Monday, November 23, 2009

The next killer iPhone App

I'm going to tell you about the next killer iPhone app. It hasn't got a name yet because nobody's written it. At least not that I know of. So this is more like the Business Requirements Spec.
I'm getting sick of managing the flow of stuff that comes into my iPhone. There are 7 email accounts - yes I need them all. Then there's some Twitter accounts in Tweetie 2 (great app but let's not get distracted). Next there's the Messages app where the texts come in, and the phone app for missed calls, and Pocket Weather(AU) for the weather, and Skype for chats, and a few instant messaging accounts, plus NewsStand (I love it).
So my problem is that I can (and do) spend a lot of time flicking from one app to another to see who's sent me what. It's particularly frustrating when driving with Google Maps or the very excellent aSmart HUD 3D+ - bad name but great app and you hear a buzz from the phone.
So all you iPhone devs out there here are the four things that this new app has to do. I'll give you the specs and you go off and develop it please. I will help you beta test it BTW.
So four things you have to do:
  1. Aggregate incoming communications from all those sources and a few more;
  2. Display incomings as a ticker tape, on-screen, wherever I am in the iPhone, even when it's locked and only when you are needed. I also want you to do portrait or landscape automatically and I want to be able to say top, bottom, left vertical or right vertical in your settings;
  3. When I touch one of the incomings you have to take me to the relevant app and message;
  4. When I'm finished with that message you should deliver me back to wherever I was before I touched it;
See not hard at all is it? Can I have that before Christmas please? I promise you'll make a lot of money from this killer app.
No charge for preparing the BRS by the way - you can have that for free -;)
And if by chance this already exists can somebody please, please, please tell me its name?


  1. Hey mate. Yeah this isn't possible on iPhone due to the way apps are run. You cannot run apps in the background. When you load an app, it is put in a "sandbox" which is entirely self-contained with a very limited subset of controlled calls that can be made outside it (eg. send an email or launch the phone app).

    I think the androids will be a lot better for this kind of thing. On that, you can write widgets for the home screen and customise them as you wish. That way you could get a list of new messages up on the home screen and it would perform as you suggested. Too bad all the android phones so far are crap, slow and terrible to use.

  2. G'day naips, I thought there might be something like that in the road of a "good" idea!
    Maybe one day Apple will do something to more effectively allow this sort of thing. It's badly needed.