Mobile apps aim to make our lives easier (and more interesting) in the most innovative ways possible. To combat some of our daily struggles or simply for a bit of fun, we’ve compiled our top picks for apps that Capetonians simply must try.
1. The Entertainer
Cape Town’s popular tourist destination status has landed us a spot on this savvy leisure and lifestyle app. The Entertainer provides thousands of Buy one Get one Free offers for dining, activities, attractions, health and fitness and more across 40 destinations world wide. With so much to do and see, now even locals can feel like a tourist in the Mother City – without breaking the bank. Treat your kids to a fun weekend, or soothe your senses at a spa of your choice using the app’s many deals that are valid all year round. Available on Android and iOS.
As the most congested city in South Africa, finding a parking spot in the CBD is a painstaking task. In fact, over 30% of Cape Town traffic is caused by drivers searching for a place to park. A revolutionary new app, ParkFind seeks to mitigate this issue by helping drivers find specific areas in the city centre where they are most likely to find an open street parking bay.
A simple colour-coded system indicates the likelihood of finding an open parking spot:
Green – Users are highly likely to find a parking spot here
Orange – There’s a good chance of finding a parking spot
Red – It is unlikely to find a parking spot here
Grey – There is no parking information available at this time
This is the first phase of the application which focuses solely on the CBD, and will be used as the pilot phase before rolling out to larger areas in Cape Town.
If you’re tired of circling blocks looking for a parking spot, check out the ParkFind app via Apple App Store and Google Play.
Another solution to Cape Town’s congestion and traffic woes, the UGoMyWay application encourages commuters to carpool and share their everyday journeys.
Users can create a profile with their routine journeys, such as home-to-work or home-to-school, and the app will then match you with others in your vicinity traveling in the same direction.
Once you’ve found a match, a messaging function allows you to get to know one another and make arrangements. In-app payments means there’s no need for cash or banking details – just hit pay. Costs can be shared according to personal agreements.
Apps make your life easier in every sphere – even when it comes to cleaning. Domestly is an online platform based in Cape Town that helps connect professional cleaners with busy people anywhere in the city. Each professional has their own profile on the app that lists their details, services offered and allows clients to rate the level of service they received once the job is done. Members on the platform set their own rate according to various services. This way, Domestly appeals to a wider audience while still ensuring a salary that if fair. All payments are done within the app via credit card. Available on Android and iOS.
5. Drop Drop
Drop Drop, a new app developed by UCT’s Department of Information Systems, helps users save and keep track of their water consumption at home. By entering a reading from the municipality’s water meter, the app will calculate your projected water usage for the month – which you can then use to optimise consumption in relation to your bill. Drop Drop will also suggest additional saving tips to implement at home. What’s more, you’re able to log reports about water delivery services, and the app will then provide you with the contact details you need to help resolve the issue.
With Cape Town’s water crisis and stringent water restrictions, Drop Drop is a pioneering tool in aid of our conservation efforts. Download it now from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Launched by four Cape Town entrepreneurs, GetTOD (Tasks on Demand) helps users to find technical and repair services on demand. The app has partnered with Builder’s Warehouse and provides a network of reliable plumbers, electricians, locksmiths and handymen that you can track in real-time to your door. With 24/7 service, there is no need to book ahead, so all your emergency needs can be met in an instant. Download from the Apple App Store of Google Play Store.
7. Voice Map
The Western Cape region is filled with immense beauty along with an abundance of cultural and historical landmarks, and now you can experience these sites in a whole new way with free audio tours on VoiceMap.
Walk, cycle, drive or even take a boat ride while VoiceMap moves with you and tells stories about what you’re seeing at that very moment. Cape Town as well as the Cape Winelands, Hermanus, Cape Point and the Overberg region feature as part of the more than 100 cities on the app worldwide. VoiceMap’s audio guides are produced by insightful local storytellers, tour guides, novelists and even filmmakers, so you can enjoy educational and fun trips all over the world. VoiceMap is available on Android and iOS.
Skip the travel and reservations, or even getting dressed and order food from your favourite eateries using UberEats. Simply type in your address to browse the restaurants and take-outs near you. You can view the menu’s while the app suggests meals for you based on their ‘Most Popular’ feature. Pay through your Uber account for the food and delivery and watch your meal come right to your door. Download from the App Store or Google Play Store.
Essentially a car service at the touch of a button, Uber has revolutionised the public transport industry in South Africa. Using your location and desired destination, Uber connects you to their nearest drivers near you. Identify your ride through the number plate and car model while the drivers’ detailed are also provided. Pay in-app using your card or with cash once you’ve arrived safely. Uber is available on both the Apple App Store and Play Store.
10. Snap Scan
Snap Scan allows you to make quick and convenient payments using only your phone. Once you’ve installed the app, link to your credit or debit card so you can start shopping at any store displaying a SnapScan code. Keep track of your expenses by viewing a list of you previous transactions or search for merchants near you. SnapScan can be downloaded on Android and iOS.
Photography Unsplash/screen shots from the Apple App Store