Though my primary focus is on dating and relationships issues, I am also a HUGE technogeek. No one gets greater joy out of playing with new technology, software, and mobile apps than me. So, it was with great excitement I attended the AppNation III “Show Me The Money” Conference which opened December 1, 2011 at the San Francisco Design Center, looking for apps that would be appropriate to recommend to singles.
The speaker lineup at AppNation III consisted of a long list of heavy hitters of familiar names and exciting new startups in digital media, social networking and web development. Doug Purdy, Head of Developer Relations at Facebook was the opening keynote speaker. Clay Kellogg (Google), Todd Simpson (Mozilla), Brooks Tobey (Turner Broadcasting), David Zilberman (Comcast Ventures), Ulla McGee (PC World), Jamie Wells (Microsoft), Brad Kellert (Chomp), Praveen Alavilli (PayPal), John Joseph (Playhaven), and Candace Locklear (Mighty), just to name a few.
Though the focus of the event was on driving discoverability, app distribution, securing funding for start-ups and monetization of applications for developers, my focus was on sniffing out the most interesting and innovative applications for use by the average non-tech single on their Smartphone and/or desktop.
Even the API, SDK and advertising experts admitted that app discoverability is no longer driven by markets but by word of mouth. Unless a developer is lucky enough to get their app on the first page or reviewed in a top tech or consumer magazine, their wonderful app may not be widely used. That’s where people like me come in.
I have to say that left the conference in awe of the creative vision of dozens of developers that have created absolutely dynamic, very exciting applications. Many of the best are still in Beta, and I gave my word not to put anything in print until the bugs are worked out and their products are ready to launch. However, there were quite a few that were up and ready to go that I am very excited about sharing with you.
The apps discussed below are available in the Android Market or on ITunes for free download. Go to the developer’s website listed for specific information on the product, or to screen shots.
Cardflick – “Flick Your Business Card to Anyone.” This is a neat little app which allows you to create an online business card that can be “flicked” to another person with the proprietary app, or easily emailed to those that do not. The templates were all designed by professional designers and are quite eye-catching. This is an easy and inexpensive way for sole proprietors to save money on business start-up costs, plus you never have to worry about running out of business cards at a big event ever again. Custom analytics that provide ROI, how many cards were opened, distributed, clickthroughs to your website, etc. Though designed for business, I can also see it being used to “flick” a social card (name, email and/or cell number) to prospective romantic partners as well. Hey! How cool is that, huh? Unfortunately it’s currently available only for IPhone users, though the Android version is promised soon. A pro feature which would allow you to upload your own card design is in Beta. (http://cardflick.co/)
Infinite Monkeys – I love this app! Any group of friends, club, band, sorority/fraternity, nightclub, singles group, church group, etc. can create a private social network community. Your customized app can be used only by the group’s members, and created without any programming skills, absolutely free of charge and in less than 30 minutes! This app is without a doubt one of the most exciting new applications I saw at AppNation with the greatest capability for widespread use. Decide want you want in your app: sharing of photos and videos, Twitter feeds, real time chat rooms, music downloads, schedule of events, store links, RSS feeds from blogs or websites, etc. Upgrade features meet the needs of most closed groups for just $49. Versions available for both Android phones and Iphones. (http://infinitemonkeys.mobi/)
The Channer – TV Goes Social! Anything that you can watch on free internet television, can be viewed on The Channer.Com with the additional benefit of interacting via Twitter, FaceBook or chat with your friends. Share your thoughts about the program you’re watching without picking up the telephone to miss a word of dialogue. Sports, news, entertainment, music and movies from around the globe. Watch with friends, or log on to watch with strangers to flirt and possibly make new friends. At least you’ll know you have something in common, right? Under development is a premium feature which will allow you to watch the same channels you get with cable for pennies on the dollar. (www.thechanner.com)
MomoLocal – MOMO Local is a community market place to buy and sell products and services. Form or join interest groups, offer your professional business services to local residents, or post local events for singles. Find a tutor for your brats, new students for your classes, or seminars and workshops on dating. Their mission is described as “to make resources around you more visible and accessible and help connect people to exchange resources easily, reliably and efficiently.” It’s still in BETA and only launched recently, but if marketed properly this app has great promise for social singles. (http://momolocal.com)