Windows 8 apps feature at App Fest 2012

Windows 8 app developers talk about their winning apps including Get Tanked, Real Estate Manager and Diabetic Buddy

Feedback Loop- an app designed for Tech Ed delegates to give real time feedback during sessions and keynotes.

Feedback Loop- an app designed for Tech Ed delegates to give real time feedback during sessions and keynotes.

Volunteering for natural disasters, finding cheaper petrol and helping children with diabetes might become easier in the future for Windows 8 device users if the inaugural App Fest 2012 winners have their apps published.

App Fest 2012--held at the Tech Ed 2012 Australia conference for the first time--saw developers create apps over 24 hours. According to Microsoft Australia, 158 people took part in App Fest with 28 apps developed.

Five App Fest winners explained the details of their apps to assembled media.

Red Cross

Canberra developer Jagdish Mehra said the idea of creating the Red Cross app arose from a conversation with an Australian Red Cross manager who said the organisation’s biggest problem is getting enough volunteers to help with natural disasters.

“We decided to build a Windows 8 app which allows the public to see where the Red Cross is looking for people to help.”

For example, a member of the public can enter an Australian post code on the app and see where the disaster is taking place. The app will also tell the user how many volunteers are needed in that area.

Get Tanked

This app, developed by Myles Eftos, is designed to help people search for the best petrol prices in Perth, Western Australia, and includes the price, location, name and phone number of the service station.

Get Tanked users can also compare prices at different service stations in the city in order to find the best place to fill up.

Real Estate Manager

Brisbane developer William Hiew said Real Estate Manager is aimed at property managers who need to schedule inspections with tenants. The app also has information on the tenant’s problem, such as a water leak, and when they will be available.

Real Estate Manager includes inspection history and the tenant’s contact details.

“Sometimes the tenant is not at home for the inspection but that is no problem as this can be rescheduled by the property manager and the tenant using the app,” he said.

Diabetic Buddy

This app is aimed at diabetic children aged six to 10 years old who require their blood sugar levels to be checked up to eight times a day.

Developer Scott Quayle said the app arose from parental feedback that diabetic children do not like the pain associated with blood tests.

“The child puts their finger on the tab and it records their glucose level. Once the glucose level is recorded we go to another page which shows trends.”

The trends page in Diabetic Buddy uses the blood sugar level information and displays it in charts. This will show the parent or caregiver if the child needs to modify their diet or exercise routine in order to keep blood sugar levels up.

Children also have missions to complete, such as eight days of tests. If they complete the mission they will be rewarded with a level advance such as `Super Awesome Pants’. This employs the same techniques as video games.

Feedback Loop

Melbourne developer Kym Phillpotts said that with App Fest his team wanted to immerse itself in all the new Microsoft technologies.

“Our target was to use as many Windows 8 features as possible. The app uses the popularity worm which is real time feedback during a Tech Ed speaker session,” he said.

“Based on each of these sessions, we assigned a different icon for each conference track such as security.”

The app also features the session time and where it was been held in the conference venue. Feedback Loop users were able to rate the sessions and share comments about the session on Twitter.

“People who are participating in the [Tech Ed] session can do this and it allows the speaker to get some feedback on how they went. They can take this information away and evaluate it,” Phillpotts said.

Hamish Barwick travelled to Tech Ed 2012 as a guest of Microsoft

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Techworld Australia on Twitter: @TechworldAU

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