Tell Developers Your Idea with Need an App

As a web developer/programmer/nerd, this is a statement I get a lot: “Hey Joe, you know what would be cool? An app that [insert something here].” Sometimes I’ll get a justification that it “shouldn’t be too hard to do” (they’d probably feel differently if they were programming it), or more commonly I’d get, “I think a lot of people would use this.” That’s how a lot of great ideas get started: someone has a want or need. On the other hand, sometimes a developer wants to take on a project, but doesn’t have an idea to run with. Need An App aims to bring these two groups of people together.

Need An App is a pretty simple app with one purpose: get app ideas from people. Once you use the app to submit an idea, “a team of Android developers will continuously evaluate the proposals … and your desired app may be realized!!” This seems pretty cool.

The App

This is the whole app

This screenshot shows the entire app: one screen, one function. It asks you a few questions, for what I’m assuming is demographic purposes, and you submit your idea. They want to know your age, sex, current location (in general terms like office, home, coffee shop, etc.), and the category you feel your app should go under. Then you send your app in, with hopes that the elusive team of developers will like your idea and run with it.

As far as functionality, I like (for an initial app) that they stay true to their mission; it’s really just an app to gather ideas. That being said, when you press “Send,” you’re given no feedback as to whether your idea was submitted or not, and you cannot view other ideas from within the app, so you have no clue if your idea was actually submitted or not. It would also be nice to see what others are submitting so that you don’t send in a repeat idea — you could just vote it up/comment on it. This (I would imagine) would make the developer’s life a lot easier too, as they wouldn’t have to wade through as many ideas.

The Website

There is also a website to go along with the app. This is where you actually see ideas submitted — as the website claims — in real time.

weneedanapp.net

Here you can see that they are collecting some extra data: your geolocation. You can view the last 20 ideas submitted by date and location, orgnaized on a nice little Google Map. But still, you can’t view all submitted ideas, nor can you comment or vote on any.

I also learned by coming here that either the site isn’t actually in real time, or my ideas were not submitted . This means either the website, or the app has a bug in it; I don’t think it’s the app, as I explain later.

The Idea

As a developer myself, I think this is a great idea. If executed correctly this sort of app will not only gather ideas for you, but do all of the market research as well. By gathering age, location, and sex, you can make up some nice demographics for app requests, and, of course, you can choose to develop the ones that seem like they will get used by either the most people, or by some really appealing niche (for example, young professionals, or construction workers).

This sort of “crowdsourcing” of ideas is not new by any stretch, but having a navtive Android app that allows users to submit their ideas gives you some extra info and focus. First, you already know what platform they want the app for. Second, you can use Android’s geolocation function to collect where the ideas are coming from. This is a great way for you to better know your market. Plus, there is the assumption (which is not always correct) that they just tried looking for the app in Android’s Market and didn’t find what they were looking for.

Needed Improvements

Like I said, I am all for this idea. However, there are some much needed improvements for this to be a great app and community. I can understand the developers are going for simplicity (the first app to market often ends up with the biggest user base), but they need to provide users with some sort of feedback that their ideas have been submitted. I’m operating under the assumption that they are submitted, because people have obviously submitted ideas, and as far as I can tell, the Send button in the app only changes color the first time you submit an app, but no other time after (unless you exit the app).

There should also be a list of already submitted ideas, organized by popularity and date submitted. Not only will the help users realize if their idea is a frequently requested one, but it will help the app makers stay organized. The list should allow for “likes” or “bumps” or some function that allows users to tell the developers they also like a particular idea.

Finally, I don’t see that the app is collecting any personal data (which is good because it doesn’t ask), but it would be nice if you could submit your email address so that you’re notified if they do decide to develop your app.

Conclusion

QR Code (eng)

Need an App is a great idea, that if well executed can really help the “crowdsourcing ideas” cause, which in turn would help the Android community. The app does need a bit of work, but its simplicity and focus is a good start.

 

The app is available in both English and Italian.


Summary

Need an App allows you to submit your ideas to developers right from your Android device

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