According to Livemint, India is the world’s second-largest market, after China, for telecom services with 812 million subscribers at the end of March 2011. 2010, they say, was the year of the smartphone in India. We will remember these last few years as the time when the phone was transformed into anything but a phone.
Hardware vendors like Apple, which launched iPhone 4 recently and Samsung, which has over 15 smartphones in its portfolio, are eyeing the potential of the Indian market. With availability of 3G now rolled out by leading telecom operators like Vodafone and others, and with continuing drop in hardware and data usage costs, the smartphone has a bright future in this land of a billion people.
Apple and iPhone apps: Unparalleled phenomenon
In case you missed it, the Apple phenomenon is unparalleled in brand history. A technology company named after a fruit has succeeded in penetrating pysche of consumers and inspiring almost fanatical devotion, much more than any other company. When Apple whispers about a new product, that whisper becomes the loudest roar since the moon landing. Campers start lining up. All for the pleasure of having and holding.
Design, development, sales and marketing of iPhone apps is no longer a cottage industry. It now increasingly looks more like big and serious business. There are many reasons for that. At the root of them all lies a human desire to stay connected and a proclivity for mobility. The size of the smartphone app market was an estimated $6.8B in 2010, of which Apple accounted for a lion’s share. The top grossing iPhone apps of 2010 include the ubiquitously famous Angry Birds as well as, interestingly, three “zombie” apps (Plants vs Zombies, Zombie Farm and Call of Duty:Zombies) providing that man’s fascination with zombies is endless and insatiable.
With what looks like three fourths of the world’s GDP now being spent on dorky games and junk apps, it’s about time some one invented something that was actually useful. Something useful to the world’s second largest market?
Laughing Gas issues a clarion call to all those Apple iOS SDK ninjas out there to pay heed and urgently begin development on what we believe to be the 7 most needed iPhone apps for Indians.
7 iPhone apps Indians need
7. 2-mt Passport Photoshop
If you haven’t already read Laughing Gas’s exposition on the passport photo situation in this country, you must. To get just about anything done here, a steady and handy supply of passport photos is a must. The 2-mt Passport Photoshop app is a mini-ERP for passport sized photo management, and will keep track of incoming orders, check current inventory levels using RFID and trigger production of optimal numbers. All you need is to take a photo of yourself, in any condition, at any age. The app will shave and clothe you, remove bags under the eyes and lop 10 years off your age. Send to nearest printer via bluetooth. Upgrade option available to send directly to collection agent’s pockets. All in 2 minutes.
6. Angry Indian Bird app
Fed up with scams? Enraged at netas looting the till on their watch? Frustrated at having no avenue for action? Need to get anger out of the system?
Say no more. Download the Angry Indian Bird app, get that anger out of your system and achieve the state of supreme Satchitananda that only Zen masters and Maharishis have seen. The app will allow you to live in a parallel Utopian universe of your own design where you can walk the streets as a virtual vigilante and supreme dispenser of justice. Create your own government, supreme court and law and order systems. Invoke Section 144 at your own sweet will. Lathi charge those disorderly queue breakers. Disconnect those telemarketers. Hang those chors. Fast until death against yourself.
5. Shaadi Bazaar app
An app tailor made for money grubbing, greedy in-laws. Upon entry of the usual information such as age, height, weight, religion, caste, sub-caste and horoscope, it will prompt a prospective in-law to enter the following: Target dowry amount, bank account number, inclination to spend time in jail and names of friends already in jail. Press submit and hey presto, following report is produced.
21 matches found
11 do not meet target dowry amount
9 would like to terminate you
1 found suitable, with 68% chance of being incarcerated post dowry collection.
4. The Tele-Terminator app
The Tele-Terminator is a protective pepper spray for use against invasive telemarketing companies. Please read the following instructions for usage carefully.
- Answer incoming call from random number
- Wait for call to connect
- Press second red button at the bottom (see image to your left)
- Rub hands in glee
- Wait for next incoming call from random number
- Repeat above
3. The Ultimate Route Planner
Plain vanilla GPS is uncool. Of what use is a talking machine that merely tells you “200 meters ahead, turn right” and stays oblivious to on-the-ground action. The Ultimate Route Planner will go where no app has gone before. Into the realms where data meets its makers and will offer actually useful choices such as
Your starting point: Somewhere in Bangalore city
Your destination: Bangalore International Airport
13 routes identified.
Top 3 routes displayed below
1. Distance: 45 km, via city, 1147 potholes, 47 potential lurking dashers across the road, 4 traffic cop leeches on route, Normal expected time: 45 minutes. Recommendation: Avoid as it is end of month
2. Distance: 57 km, via ring road, 24 potholes, 1million office goers in four-wheelers, 14 flyovers under construction. Normal expected time: 1 hour 15 minutes. Recommendation: Avoid, as inconsequential junior Minister on way to airport with entourage
3. Distance: 347kms, via Chennai. Normal expected time: 6hrs and 10 minutes. Recommendation: Recommended, as fastest route to destination
2. Missed Call Analytico App
Nearly one in four calls in India is a “missed call”. People use it for everything from summoning drivers, sending pre-arranged messages, telling customers that their order is ready, to signaling endearment to loved ones. The last one is a bit puzzling though. “I am willing to find your number from my address book. I am willing to go even as far as dialing it. My ears stand ready and my muscles stay flexed to hear the first ring. But, that’s where I draw the line. Once the ring is heard, I will disconnect call with the agility of a chinese acrobat on steroids”. Well, I guess nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a missed call.
The Missed Call Analytico app will provide features and reports, a sample of which is provided below:
Number of missed calls made last week: 447
Number of missed calls received: 1623
The last time you spoke to anybody and paid for a call: 21 years, 3 months, 12 days, 1hour, 5 minutes and 17 seconds back
Your most frequent missed caller: Unknown Random Number of Unknown Random Company
Would you like to terminate “Unknown Random Company”? Press big red button.
1. Time and Space Machine app
Play the following in your mind and then imagine the endless possibilities of the Time and Space machine app.
The drum in your washing machine has given up its ghost and needs to be replaced. You call washing machine service shop. They designate friendly field technical service rep (FFTSR) to replace drum. They give you FFTS’s mobile phone number. You fix an appointment. The day of appointment dawns. The designated hour arrives. No sign of FFTSR. An hour later, you call FFTSR.
Note: There will always be sound of massive traffic, construction and static in the background. It will always be difficult for FFTSR to hear you. And he will always say Yes no matter what is being asked.
You: Are you coming to repair the washing machine?
FFTSR: Yes, madam
You: You were supposed to be here 1 hour back
FFTSR: Sorry, madam. I am now in Koramangala. Just 5 minutes, madam. I’ll be there.
This is precisely where the Time and Space Machine app kicks in. It will capture the coordinates of FFTSR, monitor voice modulations and breathing patterns, and produce a report as follows:
FFTSR Location Detected: Mysore, 100 miles from your present location
Lie Detection Level: Stratospheric
Probability of Drum Being Repaired: Unlikely in Kali Yuga
Options: 1. Wait for new Brahma to be born 2. Buy new washing machine
Have any more desi iPhone apps that you can think of? Do write back. Apple ninjas are standing by.