Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Six Mobile Ideas

Here are 6 ideas for mobile applications I’d like to use. Two of them are about easier data access:

  1. Access to desktop files: I’d like to list, search, and open files from my desktop on my phone. Dropbox lets you do this through an iGoogle gadget, but I’d like to go to a simple page on my iPhone.

  2. Offline content: When it has WiFi reception, my phone preloads itself with all the content that’s on top of Hacker News, and lets me to quickly browse it when on the go. Similar to AvantGo from the old Palm days, but doesn’t need you to plug your phone into your computer.

The rest are location-based services which require either good position triangulation or built-in GPS on your phone:
  1. Instant Meetup: An extension to my Academic Lunch Dating idea from years ago. I’d like to do things like: “I’m in Washington Square Park right now and would like to find someone with similar interests”. It’s GPS-powered instant friendship building or dating.
  2. A Location-based Upcoming: “I’m at 3rd and Market and would like to do something exciting within walking distance.” This would give recommendations of what to do – it might give you your friends’ party 4 blocks down, or the latest SFMOMA special exhibit.
  3. Yelp it now: Instead of tediously going through Yelp’s interface – which is super slow on my iPhone – I want a simple, fast-loading page that returns the top 3 rated restaurants on Yelp within walking distance.
  4. NextBus plus GPS: Using built-in GPS, finds out which bus stop I’m at. List the next bus arrivals here, in any directions. Much like the existing NextBus, but no scrolling through pages of stops.

Has someone already done any of this? If so, please leave a comment and let me know.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Academic Lunch Dating link is broken:

http://www.gaborcselle.com/blog/2006/11/academic-lunch-dating.html

Gabor said...

Fixed, thanks.

Rahul said...

Access to desktop files - perhaps SoonR is what you're looking for:

http://public.soonr.com/home.html

Evan said...

The NextBus idea is great. I had a similar issue in that there are a lot of options for me on public transit to and from work, so I made this page that displays a set of relevant lines at the stops I use: http://evanalyze.com/muni/index.php

Making it automatic with GPS would be a cast improvement.

Gabor said...

Rahul - the Soonr site looks very interesting, but it's a lot of enterprisy blah blah about "platforms for delivering mobile services". Are there any screenshots / Flash demos of what it does?

Gabor said...

I just learned that there is such a thing as 5. The Yelp iPhone Application does just what I was looking for.

Matthias said...

3.) Check out aka-aki, it's kind of a bluetooth community tool.

Gabor said...

2. == http://www.instapaper.com/

Adam MacBeth said...

So should we take this to mean your next company will be in the mobile space?

For #5, check out the Urbanspoon application - http://www.urbanspoon.com/blog/27/Urbanspoon-on-the-iPhone.html. It's more popular than the Yelp app and more fun too!

Gabor said...

Maybe. As you probably know, there are a lot of opportunities in making non-talk communication on the phone more useful. :-)

I don't quite have the capital-I Idea yet. Still exploring the space ...