Discover & Share Great Apps

There are millions of mobile apps in the app store. How do you discover the right ones for you? Powerslyde helps you find the right apps for you with a little help from your friends. Receive personal app recommendations, automatically see when your friends add new apps, and share apps with your friends with one swipe.

Stories Behind the Apps

Powerslyde Profiles – Stories Behind The Apps: Trucksome

Trucksome Full

Gather ‘round and give thanks!  What better way to celebrate the month of giving than by giving you an app to be thankful for?  Feast your eyes (and stomach) on Trucksome – San Francisco’s premier gourmet food truck locator app.  I spent some time gabbin’ and grubbin’ with none other than my fellow foodie and CEO of Trucksome Inc., Ninh Tran.

Nihn Tran, CEO of Trucksome

Ninh Tran, CEO of Trucksome


Hey Ninh – tell us about your app! The Trucksome app is a gourmet food truck locator in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Our app is easy peasy chicken squeezy!  You can get directions to the nearest food truck and check out their menu, pics, Yelp reviews, follow your fav food trucks on Facebook or Twitter and even submit catering requests for upcoming events and parties.  You can even add food trucks, too!  Try it out!  Or as we like to say…Trucksome. Get Some.

Screenshot1Where I live in Austin, we love us some food trucks!  You got a hankerin’ for BBQ and cupcakes – we got y’all covered.  There used to be an amazing Austin-based food trailer park called NATY (North Austin Trailer Yard) complete with giant metal dinosaurs and crazy pink pigs.  I loved it.  Sadly it closed down this past July.  They could’ve used the Trucksome app.  Tell us about the team behind Trucksome.  We have seven team members.  I’m the CEO but I also manage hacks and stacks.  Haoxin Li is our CTO and he manages hacks and racks.  Rebecca Hui and Sandra Lee manage business development.  Aaron Dear is on point for PR.  Victoria Montilla is our graphic designer and Kurt Beyer, well, he’s just awesome.

Trucksome Logo

Trucksome Logo

Speaking of awesome, I love the icon with the fork and spoon.  Tell me about the icon and app UI.  Our icon went through a lot of iterations.  Haoxin got the UI like a boss.  Well, it may be because he is the boss!  😀

What process and/or people inspired or assisted you in creating the app?  XCode.  Engineers and PMs at Trucksome Inc., friends, family, food lovers and even customers helped us at some point in development.  At Trucksome, we support each other through life, which involves coding if you're in a tech startup.

What lessons did you learn building your app?  I didn’t program before and now I do.  Kind of. (Laughs.)  In short, A LOT of lessons.  Our final development release went pretty smoothly but there were definitely development challenges.  Luckily our awesome dev team helped solved them quickly.


What were you and the team doing before you created Trucksome?  We were all students at UC Berkeley at some point in the past life.  Rebecca and Sandra worked together on a great project "Apples and Wages" designed to solve food insecurity for lower income neighborhood in San Francisco.

Apples & Wages

Rebecca Hui and Sandra Le started out on the Apples and Wages Student Team at Berkeley.

Time to share what your favorite food apps are.  I love using Trucksome, Yelp, ZAGAT, Open TableFood Spotting, Urbanspoon, Today's Specials, and Eater.

Ninh, thanks for serving us up a delicious slice of foodie fabulousness.  This is now my must-have app for when I’m traveling to the Bay Area.  Long live the food truck.

Hey you!  Wanna be featured like our friends at Trucksome? Be sure to check out www.powerslyde.com/developers.

Powerslyde Profiles – Stories Behind the Apps: Codename Cygnus


This is an awesome time to be in mobile. The core mission of Powerslyde is to make app discovery social and easy. It's not just through technology that we achieve this but also through cultivating strong relationships with our fellow industry developers who are as obsessed with creating innovative apps and sharing cool content as we are. This means we're lucky enough to get to meet a lot of amazing folks – including our fellow friends at Reactive Studios who happen to be finalists (just like us) in this year's GDC Next/ADC Best In Apps Competition. Before hopping on a plane to LA this week, we made time to chat with Jonathon Myers, the creator of Codename Cygnus.

-Alexandra Tinsman, @pslyde

Jonathon Myers Hey Jonathon – tell us about your app.  Codename Cygnus is an interactive radio drama  available for download on the App Store using  iDevices with iOS 6.0+. Players take on the role  of a secret agent in an interactive fictional world inspired by old time serial radio dramas. With either a spoken word or a simple tap on the screen you can progress through the story in  multiple-choice dialogue moments like those you often find in adventure or RPG games, but in  this case it is audio-only. Players can choose between options to accomplish mission objectives  and listen to the drama unfold as characters react to the decisions. You get to be the type of spy that you want to be in an audio-only world of action and intrigue.


Ok, confession time.  This is a ridiculously cool and different type of mobile game.  You had me the moment the trailer said, "So-o. Ya wanna be a spy, do you?"  I immediately went and download the app to my iPhone.  Don't judge but I've been listening to it while I work out at the gym.  It's really fun. Tell us about the team behind the app. We have three core members on our team. I'm the Creative Director (Jonathon Myers) and I handle the narrative design, writing, voice direction and all general management of the company and production. Bruno Batarelo is the CTO and he handles or supervises all engineering. Shannon Daly is our Sound Director and she handles all sound design, audio recording, sound effects, processing and editing. We also have several others who we work with regularly. Xiao'an Li provides all the original music as the Composer, Xue Au Zhang provides all visual elements as the Lead Artist & UI/UX Designer, and Heather Albano works with me on story as our Lead Writer. There are many other contractors who have contributed to the game, including over 25 voice performers!


How is your app different from similar apps or competitors?  The app makes use of iOS voice recognition technology for a speech-operated experience of voice performance, sfx, and music. Your iPhone/iPad recognizes your speech (or accepts the tap of a button) to trigger and play the next sound file. Because there are no visuals it enables us to focus entirely on highly polished performances, sound and music. We're also set up for the release of additional episodes. We hope to engage an audience over time with a longer series.


Cool icon. How did you design your icon and app UI? Almost all of the credit goes to our UI/UX Designer Xue Ao Zhang. She's incredibly talented and I highly recommend that others check out her work at https://hi.xue-az.com. It was difficult at times, because even with the gameplay our primary design principle is that someone must be able to experience it with their eyes closed. We knew we wanted something minimal and mostly menu-based that provided an audio delivery system for episodic content. And we knew how the speech-recognition and tapping for choices would work, but the rest was unknown. Xue iterated several times to find something that was slick and spy-like but also provided a simple interface and intuitive flow of experience. The icon came out of earlier work on the red swan logo that is the branding for Codename Cygnus, but we knew we needed something that conjured thoughts of spies and intrigue. Xue came up with the idea of a stamp of the logo on a manilla folder and it evolved pretty quickly after that.

What process and/or people inspired or assited you in creating the app? There's so much to say! We met with the Indie Game Collective earlier on to gain feedback and they provided great advice. For narrative design, we attempted to use many different tools before settling on Articy: Draft by Nevigo. Their CEO Kai personally helped us to adopt their tool to our pipeline and without his consultation it would have taken us much longer to release. Also, our project was funded by a Kickstarter campaign this past July and our backers have provided some amazing support and encouragement. It gave us the necessary bump to get us to launch. The Indie MEGABOOTH was central to our showcase and launch at the Penny Arcade Expo.

Yeah, I love the foks at The Indie MEGABOOTH.  It's a great way to get facetime with the people who end up loving your game and who doesn't love PAX?  Outside of Kickstarter, what other lessons did you learn building your app?  The key to mobile development is to work fast, iterate quickly, and get your product out there as soon as possible so that it is tested on the market. A product or business will have trouble getting off the ground if you spend years developing your concept and first release. Also, thinking early about the right content pipeline will save you a ton of time later on. Finally, it takes so much more work to keep engaged with the fans of your product than we originally thought it would.

So what went right and wrong with the final development release?  Our development was fast and deadline-driven. We set our goals and pushed ourselves to get there, so all of that went well. However, I also made the very silly decision to require a Facebook login for the purchase of additional content in our app. I was initially working on Facebook games and we needed a simple sign on to save game progress on our servers. I didn't think it would be an issue. For mobile, it really bothered people and so we immediately had to remove that requirement. Many players can now only save their game locally and as a result there are some issues with the backend that we've had to redesign and fix. In hindsight, I wish I had thought that through carefully. Thankfully, we're arriving at a better solution.

What were you doing before you created Codename Cygnus?  I was already an established narrative designer and writer in the games industry. I was a game writer for Zynga Boston's Indiana Jones Adventure World to start. I was also the narrative designer and writer of the hit mobile game Jack Lumber, which was made by Owlchemy Labs and published by SEGA. I then helped to design and execute the narrative plan for Game of Thrones Ascent, which is an interactive adaptation of the George R.R. Martin series woven in with original narrative. After that, I got together with Bruno and another co-founder Matt and began prototyping this project. We soon formed a company and Shannon jumped on board. She received an MA in Media Arts from Emerson, where she studied audio drama, and later gained some experience as a sound designer in the games industry working on projects such as Girls Like Robots by Popcannibal.

Alright.  Your turn to confess.  What are some of your favorite apps?  I love Zombies, Run! and it has been a huge inspiration and influence on this game. I met the lead writer Naomi when she visited Boston and I showed her an early version of our app for feedback. They're doing a great job with their development. The photo sync feature of Dropbox is crucial for grabbing screenshots and getting them to others immediately during testing. Kik is also a great group messaging service.

Thanks, Jonathon! Big congrats to you and the Reactive Studios team!  We'll see you at GDC Next on November 5th.  For the rest of you, head on over to the app store now to download the free-to-play radio drama Codename Cygnus

Hey you!  Wanna be featured like our friends at Reactive Studios? Be sure to check out www.powerslyde.com/developers.




