Only. so ANDIM.

  • sheban

    Dream Android App?? – One that turns your phone into a wireless mouse – and then some. (using the accelerometer & bluetooth to turn your phone into an extension of your PC, like a supersmart mouse with a touch screen)

    It would enable users to:

    1.control winamp/itunes playlists & movies – imagine scrolling thru your playlists by moving your phone around.
    2. have “one touch” shortcuts for favorite websites & email – no more looking around your screen, press a button and hey presto.
    3. Enable the phone’s keyboard for various uses.
    4. Notify you of twitter, email, Face Book, messages statuses by using phone’s LED lights and screen.
    5. the list goes ON !!

  • Mark

    A dream app for me would be the ability for my G1 to be proactive within my classroom environment and campus. Having the G1 determine what class I am in so that any homework that is due that day is automatically downloaded from my phone, it grabs the next homework assignment and/or class notes that are available. The school would have the ability to send any announcements via a widget this could be general announcements or important information about an incident that is taking place on campus that would inform me on the appropriate actions that I should take.

  • Jive

    My idea is very simple:

    When someone is calling you, the phone will display a grid of buttons. Each button is a preset response that you can send as an SMS message to the caller instead of answering the call. So once a preset message is pressed, the call is sent to voicemail and the selected SMS message is sent.

    This app would be useful for when you’re unable to answer a call (e.g. when you’re driving). You just click the button with the appropriate preset message such as, “I’m driving, call you later”, and the call will be silenced but the caller will be notified as to why you didn’t answer the call.

    There are also some customizations that would make the app more useful:

    1) Set your status: you can set your status so that the most likely preset messages you’d use are displayed first. For example, you’d set your status to “Driving” when you’re driving, or “In class” when you’re at school. When you create/edit a preset message, you can set which statuses the message would be appropriate for.

    2) Templated messages: By adding placeholders in the preset messages, the SMS message sent to a caller can be customized further. For example, with preset message, “Yo {first name}, I’m in class, I’ll call you when I get out”, {first name} is a placeholder that will be replaced with the caller’s first name (duh) when the message is sent. So when your buddy John Smith calls, the actual message would be, “Yo John, I’m in class, I’ll call you when I get out”. Neat huh?

    That’s basically it, but I think it would be pretty useful when you want to respond to a caller but can’t answer the phone at the moment. With this app, I would always have “Help, I’ve been kidnapped by terrorists and they won’t let me twitter” preset message at the top of the grid so that I could easily hit it in my pocket when someone calls. You never know…

    • http://sweeterhomeskins.blogspot.com Lemon

      Great idea!

  • bill

    Simple just an alp that connects a keyboard ands displays large text no more laptop in lectures

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      There is a hack to use bluetooth keyboards that I saw. Think it was a pain to setup though.

  • sim

    what i really hope for i guess at some point in the future is for an application that is designed specifally to extend android onto tv displays using the tv out capabilities of future android devices.

    phones these days have almost the same computing power as my beat up dell d800

  • Are P

    I would like an app that will draw many young people to the platform. It must therefore be one app with features from many apps existing today.
    It should be able to:
    - change background picture, with selections from an online db. And maybe also from flickr, facebook etc.
    - the same with ringtones, with many new and popular songs to choose from.
    - it needs to have social networks support. And it must be very easy to setup. Chatting is a very important thing for youngsters these days.
    - possibility to share stuff from the mobile to another mobile easily. Send ringtones etc, preferably without using the mobile network (only wifi or bluetooth)
    - it should have some inbuilt widgets that monitor important events in the local town…like conserts and similar.
    - it needs to have an easy switch to turn on-off data traffic. Since most kids today use prepaid telecards, data traffic will drain their money very fast.
    - inbuilt application for popular SMS services. A oneclick thing to send requests to these services. Ex: sms to check balance of your bank account, or lookup a number etc.

    All this must be in one app…or a package with several apps if that is possible. The idea is that it must be easily installed! Today you must search and search to find the best apps…but that is too much work. The best would be if the network operators preinstalled this. Then, everyone got very good apps to start with, then new can be added.

  • http://www.tri-something.com Derrick Barra

    1) A rss widget designed specifically around 1up.com, when reading a news story/blog post in the widget users should be able to view user comments with a button press and be given the option to add their own.

    Other rss widgets that would be usefull to me would be gamasutra, ign, and joystiq.

    2) A voice activated app launcher that ran in the background and waited for the user to call its name. For example if the user says “computer, read androidandme widget”, the app would launch the corresponding app/widget and since the user told the computer to read the widget, it would also launch the tts service and read the latest update.

    For reading rss feeds such as the example above the app would need to understand a few key voice commands, such as “computer, read next”.

    For maximum usability it would be great if all programs that were designed for the OS had metadata that allowed any program to be voice activated and fully controlled. Imagine using this voice app to complete all your daily tasks while you made your morning commute to work!

