An open letter to WP7 app developers seeking inspiration

by Liam Britten

Dear WP7 app developers,

My birthday is coming up soon. Well, not my birthday — it’s my son’s birthday. Well, actually, I don’t have a son — it’s my dog’s birthday. Okay, it’s actually my neighbour’s dog. But that’s pretty much my birthday, right? It takes a village and all that, you know?

Okay, just work with me here.

The point is, I need some gifts. So why not a few presents in app form? Here are a few things that I haven’t seen in the mobile space that could be supremely useful in my daily life:

  • My father is pushing 60, and like a lot of blue-collar guys his age, computers are not his strong suit. Any way you can get him an app that helps with PC tech support? I know it sounds like I’m a bad son here, but I’ve spent way too much damn time helping him to fix his Outlook inbox.
  • How some support for the home team? How about a way for little league teams to design simple team apps of their own? When I was in little league baseball (Port Coquitlam Demons, represent!) everyone got baseball cards with their faces on them. These days, I’ll bet you kids today would get a kick out of being featured on their team’s official app, just like the pros.
  • Okay, if I could really nerd out for a minute here, there can never be too many role-playing games with atypical settings. Fallout? Earthbound? Shadowrun? Classic menu-based games that could really benefit from touchscreen technology and WP7’s PC and Xbox 360 integration. I’m not saying to license these franchises (unless you’ve got a few briefcases full of money kicking around), but RPG makers should be encouraged to think beyond sword and sorcery.
  • Okay, now here’s one for my mum: how about an app to remind people to water their plants? Set a schedule, get a reminder as needed. Let’s just say our cacti are doing better than the tropical ferns.
  • I know there are a million restaurant apps, but as a coinnesseur of the finer things in life, I value one thing about a venue of gastronomy above all others — where the hell are the free wings? Seriously, give me a frequently updated listing about when and where the cheap wings are, and you’ll see downloads of your app skyrocket faster than my cholesterol.

Hey, if I knew the next million-dollar app, you think I’d still be writing for a living? All I’m saying is that there are still tons of apps just waiting to be developed, and with WP7, the field is a hell of a lot less crowded than the other mobile platforms.

So, good luck, WP7 developers; the (mobile) world is yours.

If you’ve got that million dollar idea, you could win $10K to get your idea off the ground. Find out how Microsoft is helping mobile developers with the Great Canadian Apportunity.

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Liam Britten

Liam Britten

Liam Britten is a writer and editor with a journalism background operating out of Vancouver. In addition to his work at Techvibes, he has been published in student publications across Canada, as well as local newspapers such as The MapleRidge-Pitt Meadows TIMES and The Langley Advance. An aficionado for the finer things in life — such as video games and sports — Liam is plugged into the tech... more

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