Never mind America, South Africa has talent – app developing talent.
Every year South African companies and developers are invited to submit their apps to compete for the coveted title of MTN Mobile App of the Year Award. In order to ensure that apps are judged fairly, apps are submitted against specific categories although one notable absent category this year is the Best BlackBerry App which was won by Pricecheck in 2013.
The panel of judges which made up of Kojo Baffoe, Toby Shapshak, Jonathan Hoehler, Max Stone & Aki Anastasiou put the app through their paces. The Judges typical criteria for a winning app is that the app is the app has to be simple to use, designed well, has functionality that helps achieve a goal and that it offers a value for the user. The top 3 apps in each category were invited to attend the gala award’s evening at The Venue in Melrose Arch where the winners were announced.
The importance of these awards
The apps are a showcase of locally developed apps that meet local needs. The awards help raise developer’s profile and allows companies looking for app developers to make contact. A notable past winner of the MTN App Award was SnapScan which was an HTML5 application used for cashless payment. The app became part of Standardbank and since 2013 has left the confines of its home in Stellenbosch and has launched nationally backed by national TV ad campaigns. Snapscan has over 13000 merchants around the country.
so who won this year ?
Overall App of the Year 2014 – Winner: Live Inspect
Live Inspect is an insurance app that allows short term insurers in performing effective inspections on vehicles. The App allows insurers to capture and report on the; Details of the vehicle presented for inspection, including its physical condition;Details of the person who presented the vehicle for inspection;Time, date and location of the inspection.
The App uses advanced technology such as license disc scanning, driver’s licences card scanning and data verification.
The team not only walks away with the title of the best overall app of the year 2014, but they also get a massive R200 000 cash injection.
Other winners of the various categories include:
- Best Consumer Choice app – Winner : Zapper
- Best App for Microsoft Platform – Winner: Zapper
- Most Innovative App – Winner: Wildlife Tracker
- Best Garage App – Winner: Rea Vaya
- Best App Use of Microsoft Cloud – Winner: Vigo
- Best Android – Enterprise – Winner: Live Inspect
- Best Android App – Consumer – Winner: MyBelongings
- Best iOS App – Consumer – Winner: Supersport
- Best iOS App – Enterprise – Winner: Sync Mobile
Looking back on the applications that made it to the top, two trend were obvious:
There is a strong play towards payment apps and cashless systems. This is the new wild-wild-west where there is no clear winner and everyone is trying to capture a slice of this gold-rush action.
The Enterprise section showed how much effort and money companies are putting into developing apps for internal usage in order to better streamline the business to make their staff more efficient. Most of these apps will never be exposed to the public so these awards are a hint of what goes on in the large corporate world.