What apps would YOU create?

I was asked this briliant question during a recent conference call and it stumped me for a second.  We think about how to use apps that exist but what about creating what we need or want?   How can we become the app-trepeneurs ourselves?

So after some thought,  here’s the start of my list of apps that would make life more convenient and functional for our students and for educators/librarians:  (and by the way, a caveat: some of these may exist and I haven’t discovered them yet, so educate me if I need to know.)

–an app for my library that would have menu items for our catalog, our database list, a map, contact information, links to e-books, schedules, etc. Rather than individual apps for each of these things, this app would incorporate all the features on our library website or at least provide access to them easily.  It would look like a conference app does (like the TCEA app, for example) with menu items for each function.

–an app that turned videos that I filmed sideways rightside up.

–an app that combined all the books no my ipad, whether they were in iBooks, Nook app, Kindle app, etc. so that I had a consolidated list of what I had and could access it.

–an app that would create rubrics for teachers/librarians

–an app that would allow students to self-block themselves from playing games or would help them self-monitor the amount of time they were spending playing games so that they could police themselves, as students do indicate this is a problem for them.

–an app that allows you to create a professional statistical report (for libraries for example) that could be used for advocacy.  Yes, I can use Pages, etc. but why not have an app with fields already provided for easy reporting?

–an app for tutorials on the iPad or with multiple tutorials.  Why should we search the web for tutorial videos on using iMovie on the iPad or figuring out how to set up settings?  Why couldn’t there be an app with those tutorials?

–an app that can do federated search through all of our library databases.

–an app that allows me as a librarian to snap photos of books I want and relay them to the book vendors that I purchase from to create an instant list of what I’d like to roder for the library.  Included in the app, a QR code reader and barcode scanner so that I have multiple ways to bring this content into my vendor’s list of items.

–for Amazon to use it’s considerable profits from selling books (which seems a core mission aligned with libraries) to come up with a model for providing e-book content to libraries for check-out purposes and to make this all work via an app.

–an app for students that would allow them to draw with more accuracy on the iPad so they can take notes, illustrate diagrams, etc. more easily.

–an app for Google hangouts so I can do something like Facetime with multiple people/classes

–an app that provides verbal searching (oh yeah, that is Googe Voice).

–an app that makes Google docs work smoothly on the iPad

–an app that allows teachers to give student feedback orally–that attaches right onto student documents so teachers can voice over their comments, and students can dialogue back.

–an app that allows me to collaborate with teachers on projects–sort of like GoToMeeting where we can meet remotely via the iPad but have a workspace to take notes, and a way to export those notes out into Pages.

–an app that allows iMovie files to be exported or shared off of the iPad to YouTube or email, even if they are larger files.

–an app that allows me to identify a student’s phone or iPad even if it is passworded, so I at least know who to return it to when it’s lost in the library or elsewhere in teh school.

–a speak to tweet app.

–an app that nags students.  Sort of like at Hogwart’s– can appear out of nowhere and remind them to focus, get their vocab done, to start working on their paper, etc. but maybe in a voice like Mrs. Weasley’s.  Humorous but a task reminder app.

–a similar app where I could sotre jotted ideas, inspirations, etc., which would randomly scroll them across my screen or pop up in a voice and read them to me once in awhile to get my creative juices flowing, so those notes don’t become lost flotsam and jetsom on my device.

–lastly, to aid in my need to feed conference visitors to Austin well, –an app that tracks locations of and menus of Austin food trucks.

Other ideas–what apps would you like to see?


3 thoughts on “What apps would YOU create?

  1. I have used the Titlewave app to scan isbns of books I come across while out and about to create wish lists. Just because Im using their app doesn’t mean Im committed to purchase there, but it is OH so easy for sure. And definitely convenient. It uses a scanner to search for the books.

  2. As an advocate for the open web, I don’t see why most of these items should be apps & not websites. E.g. your first one; why would “all the features on our library website” need to be on a native app? Do you have a desktop app for all your site’s features? Why would a mobile one be appropriate? This sounds like a perfect use case for a mobile site or responsive desktop site, but not an app. For one, it would have to have a network connection to work (can’t query the catalog otherwise, for instance) so you don’t gain offline usage & it doesn’t tap into any of device APIs (camera, etc.). Apps lock you into proprietary distribution modes (e.g. App Store, Android Market) & need different versions for every OS; websites are accessible across mobile devices, even feature phones.
    Really, I think the killer app for libraries would be one that reformats all our terribly ugly, mobile-unfriendly web interfaces (desktop site, catalog, databases from 100 different providers) into a unified, cross-platform view. It could be a website, such as a next gen discovery layer, or an app that uses a WebKit view to process sites into something more palatable.

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