Apps that UC Berkeley students need, but that don’t exist (yet)

Ethan Epstein /File
Ethan Epstein /File

Maybe it’s just us, but there always seems to be a slew of information about what’s going on in and around campus that we have no way of knowing. With the phrase, “There’s an app for that,” being thrown around all over the place, we start to think there’s a way for us to know everything we’d ever want to know. Unfortunately, sometimes there just isn’t. That’s why we at the Clog came up with this list of apps that should exist, but don’t yet. Whether you need to know which spots on campus have the fastest Wi-Fi, which coffee shops have the shortest line or how clean the bathroom is on the first floor of Wheeler, there might not be an app for it yet — but don’t worry, all you tech people can make it happen. Right?

What soup will be featured at each on-campus dining location

Jamin Kim-Sanders/Staff

Jamin Kim-Sanders/Staff

There’s nothing quite so disheartening as waltzing into the Golden Bear Cafe for your lunch and realizing that the lentil soup you thought you’d eat is there no more. In its place — the horror — is a heaping cauldron of chili. If you’d known this, you would’ve stayed on Northside and eaten at Brown’s. Since no one has taken it upon themselves, yet, to create an app that would tell us which soups are featured at which on-campus dining location, we at the Clog are calling on you, yes, you. Go forth and code, friends. Save your fellow Bears with meal points the disappointment of missing their favorite soup and having to settle, instead, for oatmeal.

Which Peet’s has the shortest line

Sonia Brin/Staff

Sonia Brin/Staff

It’s a very well-documented fact that our campus has an absurd number of Peet’s Coffee and Tea shops. It makes sense. Since the opening of the first Peet’s on April 1, 1966, the coffee shop has become a Berkeley institution. With at least seven locations (not counting the original) on or near campus, you’d think that not one Peet’s would have too long of a line. Sadly, this is not the case. As our caffeine-starved selves stumble aimlessly through campus looking to get that quick fix before our next brutal lecture, we find ourselves wondering why there’s no way of monitoring the lines. An app to tell us which Peet’s has the shortest line, and the approximate wait time for a cup of coffee or a specialty drink would save us valuable time as we attempt to make it, woefully decaffeinated, from Barker to Haas in the 10 minutes we have between classes.

Where the best water fountains are

Jessica Rogness/Staff

Jessica Rogness/Staff

Often overlooked, water fountain quality is an incredibly important barometer for our overall hydration. Need to refill your water bottle? You’ll want a water fountain with one of those handy water bottle refilling stations. Too tall? You’ll need a water fountain that’s proportionate to your size. Physically incapable of drinking room temperature water? You’ll need to make sure you find a water fountain serving up unusually cool water. Due to the plethora of water fountains in any one building, how will you ever know where to find your water fountain soulmate? An app analyzing the campus’s water fountains would prove immensely helpful in a situation like this.

Optimal time to go to CREAM or Ici

Alex Turney/Staff

Alex Turney/Staff

There is no doubt that CREAM and Ici are delicious Berkeley staples. In fact, we at the Clog believe ice cream to be the base food group in every student’s food pyramid. The only downside to the deliciously endless combinations of ice cream, cookies and cones at these places are the equally endless lines. No one wants to wait in around-the-block and up-the-hill lines. An app that tells you the optimal time to go to these ice cream establishments would no doubt save you the countless hours you would have spent waiting in line. The app could even tell users what the flavors of the day are and when certain ice creams run out. And since ice cream is so good, no matter what time of day it is, it doesn’t really matter when you go. When life gives you an ice cream opportunity, you seize it.

When the dining halls have the shortest lines and are least crowded

Anna Vignet/Staff

Sometimes you go to the dining halls to socialize, but only sometimes. Most of the time, you go because you need something to eat and the dining halls are convenient and cheap if you have a meal plan. In those instances, you want to get in, get your food and get out. It’s awful to have to wait in line forever for food that’s not even that good to begin with. With this nonexistent (as of now) app, you’ll be able to see exactly when lines are at their shortest and the dining hall is the least crowded. It’ll give you the perfect window of opportunity to eat in peace, all the while effectively minimizing your social interactions with people from the residence halls that you’re obligated to say “hi” to, but really don’t care about.

Which cafes actually have open tables

Shelly So Hee Kim/Staff

Shelly So Hee Kim/Staff

We all know how much energy and motivation it takes to leave the comfort of your room and head all the way over to your favorite cafe study spot. There’s nothing more disappointing than when you finally get there and find that there’s no table for you to sit and study at. That’s why we need an app to tell us how many open tables are at each of the cafes around campus. Never again will you arrive at Milano, Strada or anywhere else to find nowhere for you to go. Never again will you have to wake up early just to get there when the cafe opens so you know you’ll actually have a seat. The app would also let users drop pins on the specific tables they’re at, which would make meeting up with friends much easier. Rather than having to make five laps around Strada just to find your friend, you’ll be able to arrive knowing exactly which table your study date or interviewer is sitting at. We think this app also has the potential to be useful for finding space to sit at the new Student Union, campus libraries and on-campus eateries.

What spots on campus have the best Wi-Fi

Kelly Fang / Staff

Kelly Fang / Staff

There are few things worse that not having Wi-Fi access at the exact moment when you need it most on campus. Because there’s a long list of things more reliable than AirBears — your ability to be a straight B student, the fact that the Free Speech Movement’s controversial new menu still hasn’t made it any easier for you to find a seat there and the consistently confusing Berkeley weather — an app to tell us where the Wi-Fi is strongest on campus is very much needed. We’d gladly trek up and down campus just to find a spot with a strong, consistent signal.

Which bathrooms are the cleanest

Jessica Rogness/Staff

Jessica Rogness/Staff

Ever walk into a bathroom just to leave immediately, scarred for life? That’ll never happen to you again if you use this app, which hopefully will be created in a timely fashion. Using user-driven data, this app will curate a detailed analysis of the cleanliness of campus bathrooms. It’ll tell you which stall has run out of toilet seat covers, toilet paper, soap and paper towels. You’ll know which toilets are clogged, which bathrooms are smelly and which stalls have been littered with toilet paper scraps. Though we all know that the third-floor bathroom in Wheeler Hall will consistently have the highest user satisfaction ratings, we can’t all be English majors with all our classes in Wheeler. The need for comprehensive, up-to-date bathroom ratings is incredibly important and should probably be addressed by the ASUC in an emergency meeting tonight.

Contact Rachel Feder at [email protected].