  • http://carpeaqua.com Justin Williams

    Realtor.com has pretty much every house that is for sale listed on their site. It’s the searchable database that is used by every realtor. It’d be great if they opened up the API (or just built their own application) that allowed users to search their listings based on a given radius or just browse a map to see see where houses are via maps/satellite/terrain.

  • Danny Kumite

    I want to create an alternate Market app that’s more descriptive and helpful than the current Market app. My XMarket app would have technical spec, screenshots, expert review from sources such as Android and Me, YouTube video, user review, related apps. Each of these categories is accessible by flicking your finger left or right (or via Menu key). You also have the options of install now or download to SD card to install in batch later.

    • triplem

      An alternate Market app, or “Market Buddy” would be great! There are many sites out there that do reviews of applications or compile what people have to say about these apps. Why not just put it in one place for the user to use from his phone, right before he downloads an app?

      • Danny Kumite

        “Market Buddy” sounds good. Thanks for the name.

  • Gregg Reno

    I’d like to create a voice controlled web browser that can read back key sections of web pages – weather, news, stock market quotes, etc. You could talk to your phone while driving! Now we just need the speech recognition APIs.

  • http://willworkforart.net brad cooper

    1. A single contacts app that pulls in everything from any social network. Before making a phone call, look at recent social activity…(The HTCContacts app on hero is close)

    2. An app that allows you to speak into your phone and a digital voice translates into another language out the speaker.

  • http://brettandsarahpeterson.com/blog Brett Peterson

    My dream App would be a Netflix or Hulu integrated app where you could stream either tv episodes or movies. It would be sweet to have caching capabilities so you could download them and watch them where you don’t have a great connection.

  • http://www.grumpymonkeychicago.com Regan

    I’d like to develop a portfolio app, where it can pull images from the SD card or online, as well as matched with text files for descriptions, to give an easy quick portfolio that you can either share locally with a client or globally online.

  • sparky


    I have been interested in developing an application that can help with my studies of foreign languages; particularly Japanese. Some features I would like to implement are:

    -Spaced repetition system (SRS) with a database to keep a chart and progress information stored
    -Media support (Images,Sound)
    -Input recognition (Kanji, Stroke order)

    More features could be added as seen needed by feedback from the user.

    Another application I would like to create would be either a port or new media player that can allow playback of old chip tune and video game music files available on the internet. (SID, VGM, MOD, etc)

    In Android We Trust!

  • http://blog.gynecologistcobra.net Demi Adejuyigbe

    An app that allows you to check grocery store/department store inventory to see if an item is in stock, so you don’t have to call or make a trip to a store to see if they have something you want/need.

  • David.M.Garcia

    I would like to create an application in which you could take over the world …. Okay I’m just kidding about taking over the world; a remote link which can tap into a PC, laptop, netbook to trouble shoot or even grab files say from your personal computer, I know I’ve had instances when working on a project from work and had a file on my home PC that would have really helped.

    The second idea I got from my wife, an application where you could place an order from a major chain restaurant i.e Apple Bee’s, Chili’s and it would be ready for pick maybe I’m shooting for too high right now on this one but the app would include other services everything you need for a night in, from downloading videos to recording the big game because you’re working late or just running late cause of your girl lol.

  • Edo

    To bad the competition is only open to people from the usa.. Now you will never know what great idea I have muahaha :)

  • Pingback: Android and Me()

  • Travis Berthelot


  • D Petrie

    I could use an app that would allow you to take a picture of something and then display the dimentions of object. Also store the pic and then be able to compare it to one or more pics. As a clinician it would be helpful to be able to take a pic of a rash or some such and compare it to pics of various diseases out of a data base. It would also be helpful to make voice notes or written notes and compare prievious pics of the same object to see what changes if any occured. And be able to send the various pics and notes together to another app user for advice or comment. Then pull information of medical databasis for treatment options.

  • M Vermeij

    I would like an application that seamlessly opens a gpx or kml file from a website or e-mail attachment and allows me to navigate from waypoint to waypoint with a compass (that is, without data traffic). Some applications offer import of GPX files but the process is still a bit cumbersome

  • http://Website xty

    love to see a location aware AA meeting guide, map integrated

  • http://home.ooijer.com dutchmarco

    Here’s an idea that, even if it isn’t my -dream- app, would still be the most useful one I have in mind (like all elegant things, its simplicity is what makes it so good): Blowtalk not a sex app, but where you blow into the mic to accept a call. Especially useful for bluetooth headsets and a call comes in when riding your motorbike, and you ccccan’t take your hands off the controls to take the call.

  • http://Website KPBird

    Hello Guys

    check-out following link, collection of 32 android books


  • Gaurav

    I wants to make a web browser just like opera for android .

  • rana karmakar

    my dream app would be to create an app which will controls everything….like opening and closing door of my house…turning switches on and off for my home appliances..act like remote for my tv,ac,ps,computer…..