Last week MTN announced the best apps in this year's Best App of the Year awards. It's the second year I've judged the event, and it's an absolute privilege to do it. I love not only learning about new apps that could make my life easier and more entertaining, but it's a high seeing the quality of apps being developed locally, and we get a small sense of the spirit, brains, heart and drive of the developers.
I thought I would do a post on the winners because some of the winning apps are particularly fantastic for parents and kids, and I've also mentioned some of the notable finalists that cover the parent-kid category too.
Best overall and consumer app: Domestly
This app helps you find and book professional cleaners, and so far Domestly has created jobs for more than 600 people in the last two years. Have a party to clean up after? Need help cleaning when you have a new baby? Just use the app, and book a cleaner.
Domestly is available in Cape Town and Johannesburg for now.
Best enterprise app: iKhokha
iKhokha is a mobile point of sale solution enabling small business owners to accept debit and credit card transactions via the iKhokha Chip & PIN card (and magstripe) reader when plugged into a smartphone.
Best enterprise development app: HearZA
hearZA is South Africa’s national hearing test app, and is brilliant for detecting hearing loss problems. If the app detects that you might have a hearing problem, they'll connect you with an audiologist nearby.
Best breakthrough developer app: Tuta-me
Looking for a tutor for your child (or even yourself, if you're studying or wanting to learn a new skill). Find one on the Tuta-Me app, which connects learners and teachers who span a large range of subjects, price ranges and geographical areas.
Most innovative app: Kaching
I wrote about this brilliant ticketless parking app here when it relaunched, and it's one of those apps that truly makes my life easier as I never have to worry about parking tickets and payments in various shopping centres. It's also one of those apps that you never knew you needed, but once you have it, you're not sure how you did without it before.
Best mobile gaming app: Friendly Math Monsters for Kindergarten
This is a fun and entertaining educational maths app that teaches young kids six and under early maths skills such as sorting, counting, basic addition and subtraction, and more.
Some of the awesome 2016 finalists
If you've shopped at Pick n Pay, you've probably seen the Super Animals cards, which you get for "free" with every purchase of R150 or more. There's an accompanying app that works when you scan each card into it, and add to the collection.
Kids can earn badges, take selfies with the animals, and learn more about the animals, plus listen to their sounds.
The local series and movie streaming service, Showmax, has an app, which is easy to navigate and find content, and allows you – and the kids – to access thousands of shows. The app is free, and it costs R99 for ShowMax each month. They also offer a free seven-day trial for you to get a feel for it.
I absolutely love the Sasol Young Explorer apps – look out for the mammals app too.
The lastest, Frogs, features 55 frogs in the app, each with an easy learning paragraph written and narrated in English, isiXhosa, isiZulu and Afrikaans. Each frog has a call, and most also have a video showing the species in its natural habitat. There are 'Quick facts’ illustrations about size, egg type, location, and endangered status, plus puzzles, memory card games, animal naming game, and nature cleanup game.
Tired of filling out forms at the doctor? LogBox allows you to securely share your and your kids' information with your doctor, eliinating the need to fill out forms time and time again. and eliminates the need to fill out forms.
With LogBox, you can capture all your details on the app, and update whenever you need. If your doctor is on the LogBox platform, they'll be able to access your info without you having to fill out the same info.
Looking to get fit for spring/summer, but not sure what you might like, and not keen to commit to a long-term gym contract? With FitKey app, you can find classes, see studio details and make a booking for a class. You can filter by time, location, and fitness category, making for an easy search.
FitKey is available in Cape Town, Pretoria and Joburg.
This app was developed by a 22-year-old, and it's a video keyboard, which means you can set a cool video keyboard on your phone or tablet's keyboard.
But wait, there's more… the keyboard features the latest emoji, symbols, more than 120 fonts, "Read to me" option and more.
You can watch the MTN App of the Year Award highlights here: