App Contest Taps Foodies Because Engineers Make ‘Boring’ Apps

CC-licensed, thanks to Striatic on Flickr.

CC-licensed, thanks to Striatic on Flickr.

There are two things people care viscerally about in the San Francisco Bay Area: food and tech.

There’s always someone with an iPhone Instagramming dinner or squinting over health scorecards for those taco trucks on Yelp. (See also: “Foodies The Musical,” a local hit.)

But a lot of these apps don’t deliver what food lovers really hunger for, says the organizer of a new app contest.  The 8-Hour Food App Challenge wants local residents to sit at their kitchen tables and concoct new apps about all things culinary on Saturday, June 29.

“The kind of food content that makes you salivate isn’t the kind you find in apps designed by engineers,” says Pietro Ferraris, founder of Map2app and sponsor of the Challenge, told Cult of Mac. “Most apps made by engineers about food are pretty boring, so we hope to change that.”

You don’t need app experience or need to know how to code, either. Using the Map2App platform, Ferraris hopes food lovers will make use of all the “obsessive collecting” they do with geotags, photos and Foodspotting.

Possible ideas? Put the best dumplings or super-duper dosa on the map. Or where to eat gluten-free or carb lite. Track the best South Indian grocery or places that stock ‘Nduja. Spots where you can eat lunch on the cheap. Best places without lines. (If you develop this last one, I want it.)

There’s an entry fee of $25 for adults and $15 for kids age 13-20. (Choose the “Last Minute” option on Eventbrite.) All proceeds benefit food start-up incubator La Cocina and 826 Valencia, the writing skills nonprofit for kids founded by Dave Eggers.

Map2app offers all app makers free hosting for work developed during the challenge for a year. Contest winners will be published in the iTunes and Android store. There’s also a “food app prodigy” prize for the youngsters, too.

Ferraris says the contest isn’t closed to engineers or professional devs: “I’d be happy if they prove me wrong and come up with something really great.”

About the author

Nicole MartinelliNicole Martinelli heads up Cult of Mac Magazine, our weekly publication available on iTunes. You can find her on Twitter and Google+. If you're doing something new, cool and Apple-related, email her.

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