Look through the average person’s smartphone today and you’ll very likely find an array of apps from the frivolous to the productive, relating to every aspect of their life. While, traditionally, the majority of these apps have come from the US and Europe, to a lesser extent, South African developers are now starting to actively create locally relevant apps across the OS’.
In a bid to both celebrate and encourage the various apps being created across the country, the App of the Year awards were initiated and held in Johannesburg on 1 August. Prior to the ceremony, the judges – of which I was honoured to be included – spent a day going through each app on the different platforms and determining the shortlist of three apps. The judges were Toby Shapshak (Editor of Stuff Magazine), Melissa Attree (Marketing and Social Media Consultant at Cerebra) and Jonathan Hoehler (CTO for Starfish Mobile and active committee member of the Johannesburg chapter of Mobile Monday).
We looked at elements including power of the idea, execution, functionality, relevance, design, etc. There was a great deal of debate and, at times, disagreement but, overall, the quality of the apps and their relevance to the needs of South Africans was high.
At the event, it was up to invited attendees to decide on which of the three shortlisted apps would be the winner with each person having a voting keypad. The final result was instantaneous and live.
FNB Banking app dominated, winning the overall App of the Year award, as well as Best iOS Consumer, Best Android Consumer and Best Blackberry App.
Other category winnners included:
- Health ID for the Best iOS Enterprise App
- TransUnion Dealer Guide for the Best Android Enterprise App
- Rapidtargets for the Best HTML5 App
- Matchy for the Best Windows App
- Plascon Inspire Me for the Most Innovative App
- PhraZApp for the Best Garage Developer App
Essentially, the mobile industry came together with MTN Business and the different manufacturers/brands sponsoring related categories, including Core/Apple, Blackberry, Nokia and Samsung. These awards are a great foundation for a regular initiative and it's hoped they will encourage increased development in this sphere.