Congratulations, Apple! 500,000 apps, according to estimates. That's a lot of apps in your store, it truly is. I've been reviewing apps for nearly two full years and although I don't have an official count, I don't think I’ve downloaded even 1,000 of them.
That said, as far as I’m aware, the other 499,000 that I've missed out on don't appear to cover the next five I'm about to mention. Sure, some of these ideas may not be safe or even legal, but for an impatient guy of nearly non-existent willpower like myself, they're exactly what I’ve been missing. If you want a truly satisfied customer, I'd appreciate someone, anyone, thinking outside the box to deliver on the following suggestions.
An app that blocks out a newspaper website's comments sections
I love newspapers, so it's no surprise that one of my favorite ways to kill time when I'm stalling on more important projects is to read a few stories online. But despite my best intentions, I can never stop at the last sentence of an article. Instead I linger a little too long and start reading the terrible, ridiculously offensive comments that follow every story.
Newspaper comments sections are the sort of places where stories about little leaguers selling candy invite commenting rants about the value of the free market. And those are the more polite comments. Well, enough is enough. I clearly don't have the willpower to stop reading these things by myself, but an app that prevents me from ever seeing them? Yes please!
An app that tells me when someone may have written a missed connection about me
My vanity knows no bounds. But sometimes my forgetfulness trumps my vanity and I forget to check Craigslist Missed Connections after I come home from a night on the town. What if some weirdo is fantasizing about meeting me and I missed out!?
I propose an app that lets users add in descriptors about themselves so that they can quickly scan the last few weeks of Missed Connections and see if their next stalker is out there, waiting to place unreasonably high expectations on them based on how they looked eating pizza with friends a few nights ago.
An app that will tell me the status of my take-out order
Patience is a virtue that I simply don't have time for. And as sympathetic as I am to the people who cook and then deliver whatever food order I have called in, I'm also really curious. Is my order third in line to be cooked? Has it just hit the oven? Are you boxing it right now? I want to know! As far as impractical app ideas go, this may take the cake, but an app where you could get the dirt on what's up with your food would be a fun novelty. At least for the first few times you used it.
Random GIF generator
Sometimes when I'm having a bad day, all I want to see is an animated GIF of Arrested Development's Bluth family trying to figure out whether they're saying “Bees” or “Beads.” An app that randomly plucked that GIF and other old favorites from various corners of the web would be difficult to police, and the nature of rights to the shows and events these GIFs came from means this idea isn't very plausible in the first place, but that won't stop me form dreaming big. When all the "Hang In There" posters in the world can't bring a smile to my face, I could use an animated GIF or two.
A food replacement app
In addition to exhibiting poor Internet self-control (see newspaper comments above), I also find eating the right thing to be a never-ending battle. Sure, that salad would be nice, but wouldn't you like it better covered in chicken and a layer of dressing? The devil on my shoulder is so much louder than the angel. I’d like to see an app into which you could plug your terrible food ideas in order to get better, more nutritious suggestions using some of the same flavors or main ingredients. That way, I’d save myself a few calories. After all, there’s nothing like the power of suggestion to get you back on the right track.