App ideas?

Looking to play with apple apps - trying to get No.1 son in to some s/w development and slightly easier if it is fun. We can then get him on to more serious things.

One thing I wondered was an app that connected to an irc channel and posted location updates, and saw location updated from others and placed them on the map in real time. So anyone who opts to join the channel sees everyone else on the channel on the map in real time if they are on-line.

I have seen some things like this, but the idea of using an irc server to distribute the data is probably new. It makes it easy to integrate with other things. I suspect technically something like an XMPP server with location based status data is better though.

I may have to have a play - or rather get James to have a play :-)

Interested in other ideas for fun apps - so please make suggestions.


  1. Actually, doing this would be fun, but I suspect it could do with a few extras, like "do not report locations within x meters of my hours" or some such, so only when "out and about" are you shown.

  2. Being able to subscribe to #a&a-location and see where everyone is sounds pretty cool, especially if you make it human as well as machine readable.

    Android version too, please :p

  3. Idea is human readable lat/lon and maybe precision. Perhaps in DNS LOC format. So easy to make an android app for it too (if someone wants to). Maybe we can make a new convention for irc location updates. Would be neat to allow plain text suffix, either user entered or map based like "Bracknell" or some such.

  4. Other apps use their server, and I like the idea of irc, which can be open or your own irc server. Not someone else's server without you having a choice...

  5. How about an app for burglars, that aggregates all the available sources of location information, and pinpoints nearby houses which are likely to be empty? You could even have an alert if the owners seem to be on their way back, so the burglars know they have to get out fast. :-)

    Seriously, though... Isn't this a good reason not to post your location to an IRC channel, or any other public place?

  6. Indeed, but not everyone is quite so paranoid, and anyway it would be easy to have some privacy settings that means it does not show if near your house.

  7. Having a way to encrypt the location information might be interesting.

  8. Ah, I've been thinking on similar lines for my eldest (10 years old). Probably start with moving shapes around in response to being dragged etc. and take it from there depending on what sparks his interest....

  9. I was thinking recently of something similar. Basically a few friends are into airsoft/paintball type sports and have smartphones.

    Listening to them talk about it, it came out in conversation that an app that would update other clients (I figured over XMPP, but IRC would also work) as to the relative locations of your team from GPS and show it on Google Maps (which I believe has a nice JavaScript API for adding markers etc) could be a lot of fun.

    Extra bonus points on the app for allowing you to create waypoints for team-mates to see on their phone and move towards either with a simple map and arrow - or for the really adventurous - an Augmented Reality style "see the markers by pointing the phone in the direction you are interested in".
    Also adding "push to talk" broadcast would be a nice touch.

    It could turn these type of games into a real, "Call of Duty/Battlefield 2" type experience! (just make sure your phone doesn't get shot!)


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