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I actually built my own version of Watson based on this idea - jeopardy questions are often google-able/searchable on wikipedia. It was pretty easy to build out - but it only gets 80% of the way there.

The last 20% is the hardest - and it's why Watson is so impressive (even though even Watson is probably only at 90%)


Did you every see that HN Post about QUANTA [1]? Do you think it would cover the last 20%?

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8298887


The demo video may have revealed a little bit about Nest's strategy here. The video showed Whirlpool relying on the Nest thermostat to be the smart hub and help control the energy usage.

Nest seems to be selling the user experience right now (Thermostat, API etc) - but they are also positioning themselves to be at the center of the "smart home"


I tried it out and for those who are asking for the difference between PhoneGap and other tools is that this takes your website, adds native components like navigation for menus that it detects and login capabilities. For example in about 10 minutes I "built" a Twitter app using the twitter mobile interface. It has native login/signup, a sidebar for accessing elements, and native search. I don't know how well non-mobile interfaces will translate over - but the native components make it useful.

This is pretty good and it's really what building a hybrid app should look like. There's probably a lot of areas it can be improved.


As a former student who created an iOS app for my school district - I really feel for you.

Creating the application & working with the district was a great learning experience for me - perhaps the most useful thing I did in high school. I'm sure you learned a good bit by creating the app - those skills will certainly help you in the future.

Luckily for me the staff/administrators we talked to really embraced the idea and brought me on and made it into the official iOS application for the school district and then open-sourced it. We pitched the ability to check grades, get push notifications, and check documents. It's important to note, however, that I went to school in Silicon Valley - so that's probably a factor.

You've already demonstrated a lot of skill by creating the app. (It looks a whole lot better than my v1)! - Chalk this up as a good learning experience - Keep it up!


The challenge is to do that is that there is no "Pythonic" way of manipulating the DOM. When we were building a similar translator we included a way to interact with JQuery through a js object (i.e. js.document.addEventListener) -- but it still required the user to think about and understand javascript.


It's still required to understand web APIs it's different from understanding JavaScript


I've had the same issues and it's preventing me from using it for anything serious. A lot of the other things with DO (provisioning, backup, snapshots) are great but the network seems to the biggest issue at the SF datacenter.


When I was in high school, I created an iOS app [1] for my school district and we made it open source (on the school district's GitHub [2] ) so other districts could benefit. Quotes from established ed-tech companies for a similar product were very expensive (especially compared to the cost of self-publishing). There certainly was interest from other districts to adopt it because they heard of the project and saw that it was open-source. The problem was getting someone to get them through the last 25% (customization, graphics, publishing, maintenance).

There's now a team of student developers at the school district who help keep the project going. I believe this makes it first the school district to create open source software in California.

[1] App (now also on Google Play): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ifusd/id454673943?mt=8

[2] GitHub: https://github.com/FremontUnified/


This is a hidden secret of the "App Store economy". To see how strongly the "Hot & New" dynamics are embedded into App Stores, check out the sections of the iOS App Store (Featured -> New & Noteworthy) or Google Play (Top Grossing New Apps)

If you are able to catch onto a foothold, you can reap a lot quickly - but the fall will be just as fast as the author saw here. The apps that are able to stay on top have a very strong hook with increasing value (ie the popular social gaming apps with in-app purchases or the social/messaging apps). Anything else will result in the inevitable fall in rankings and therefore sales. This is why "app development companies" often have many many apps in the app store to continually reap from this cycle. There's another aspect to the publishing cycle and it's in-app purchases. The #1 paid app on the iOS app store is #31 top-grossing. 28 of the 30 before it are all free apps (which aren't ranked all that high in the free charts)


I know this a captain obvious:

Some of this smash-n-grab shovel-app development would be negated if the Apple App Store simply offered more meaningful app discoveries.

Also thanks to author for posting stats like this.


Regardless, the application has to be opened to get information about click through/context.

The push notification can have a payload that your app uses when the app is opened via the notification.


Being successful on the app store involves a bit more than making a great app. It's how you play the search ranking/rating game. There are quite a few things that need to be done right.

The way you get ranked in Search plays a huge part in your sales (Unless it's a top 50 app). Another huge factor is your screenshot. Your leading screenshot should not be a shot of the launch image. Here's more info on screenshots: http://mobile.tutsplus.com/tutorials/mobile-design-tutorials...

[1]: (App Store Optimization Cheat Sheet [PDF]): http://www.apptamin.com/ASO_Cheat_Sheet-v2.2.pdf


According to this article the screenshots of a performant top office suite are bad and the screenshots of an admittedly beautiful but otherwise not too useful once-overhyped app are good. Uhm ... I don't know if I really care.


That's a huge part. I'll probably write an article just on that at some point.



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