Apr 16th, 2012

Firstly, I’d like to apologize for the delay. I needed to give each app a decent run before making my choice, and as such did not want to rush into this post.

Anyway, moving forward, the app that stood out for me from the various requests was Linwood Wine To-Go. Why? I believe the app, with the suggestions I have mentioned below, could go on to become something significant. I’m choosing Linwood primarily for what it could go on to be, than what it is in its current form (which is pretty decent for Daniel Fares, a first-time, indie developer). Here’s how Daniel described the app in the first post:

My app is called Linwood Wine To-Go.  As it states in the description of my app in the play store, I work at a wine shop and we have a lot of customers come in and they try to remember the wine that they had at a restaurant to see if we have it but more often then not they forget the name.  As a first time developer I wanted to make something for our customers that they could search or scan the bottle right at the restaurant and get that info on the spot.  This is the first time I have ever developed an app that actually went anywhere besides my own computer.  I am trying to get it to work with more items other than wine… It works with beer and spirits but does not offer as many options as the wine search does.

The biggest compliment I can give Daniel, is that my mom tested the app, and she was pretty happy with it. I am a teetotaler, so I had to bring her in to give it a whirl, and she could see it being a useful thing to have around when she goes out for dinners. It does what it claims to do decently enough.

My suggestions? The UI/UX needs an overhaul. Remove the tabs, they are not needed. Take the user straight to what is the current “kiosk”, the rest can come in a menu/action bar. Additionally, try to get someone in graphic design to help out in the overall look of the app.

The most important part, however, is the (lack of) social element. Bring in Facebook integration and connect users to their friends who also use the app. Also, integrate with Facebook Timeline, which could help make the app go viral. When they scan a bottle, ask them whether they would suggest the wine to their friends. Show users’ what their friends have been drinking recently.

This way, when a user reads about the wine on the app, they aren’t given the limited information available right now, they can actually use the app to make a decision whether or not to buy the wine itself. That ability to help make users decide whether or not to make a purchase can be extremely powerful, and helps take the app from being just an app into a venture in itself.

There are others in the same domain, but I haven’t found one that has come close to the vision I have for such an app. With the right amount of effort (which is a LOT) and the required amount of luck, I can see Daniel’s little project going on to become something a lot more than an-also ran app with under 1000 users.

P.S. Daniel, you can get in touch with me on Google+ over here if you would like to.

P.P.S. Rookie Review Week II is now open. A little change of rules:

  1. Your app should have under 5000 downloads to qualify
  2. If your app has a paid version and a free version, the free version’s downloads will be taken into account.
  3. As before, if you only have a paid version, I will need a free trial copy to test it out. You can look at possibly time-limiting the trial, and can send me the download link on Google+.
  4. As before, enter your submissions as replies to the comment thread I have started below.