Oh the times they are a changin’

Mobile World Congress, BCN 2013

As our time at the Mobile World Congress comes to a close and I reflect on the only moment of the week in a taxi where I was able to bond over American English through a Bob Dylan song , we reflect on the opportunities presented through the pomp and procession of a totally wireless mobile ecosystem.  It is my belief that we are at a crossroads of innovation, and that hardware is no longer leading the change.  The singular thought that stands out, is that 2013 is the year of software, that of the operating system.

Developers have had a “develop for Apple first because it monetizes better” attitude.  That attitude is now changing.

Earlier this year Seeking Alpha published “Why Apple’s iOS Will Win The Platform War Over Google’s Android.”  The article makes interesting points about Apple’s iOS platform network effect, but from observations at MWC this year, Android has built a loyal fan base of developers that could topple Apple’s monetary platform dominance.  The question then is, why is this happening?

Since December we’ve been to AppNation IV, Flurry Source 13, AppsWorld, and now Mobile World Congress to talk with the mobile community about app discovery.  When we have demonstrated the way that PowerSlyde helps individuals leverage their social network to aid in app discovery, developers have been quick to realize the power of utilizing PowerSlyde to make apps go viral.  

The most common response … “That’s amazing!  Is it available for Android?”

Several times during the Congress, a speaker would ask the room for a show of hands for who was developing for which platform; first, for iOS development and second for Android.  Just about every time, there were only a few hands raised for iOS.  For Android:  just about the entire room of developers would raise their hands.  

Why the change in sentiment?

Consumers are starting a love affair with Android devices.  Samsung dominated Mobile World Congress by winning best in show for the Galaxy S3.  The only major hardware announcements from manufacturers this year was to introduce greatly improved devices at reduced price points.  They mostly utilize Android OS.

 Developers are favoring development for Android, for both its openness and ease of completion.  While development on Apple is fairly straightforward, the Apple review process puts many barriers in place that lengthen the time it takes to get to market.  It also limits beta testing to 100 users, making it challenging to capture user feedback pre-launch.   You’ve got to get it right the first time though, because your ratings in the Apple store stick with you.

 The perception of developers that working on Android isn’t a priority because users don’t monetize, piracy is rampant, and device fragmentation is changing.  While these are challenges, the one that matters is monetization.

The number of apps on the Play Store is at parity with iTunes, and the Play Store’s revenue growth has been gaining impressively.  Some estimate that the Play Store could surpass iTunes app revenue by 2014. Will Android finally topple Apple?  No one can say for sure, but one thing is true – developers certainly cannot afford to ignore Android. 

The underdogs of the OS making waves at this year’s MWC were Ubuntu, Sailfish and Mozilla OS.  Perhaps at next year’s congress we’ll be talking about how HTML5 OS are gaining traction and eating a bite out of the Apple. 

Mobile Analytics: Moving Beyond Mobile Personas

The trend in mobile marketing analytics is to define personas, but the true power in the mobile device is deciphering the actions a person takes on their mobile device to understand the real needs and wants of the individual.

I recall a conversation I had early last year with a friend who was an expert in marketing.  He spent a great deal of time educating me on the voluminous amounts of information available, some 847 attributes that could be used through a combination of data mining efforts to derive the personas of all the people who lived in the individual homes in our neighborhood.  When questioned further, I was able to determine that the best he could do was to define the persona (or in his parlance – “clones”).

The problem with Personas is that they are a generalization that is NOT based on AUTHENTICITY. 

Early in my life I had an experience that helped to define my outlook on this topic.  When I was younger, I wasn’t as responsible as I am today, although there are others who might argue the point.  This particular experience took place with an Iowa State Trooper in the Driver License Services Bureau when I was called in to discuss the state of my driving privileges going forward.  It seems that the State of Iowa had little tolerance for 8 speeding tickets in a twelve – month period, and this just following my 18th birthday. The State Trooper spent a considerable length of time discussing my driving record.  Instead of focusing on my Nascar worthy skill in exceeding the speed limit, he focused on the number of times I had been caught, a different data point.  At the end of the lecture, er, I mean, discussion…he told me something that has stuck with me all of my adult life.

He said “you are the statistic…” Meaning, I was the one out of 1000 individuals who would likely die in a fiery car crash prior to the age of 25.  I was the one who would end up in prison because I would end up driving the getaway car.  I was the one…I was the one…I was the one.

Throughout my life, I have been the one, but not the way the DMV’s data set would define me.  The DMV defined me according to a persona of a criminal, but I have defined myself through my actions, as a successful husband, father and entrepreneur

The mobile device is the singular device that defines an individual, through their day-to-day and minute-by-minute actions.  When I take the time to spend my time, my storage, or my money downloading an app for my device, that mixture of apps defines my true interests.  I am no longer a statistic or a persona.  I am me.  And in unlocking that information, the data set that follows can enable a richer experience for each user through the use of data mining, data analysis and predictive analytics.