Microsoft’s Imagine Cup is a highly challenging competition where the best students around the world compete in creating the best application possible. The Cup has different categories, and one of them is no other than Windows Phone. This year, the goal was to create “software that can really make a broad impact in the world,” with an app that has “strong functionality, device-focused utility, and a good Windows Phone experience.”
One of the applications that won is called “Mother Care,” developed in Aalto University in Finland. Now other competitors are seeking explanations from the Imagine Cup organizers as to why this app won. The claims are that MotherCare, an app that advises women during pregnancy, doesn’t use any advanced features of the Windows Phone platform such as sensors, Bing Maps, or Cloud Computing. Other teams have argued that the app borrows information from around the internet and puts it in an application, sort of like a website with useful links. Other complaints such as lack of a good interface and UX guidelines are also thrown at the Finnish-developed app.
The Plot Thickens
Aalto university received 18 million euros a couple of months ago from Nokia and Microsoft to promote the development of Windows Phone apps. Other competitor’s are claiming there’s a conflict of interests, while claiming their apps use more advanced features and have a more consistent UX that aligns better with what the Imagine Cup stands for.
I downloaded the app to my Lumia 900, and, it’s an ok app. Not very innovative in my opinion, and nothing extraordinary, but not bad either. The app is mostly static content, and seems like no features such as GPS, accelerometer, or even an internet connection are used. It’s hard to form an opinion; as hard as I tried, I couldn’t find other apps that were competing in the Cup. I would love to see the apps from the teams that are complaining, but until then, things do look suspicious considering what Imagine Cup winners have done in the past.