May 25, 2011 SF AppShow Recap

After opening remarks and a silly game of Old School Angry Birds (see photo below), 10 great app developers took the stage in the Robertson Auditorium on the Campus of UCSF Mission Bay with Byte Editor-in-Chief and SF AppShow host, Gina Smith.   Here’s a quick run-down of the apps that we saw and why I picked them for the SF AppShow.

Magic Piano

Smule make great apps for helping people without a lot of musical knowledge or talent make and share great music.  I loved their Magic Piano app when I saw it on the iPad and was very interested by the iPhone version.  It’s also Smule’s first free app where they make money solely on in app purchases and have created their very first virtual currency.


Goby is the first recommendation focused exclusively on helping you find great things to do. In the same way Pandora revolutionized music recommendations and Netflix makes great movie recommendations, Goby helps you plan your weekend, based on your personal interests and tastes – millions of things to across over 350 categories of things to do, in every zip code in the US.

Big Pollution

It’s a great game and the object is to help cap an oil leak deep in the ocean.  Any similarity to an actual event which took place a little over a year ago (April 20, 2010) is purely coincidental, as is the abbreviation for Big Pollution (BP).


SpotWorld is extremely social, it is global (most travel apps are for 1 destination) and fully interactive.   It supports user-generated tips, photos, and ratings. Finally, we have a travel-themed, location-based game that users can engage in.

Have you ever run up a huge international texting bill to friends overseas or while roaming in a foreign country?  HeyWire is the  only free texting app to provide unlimited texting to 50 countries, HeyWire is also breaking down communication barriers. HeyWire lets users text in almost every language, making it easy for people to communicate with friends all over the world!
This app isn’t live yet, but I wanted to support the fantastic cause of Goodwill where I regularly donate old clothes, furniture, etc.  Goodwill Silicon Valley does a huge amount to help folks in the Silicon Valley. However, there is little interaction between GWSV and its donors. GWSV also currently has no method of communicating with it donor base since it doesn’t capture contact information when a donation is made. Our service solves that problem and enables GWSV to communicate with its donors when it has a special need (e.g. wool coats in the winter), to update its donors on its services and how they are contributing to its success, etc.
Evri is a news discovery product that analyzes thousands of source feeds of content around the web and categorizes them by topic, in this case baseball.  Evri is headquartered in San Francisco, home of the 2010 World Series Champion SF Giants.
– Top-rated real estate app on iPad/iPhone currently
– only real estate search app which allows local amenity information (restaurants, schools, etc.) – extremely useful when making buy/rent decisions
– only real estate app on iPad with EZ visual full map view and heatmaps to quickly overlay neighborhood data
This app is part of a growing trend amongst technology and musicians trying to reinvent the music video for the mobile age.  The app allows you to take the cult two-piece band “The Ferocious Few”  in your pocket with you and have either member play anywhere you are, or if you have a friend with the app, you can stage a concert of both members of the band.
This is the only Android only app on this list and the app is coming soon to iPhone.  This app allows you to better communicate using your phone by sharing contacts, location, and photos while you’re still using your phone.   Or in their words: “Mobile phones have become incredibly sophisticated computing devices, and we regularly share media, photos, contacts and other rich content.  But this sharing is done in isolation from the actual phone call. No technology has integrated digital sharing within a phone call, when it’s often most convenient and practical, until Thrutu. There’s no flipping between apps or interrupting your conversation. Furthermore, with these added capabilities, Thrutu users spend about 50% more time talking, extending calls.