For a little over a year now I’ve had this idea for a dead-simple mobile app called ‘report to Santa’…and this past weekend I finally found a couple of hours to actually build a first version of it (and a very lightweight website for it too). You should be able to get the app by following the links on http://www.santahelp.me (the iPhone link may not work yet as I’m still awaiting Apple review – but I expect it to be available in the next few days).
The app itself doesn’t do a ton. It’s got two basic buttons so you can report if your kid is being 'naughty’ or 'nice’…and it’s got an option to check the list to see how many times you’ve reported each type for your kid.
Because I, like many other people, also have more than one kid I did make this initial version support multiple kids.
To get that to work, you start by clicking the little 'settings’ button and then the 'edit names’ button…from there you should be able to enter in the names of each of your kids. Once you do that, each time you click the 'naughty’ or 'nice’ buttons on the main screen you should be presented with a screen to pick which kid you are reporting (though Santa is probably magic enough to already know which one you are reporting).
And that’s about it.
Super simple, free, and more just a fun idea I’ve had on my mind for awhile now (we often use Santa to help keep our kids in-line around this time of year – an app. to back up our threat just seemed like a no-brainer).
If people like this version I’ve already got a long list of upgrades I might do (for example, integrated wish-list support)…and I’ve got a few other related versions I might put out (when it’s not Christmas time, we often threaten to report our kids to their teacher and that often works well too).
Long term, I may also introduce ads or try to figure out some other way to make a few bucks off this, but this version was really much more about getting the basic and simple idea out and seeing what people think than trying to make money (the downside to being a guy that just likes to build stuff people might like/use).
I also used this project as a way to test out phonegap and the submission process with a phonegap app (awesome and relatively painless respectively). In fact if I find time, I’ll write up more about the technical specifics on this one day.
In the meantime, I would love to have you install the app and of course rate/review it as you see fit!
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).