There seems to be an app for everything these days. Some apps are incredibly useful and I literally don’t know how I would live without them (think Google Maps) but others are not as useful as we think they might be. Just about every company seems to be encouraging (read harassing) me to download their app. It seems every second website I visit on my phone gives me a pop-up banner telling me I should download their app.
Sadly many of these apps are not ashamed to abuse the notification system to bug me whenever they feel like it, which seems to be very often. I don’t know about iPhones but a recent Android update allows us to block notifications from an app, which is awesome. Although, the problem is it can also block useful updates.
I feel like I have app fatigue and I’m sure there are many out there who feel the same. These apps all need updating, on any given day my phone is telling me that 10 or more apps need to be updated. Not only are those update notifications irritating, but it’s eating through my data at a rapid rate! I’ve started uninstalling apps that I don’t use on a regular basis. So, the question is, which apps to keep? There are plenty of lists of best apps out there. For instance this article 6 Must Have Apps For The Worldly Traveler and this one, 4 Outdoor and Adventure Apps That Could Save Your Life. Or even Time’s annual 50 Best Apps Of The Year.
But most of these lists don’t consider our local apps, so I thought I would compile a list of the 5 best local apps which I have decided to keep on my phone.
More and more vendors and shops are accepting SnapScan payments and I look forward to the day when I don’t have to even carry a wallet because I can just pay for everything with my phone. You can pay for your parking in town with SnapScan which is awesome because now I don’t have to panic about finding change or even enough cash to pay for the parking because how expensive is it to park in town these days?! It’s so great being able to buy things from stalls at markets that normally can’t take credit cards but can take SnapScan. I know there are other payment apps available but SnapScan is definitely the one that is most widely used. Also, you can buy The Big Issue from roadside vendors with SnapScan which I love.
Since combining with Kalahari a few years ago, Takealot is definitely the biggest online retailer. I find their prices are good and their delivery is super quick. I generally order a few things from them every month. It’s easy to order something using the app, but to be honest I mainly use the app to compare prices when I am in a store. If I’m looking at buying something in a shop I’ll quickly pull up the Takealot app and check their price. It’s also great for adding things to my wishlist when I’m on the run, then when I’m back at my desk I can research the item and buy it if I decide I want it.
3. Mr D Food
Mr Delivery has been around for ages and a while ago they rebranded as Mr D. They recently launched an app for ordering food in and it’s a great app. I seldom used to order in but the app works so well I’m starting to order in more often. You can browse restaurant menus in the app and select your food items, place your order and pay from within the app (including a tip for the delivery guy!). Then it updates you with the progress of your order so you can see exactly how long it will take. I did have to block notifications for this app because they just wouldn’t stop sending me promotional messages, but it’s perfectly usable with the notifications turned off.
(Link) *Android Only
This is only useful if you use the MyCiti bus system in Cape Town. I use it all the time to get around. This app is awesome because you can open it up and it will geo-locate you and tell you which are your closest bus stops. You can click on the bus stop and it will tell you when the next bus is due. If you’re planning a route you can just select the bus stop you want and ignore the geo-location feature. The app has a bunch of other features like being able to tell you the balance on your MyCiti card but I really just use it to see the time of the next bus.
This is the app for the WWF South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative. If you’re buying fish in the shop or ordering fish in a restaurant you can look up the fish in this app and it will tell you if it is green, orange or red listed. You should never buy red listed fish and you should avoid orange listed fish. Stick to green listed fish only if possible. We need to save our marine life!
This is not strictly a local app but it’s useful here. Taxify is an Uber competitor. It works basically exactly the same way except that Taxify does not have surge pricing. This is particularly useful in summer in Cape Town because with the influx of tourists, the Uber price surges often. When it happens I just open up Taxify and use that instead. I’ve been using it for about 6 months now and it’s been great, no different from Uber. If you decide to sign up, use my promo code DAXVYE and get R100 off your first ride.
Thanks to Hippo for covering my time to write this article. Let the Hippo help you with your life insurance needs, simply visit hippo.co.za to get multiple quotes.