Custom Apps

The smartphone’s in many consumer hands today are as powerful as the desktop computers we were using five years ago. They may be as powerful from a hardware standpoint, yet the smaller interface demands different methods of interaction. The smaller interface also places different demands on the software that runs on it.

Smartphone software apps typically need to be smaller and very narrowly focused in order to be maximally useful. Smartphones have turned out to be convergence devices, with the functionality of traditional desktop and laptop computers concentrated into a handheld phone.

The best smartphone apps tend to be apps that present a finely honed slice of functionality.

Many podcasters are coming up with their own smartphone apps. One I recently installed is called “Survive!” for Android. It is an Android app for “The Survival Podcast” available at http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com, hosted by Jack Spirko. It’s a great example of simple, functional design that places the web presence of The Survival Podcast in a neat little Android app package.

“Survive!” has a simple home screen that simply lists Survival Podcast Episodes, Videos (YouTube), Twitter, a link to the main website, and recent website forum posts. The single configuration option decides whether or not to download new Survival Podcast episodes automatically or not.

The inclusion of both Twitter and recent forum posts is a great way for the community that Survival Podcast host Jack Spirko has built up around the podcast and it’s website to keep up to date with the latest posts. Additionally the app includes instant access to all of the latest audio and video media.

“Survive!” is an excellent example of a well-crafted smartphone app that presents all of the main podcast and web-based elements in a simple, extremely easy-to-use package. “Survive!” can be found in the Android Marketplace by searching the term “survival podcast.”