This wasn't your standard gathering of the nerds.
The LA AppShow was held last Wednesday at the Edmunds building in the Water Garden in Santa Monica, California. When I got there, I jammed into the glitzy underground parking garage and made small talk with a sexy brunette on the elevator all the way up. The doors opened to a row of big-screen TVs and a gaming station that made the place look like a scene straight out of The Social Network. Without pause, the dude standing there scanned my press credentials, reeled off a few lines about a few exciting apps, and then ushered me over to the free kegs of beer. I could already tell: this was going to be a gathering of ideas. Very smart ideas.
With the introduction of mobile devices and data networks over the past few years, nearly everyone carries a portable computer with the Internet. And then, of course, there are app stores, with their endless apps that perform seemingly endless tasks. Which is the fundamental frustration of this mobile device extravaganza. Which app's for me?
Yes, it's a goddamn warzone out there in the app stores. And it's getting even harder for developers to get a good app out there.
So perhaps that's why Seth Socolow started the AppShow. It's a gathering for developers and connoisseurs alike; a place where people can attend or present, and everyone gets to check out what could be "the next big hit." Even more interesting, no two apps presented even came close to doing the same thing.
As the show started, I stood somewhere near the back with my beer as I watched one presenter after another get up to pitch their app. In a cool, tech-show demeanor, each individual shared their stories of why they thought their app was a slick idea, what it took to make it, and how they saw people using it.
Nearly everyone had their devices out, downloading the apps as they were projected onto the big screen. By the time each talk was over, many in the crowd had already gone onto the mobile web site (powered by Shiva Media) to download the app, with questions ready to go. The whole process was downright mind-bending.
So in the interest of preserving my own beer-soaked journalistic integrity, the following is an adaptation of notes and thoughts I frantically scribbled down on a cocktail napkin as the night wore on. It should also be said that drinking free beer, taking notes, and trying to download these apps was no stunt of publicity. It was all a means to an end, a dereliction of duty, and a damn fine way to spend a cool Wednesday night in L.A.
And here are the apps:
- Lokast: Lets you share pictures, videos and message people.
- Edmunds: Need a car? Need to compare stuff to make a decision? This is the app.
- Trippy: Want to go somewhere? Trippy lets your friends recommend their favorite spots.
- Guess Dat Song: Exactly. Battle with your friends on your collection or theirs.
- The Honey Badger Don't Care: Everyone's favorite YouTube video now has a game.
- Vidify: Life made easy for editing videos. Great for out of the office.
- Cookbook Café: Yum... a place for wonderfully original digital cookbooks by chefs, organizations and authors.
Thank you all. It was a hell of a show.