Thursday, July 23, 2009

An Application to Consider

You can listen to the Hard-Boiled Poker Radio Show on your iPhoneBefore going to Vegas this summer Vera and I got new iPhones with unlimited everything. We’d had the same cell phones for four or five years -- they’d worked fine, but were becoming increasingly archaic in comparison to the whiz-bang communication devices all those around us were using. My main motive for getting one was to have the ability to send text messages both to Vera and to folks in LV, if necessary.

Came in handy all summer. In fact, I’m remembering one preliminary event during which one of my reporters was texting me hands from the Miranda room to my location in the Amazon rather than walk the quarter mile or whatever it was to bring ’em to me. Probably helped us get a few more updates in there than we would have had otherwise.

Also cool to be able to check email, surf the web, check the weather, take notes, snap photos, and play with all of the other bells and whistles on this sucker. I haven’t really explored all of the other applications and whatnot one can add to the iPhone, though I have added a few.

I have TwitterFon on there for checking tweets. And a week ago I added Google Earth. Vera and I went for a walk at a nearby community park the other day, and after a half-hour of winding through the woods we’d gotten turned around and were a little unsure where the car was. So we looked at Google Earth which gave us the bird’s eye view of the scene, found where we were, and actually used it to reorient ourselves. They could’ve used something like that in The Blair Witch Project.

I’ve also started listening to podcasts on the iPhone, which is simpler to do than to download the shows onto the computer then transfer them to the iPod. Here you can just click and listen. That picture above is a screen shot of the Hard-Boiled Poker Radio Show page as it appears in the iTunes app. You can call it up on yr iPhone, click on a show title, and enjoy right now! (Have a new episode coming in the next day or two, by the way.)

A couple of days ago I also added the free ESPN ScoreCenter application, a real time scoreboard that follows something like 500 different sports leagues which you can add and delete according to yr fancy. Have only really looked at the Major League Baseball page on here, for which you can click a game and follow it pitch by pitch. Was thinking how much I’d have dug this if I were twelve years old (when my interest in baseball was at its peak).

Anyhow, I was showing Vera the ESPN ScoreCenter app and she wondered aloud about what sort of poker applications there were. I said I knew there were lots of games and such, but wasn't aware of anything analogous to what ESPN ScoreCenter provided -- i.e., an app that provided live updates and/or chip counts from poker tournaments.

Would be a good idea, no? To create an application for providing exactly what one gets over on the PokerNews’ live reporting page or on other sites that report from live tourneys? Probably wouldn’t be that difficult to develop a simple program that feeds the updates and provides a flash-type view of the counts the reporters are writing and entering on site.

I’m not familiar with the model by which folks make money via these apps, but I’d think one could make it a free download, then sell ads (such as appear on the free TwitterFon app) and it actually could turn into an additional source of revenue. And when it comes to sites like PokerNews that report on poker, any way to make a little extra cabbage is especially needed.

What do you think, you poker-playin’ iPhoners? Would you like an app like that? Should I start teaching myself how to build such an application?

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9 Comments:

Blogger TripJax said...

I was surprised I didn't see a PokerNews app this year. I dd most of my viewing from iPhone and it was tough at times since the PokerNews site is not optimized for mobile viewing. The weird thing though is if you save the URL to your iPhone homepage, there is a customized iPhone icon. I think an iPhone app would be the heat!!! This comment sent from my iPhone BTW. I'm headed to download your podcast now...

7/23/2009 10:14 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Always good to learn new things. If you have an apple you can download the API for free. I believe you have to pay a small fee to be a developer and get your apps approved. You could also do like TripJaxx said and create a generic handheld version of your website that iPhone type devices would see when they came to your site.

7/23/2009 11:50 AM  
Anonymous BJ Nemeth said...

It's a great idea for an app, and one that many people have already had. The problem is you need someone providing live updates (PokerNews, Poker Listings, Card Player, WPT Live Updates, Pocket Fives) to sign off on it. This is easier said than done.

If you can talk Tony G. into doing it for PokerNews, I would *love* it, because like everyone else, I would love an app like that! (And be willing to pay up to $9.99 for it, too.)

Twitter is one of the killer apps for a smart phone -- the experience is often better than it is on a regular computer. Live updates are very similar -- done properly, it would be a better experience on a mobile phone than on a desktop or laptop.

7/23/2009 1:31 PM  
Blogger Waldo's Wild Kingdom said...

I agree that it would have to be made by someone doing the reporting (like the CBS sports feed that is sold out to other folks for NCAA0 so there is a starting point. Win-win for everyone.

I was just kicking around the idea of bankroll management, hand tracking and 'mobile poker enhancement' apps. Some probably more welcome than others at the poker table. I'm willing to work with any publishers/devopers out there.

7/23/2009 1:53 PM  
Blogger Pipedream said...

I was hoping an app like this would be available for this years WSOP. Following the updates via safari on the phone was horrible and I missed some updates through my twitter app.

Waldo - There are two BR managment apps out there and the one I use is pretty good. Would be nice if in the notes section of the app it had an easier way to record hands than with text.

7/23/2009 4:44 PM  
Blogger TripJax said...

Follow-up note. I would love for FullTilt or PokerStars to have an app that allowed for keeping up with your scheduled tournaments, tournaments in action and your cashier. I'm not saying there has to be an actual table going on, but it would be cool if they could offer SOMETHING that would be of interest for their players. It would certainly be a way to bring more people to their software...

7/23/2009 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Angry_Bert said...

Shamus - I love the idea of a PokerNews app to follow the WSOP & other tournamnets.

TripJax - I second your Stars/ FullTilt app idea. The more access the better! But do you think Apple would let that out to the masses? How great would it be to 1 table anywhere you freaking plop yourself down?

7/24/2009 11:12 AM  
Blogger Lucypher said...

Yes, a Pokernews and a PokerStars app would the welcomed. Please start writing the thing asap.

7/24/2009 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Cadmunkey said...

As a fellow iPhone user I haven't really filled my phone up with tons of apps like some folks, but I sure would love the app you describe! Make it so!

7/25/2009 12:00 PM  

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