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Mobile app that doesn't exist
Old 12-30-2016, 04:17 PM   #1
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Mobile app that doesn't exist

Although I've got 10 or more ideas for apps I might write some day, I thought it might be interesting to hear what members of this board thought would be a handy/helpful mobile app that they haven't been able to find.

I figure the quirkier the idea (long-tail) the better for a couple of reasons. First, if it's suitable for everyone, then it's probably either "out there" already or it's "impossible". Also, if only a few people are interested, then it won't become a j*b.

This thread also might prove enlightening, as people say "I wish I had..." and someone else says "What about...", thus raising the mobile app IQ of the group.
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Old 12-30-2016, 05:23 PM   #2
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On my wishlist: not an app, but connected to an app. I use (and love) the Wegmans app. (A grocery store app, it puts your shopping list in order by item location in the store). I would love an Echo skill that would link with the Wegmans app, so if I say "Alexa, put butter on my shopping list" it would go to my list on the Wegmans app.

Even if it had to be done with an IFTTT recipe-- I've got a couple recipes that allow me to use Alexa to control other devices or apps.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for bringing this up, I'll have to noodle on it a while. Not much is coming to mind off hand, but I'm sure something will.

One thing to consider - an app that can make use of an old cast off, 'out dated' phone, one that no longer has service. A while ago, I realized that these old phones are still potentially very useful - you've got a touch screen, battery, speaker and microphone, camera, wi-fi, etc. Heck, that's a lot for something you probably couldn't get $10 for on the open market!

I was thinking of using a couple I have to monitor various appliances in my home (on/off times of the well pump, sump pump, freezer, etc). But I'm only capable of rather simplistic programming, and none of the simple languages that I could find had much support for reading I/O, so that was a deal breaker for me.

Then I found out about these ~ $9 ESP8266 boards with GPIO, ADC, some flash file space, and wi-fi, and the MicroPython programming language. That fit the bill for me, and I have one up and running now.

https://www.amazon.com/HiLetgo-Versi.../dp/B010O1G1ES

https://docs.micropython.org/en/late...ial/intro.html

It's a variant of Python, which can be useful for scripting stuff on your home computer, so it is a skill that translates to other useful things.

So I probably won't go back to trying this on a phone, but I'll keep thinking about this.

Along these lines - some apps on phones are so much more useful than their hardware counterparts - kitchen timers come to mind. But getting the old phone out, starting it, making sure it's charged - by that time it isn't worth it. But you got me thinking - maybe build an old phone like that into a nice wooden charger base for our phones for the kitchen, and it would always be available and charged to use for those apps, or as a music player, anything that needs nothing more than wifi. I could put some decent speakers in the charger base. Hmmmm.....

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Old 12-30-2016, 07:27 PM   #4
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One of my app ideas would require an external circuit with a microcontroller, but I don't have the skills to design the circuit. If I really put my mind to it, I might be able to write microcode again, but there's too much territory between where I am and having something working. That is to say the little Python thing might be an alternative.

I really like the idea of an old phone app! Instead of having a single purpose rasberry pi, for instance, it could be a single purpose wifi only Android device. Hmmm. This forum pays for itself every day And now I know what IFTTT stands for.
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Old 12-31-2016, 09:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
One of my app ideas would require an external circuit with a microcontroller, but I don't have the skills to design the circuit. If I really put my mind to it, I might be able to write microcode again, but there's too much territory between where I am and having something working. That is to say the little Python thing might be an alternative.

I really like the idea of an old phone app! Instead of having a single purpose rasberry pi, for instance, it could be a single purpose wifi only Android device. Hmmm. This forum pays for itself every day And now I know what IFTTT stands for.
I could probably help on the hardware circuit side. Maybe PM me and we could collaborate over a google drive link or something?

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