Regarding the Android Market, what apps do people think are missing?
July 23, 2012 6:38 AM   Subscribe

Regarding the Android Market, what apps do people think are missing? I'm teaching myself a little Android programming. I'll try upload eventually a free app or two hopefully that the Marketplace doesn't already have a bunch of.
posted by KHinds10 to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
There are a few apps that offer location-based reminders (e.g., remind me to pick up milk if I'm near the supermarket after 5pm). From what I can tell, all of them are buggy and either abandoned or poorly supported. (Except one that is specifically designed to interface with a to-do manager that I don't otherwise use.) So, a good app to do location-based reminders would be amazing.
posted by maxim0512 at 7:10 AM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Thought it might useful to have a lawn mowing app that will keep track of when you mowed your lawn, what direction you mowed it, and something that will remind you when to fertilize it.
posted by bleucube at 8:06 AM on July 23, 2012

Best answer: What maxim0512 said, times a billion. I would pay money for a good app that lets me set reminders that go off when I, say, drive near the supermarket in the evening on a given day.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:23 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: (It would also make a good "hey, your bus stop is coming up" alert if I doze off or get engrossed in a book.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:26 AM on July 23, 2012

If you're looking at doing something along the lines of location-based reminders, take a look at Llama and see what it does well and what it doesn't. Not sure how it would work for the stuff above, because it's only activated by cell towers as opposed to GPS. If a program is going to use GPS, that would mean GPS would need to be active at all times, which would destroy your battery in short order...
posted by Grither at 8:31 AM on July 23, 2012

I genuinely believe that what the android market is missing is this: simple apps that continue to be supported once the basic functionality is completed. You know, those apps that get created by...well, someone like you, dabbling in apps just to do it.

I strongly recommend that you build something that you genuinely want or need, that scratches an itch you personally have. Whatever it is, you will be much less likely to abandon it in half-baked state, and much more likely to appreciate and leverage the feedback you receive (and by doing so, giving android users an actively developed and supported app.)
posted by davejay at 8:35 AM on July 23, 2012 [5 favorites]

Sorry, that was somewhat unclear...what i meant to say was that google play is stuffed with semi-useful apps made by people like you, who are just dabbling, and you would do more good by working on an app you genuinely want or need, no matter how obscure.
posted by davejay at 8:37 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Two things I've wanted - a really good, simple car blackbox app (think loop video recording that records the previous and subsequent 60 seconds after an accelerometer event, aka a crash, along with GPS and a good way to view both) and any app that relates to motorcycling - whether it be maintenance records, a glove-friendly GPS app, an app with ride routes rated by difficulty, etc.

Also, it's called the Google Play Store now.
posted by speedgraphic at 9:16 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The one thing that seems to me to be a major gap in the Android app market is an all-around good audio player. There isn't one and that's the only thing I miss about iOS.

By good audio player I mean that it:

- plays music
- plays audiobooks (and remembers your place)
- plays podcasts (and remembers your place)

Right now I have to use four different applications to do the above (Audible, Mort Player, Power Amp, and Beyond Pod).

What's nerve wracking is I have yet to find a combination of players that all work well with the headphone button. So, I'm listening to a podcast, and I press the headphone button and instead of pausing the podcast, it starts the audiobook software, etc etc.

Each of the programs I listed works awesome on its own, but I wish that there was one app for all things. Even just an audio player that remembered the position in an MP3 that's tagged as podcast or audiobook in the genre field would easily get $10 out of my wallet.
posted by dobbs at 10:16 AM on July 23, 2012

Also, it's called the Google Play Store now.

The Android market still exists for those of us who didn't get Google Play installed automatically.
posted by soelo at 11:06 AM on July 23, 2012

Response by poster: Wonderful! There's some things I never would have though of. These ideas will help me think outside my own head like "make the app where you can draw a sketch of a room on the screen". Also, the resume playback start over problem is something I just got used to, like most of us... But I have gotten sounds files to playback in my example Android Programming. So just thinking of a way to remember how many seconds have passed if you press the back-button etc.

I'll save the user names to notify if one of these good ideas comes to fruition :)
posted by KHinds10 at 11:50 AM on July 23, 2012

Best answer: The USNO Astronomical Applications Department has lots of good little programs on their Data Services page, a good phone centric interface would be nice.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:07 AM on July 24, 2012

Just to be clear regarding my request:

1. On Monday, I listen to 30 minutes of a 60 minute Podcast and 2 hours of a 5 hour audiobook.
2. Tuesday I listen to some MP3s.
3. Wednesday when I return to the Podcast, I need it to be where I left off.
4. Thurs when I return to the audiobook... right where I left off.

To my knowledge, no app currently does this.
posted by dobbs at 10:08 AM on July 24, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks! The U.S. Naval Observatory is such a good idea! There's so many things to try.
posted by KHinds10 at 6:47 PM on July 24, 2012

Best answer: Oh, here's a few I miss:

- Decent volume adjuster. The lowest headphone volume on my Galaxy SII is too much - some people with the same model say the highest is too low for them. For reasons I don't understand all volume apps are really fancy and not free (or only have useless free versions)

- File extractor. The WinRAR port is nagware and doesn't do password protected files (seriously?).

- Audio tagger. Pimp My Music (or something like that) works OK but doesn't use any online databases - you just have to put in the data manually. Also fails silently on m4a files. I also have to use a separate app for Album Art (though that works). I really, really just want to get rid of without having to wipe my data, fix it on my PC, re-upload...

- A pixel-art editor. Basically, just pick a (low, say 16x16 or 32x32) resolution, and use the screen just to paint pictures that size. Most drawing apps try to have different fancy brushes and stuff. Having a limited (say, NES/SNES/etc.) palette would be a plus.

A better audio player would definitely be a plus. Songbird is... OK, but it has one fixed theme and it was bad before the recent hideous grey/pink redesign.

posted by 23 at 3:01 AM on July 25, 2012

I really just want to get rid of "unknown" ... that will teach me to use angle brackets
posted by 23 at 3:03 AM on July 25, 2012

This one breaks the difficulty meter, but I'd really like an android app that can emulate a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, such that NO software is required of the machine your phone connects to. I have this on my n900, but I gather the android security model makes this a beast.
posted by pwnguin at 12:00 AM on September 17, 2012

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