Zomato

Zomato is the world’s fastest growing online and mobile restaurant discovery platform, now supporting menus, map coordinates, contact details, and photos of restaurants in 41 cities, for over 16 million users every month.

In New Zealand Zomato currently lists over 5500 restaurants in Auckland and Wellington combined on their website and free mobile app. Most recently the service has extended to include Hamilton, and they are looking to expand to Christchurch later this year.

The new Zomato app launched last week includes social networking features around food.

“Even before the advent of the internet, people relied on social opinions for restaurant discovery. In our endless discussions with our users, we realised this behavior is still widely prevalent, but not catered to effectively by existing local discovery tools or review websites. With our new product, we want to cater to that intrinsic behavior in an amplified, social setting” Deepinder Goyal, Founder & CEO of Zomato.

On Zomato, Facebook and Instagram: Blackboard at Cafe on Quay, Auckland

Zomato users can build a strong network of trusted foodies and follow where they’re eating and what they recommend. The new activity feed shows you what your network has been up to, and there is a  leader board with points assigned for reviews and photos.

What sets Zomato apart from their competition?

Unlike other apps and websites such as Yellow , View New Zealand or Localist, Zomato only lists Food and Restaurants. Zomato don’t consider their app a directory but about discovery. You can find somewhere to eat based on your requirements and location, and restaurant ratings (a scale of 1-5) have now been normalised across the scale.

Zomato go to great depth in the way they collect and update information. Teams go into each and every restaurant to investigate. They utilise street maps and walk the area to ensure they don’t miss any businesses.

There is a two month update cycle because while the address may not change, menus do, and even after a launch they continue to visit businesses and check the details remain correct.

What else is new?

With the new release you have to log into the app to use it. Then it is split into clear sections depending on what you are looking to use it for – searching for a restaurant, finding what’s nearby, adding a review or seeing what your network are up.

A handy new feature added with this release is the speed-dial function. Zomato realised that people don’t usually save the phone numbers for restaurants they regularly visit into their phones. With Zomato you can easily save the contact details for up to 10 restaurants.

Since I downloaded Zomato I’ve realised that I tend to open apps the apps I need on autopilot when I require them rather than with any real thought or purpose. As the Zomato Logo -a red box with a tiny amount of white in the centre, looks very similar to the YouTube app when you’re not looking properly I initially kept opening the wrong one.

This app is great if you love food and social networking and is fantastic to consult when you’re landed in an area you don’t know and require a good place to eat with minimal research time.


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The Great Monteith’s Meatpack Hunt

This morning I unexpectedly came across a hunting ground in central Auckland.

Monteiths have been promoting The Great Monteith’s Meatpack Hunt app with a pop-up oasis at the bottom of Queen Street this week. Visitors could sample Monteiths beers, cider and alcoholic ginger beer with meat based food matches created by chef Sean Connolly, as well as try out the app on iPads.

With prizes on offer of course we had to stay and play until we’d beaten the current high score.

The Great Monteith’s Meatpack Hunt is a fun and addictive game – you get 60 seconds per level to focus and shoot wild animals in the places each of the different cuts of meat come from. You need to hit all of them before the time runs out to complete your meat pack and move on to the next level.

The app uses augmented reality, making wherever you are the hunting ground – your house, garden or office. You may prefer to fire at your mate’s head while the animals run freely around you instead.

There are four levels, each with a different target: duck, deer venison, lamb and beef. If you can complete all four levels you can then enter the draw for a pack containing all four meats. There is also a bonus level to hunt the golden stag to win a barbecue and meat pack.

The game feels animal friendly – the animals don’t keel over and die when shot but change colour, when you’ve hit all the cuts they disappear.

Download the game for yourself here and challenge friends to high scores. The ducks are the hardest to capture and it definitely feels easier and more stable standing up and using an iPad rather than your phone.

You can also check out the promotional website to learn about matching beers and meat.

 …

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Sky Go

Sky TV’s app for iOS Sky Go was released late last year and allows Sky subscribers to live stream selected Sky channels they are subscribed to on their iPhone or iPad.

It’s ideal for following sport (such as the Super 15 or Winter Olympics) on the go, or if you’re a Sky TV addict and staying somewhere without the service.

There is just one glaring problem with it – every 5 or 10 minutes a ‘continue’ button appears on the screen and you have to touch it for the program to keep streaming. Incredibly frustrating if you’re lying on a couch with your device propped up somewhere nearby rather than physically holding it up.

There is a restriction of two Sky Go devices at any time per Sky TV household so you can’t give your details to all your friends to watch as well. Ondemand content is not currently available but promised later this year.

 …

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Finding somewhere to refuel

BPfinder

With the upcoming Christmas and New Year holiday break comes the opportunity to explore parts of New Zealand where you don’t necessarily know the roads or when the next petrol station can be expected.

Here are some apps which can help you plan your journey, where to fuel up and when to buy kids treats and the driver a coffee. They are designed to be used on the road (though obviously not whilst driving and assuming the availability of wifi).

Z

Z Coffee Card  is an app from Z Energy (formerly Shell in New Zealand) which seems to primarily serve the purpose of replacing a coffee loyalty card in your wallet but also includes a store locator.

When you buy a coffee at Z you scan a QR code using the app and a stamp populates. Collect six stamps and a free coffee is allocated to you on the app. You can also get one free stamp by sharing the app with friends via email or social media.


You select your region and favourite Z Express station when you set it up. When you’re on the road you can find your nearest Z station and it allows you to phone, or map out your journey to get there. Pretty swifty but lacks any information as to fuel types.

BP

BP currently lacks an app for finding their sites, though bpfinder.co.nz is a mobile optimised site performing the same function.

The site allows you to apply filters and search for sites with Wild Bean Cafe’s, Truckstops, premium fuels and for services such as trailer hire or a carwash. Once you’ve selected a site you can map out your way there or call them.

Caltex

The Caltex Station Locator app lists not just New Zealand Caltex stations but those in Hong Kong, South China, Malaysia, Pakistan and more.

Similar to Z’s app and BP’s mobile website you can see what sites are closest to you, the fuels available, phone numbers and opening hours and work out how to get there.

Additionally in this app you can create a list of your favourite Caltex stations and rate sites on a scale of 1-5 stars. You can also view current AA Smartfuel and other promotional offers (though the ads are more annoying than helpful) and set up an engine oil change reminder.

Mobil

Mobil is a tad behind the times – no app and the website is not mobile optimised. If you wish to find a mobil station you’re probably going to need to find yourself a Mac first.

Alternatively there are generic apps out there, not aligned to any particular fuel brand which use GPS to direct you to wherever the cheapest fuel is located. An example is Waze which utilises it’s community to share fuel prices as well as traffic and road information. This will suit those who are price conscious rather than reward hunters and using supermarket dockets or AA Smartfuel cards limiting them to certain fuel providers.…

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iPhone 5S New Zealand Release Date & Prices

We’ll have to wait a little longer but at least now we know. Apple announced today the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will be available in New Zealand on Friday 25 October 2013. The iPhone 5s NZ release date is five weeks after the new iPhone launched in Australia and the United States compared to arriving just one week later in 2012.

As expected the prices are exactly the same as the outgoing iPhone models with the iPhone 5s starting at $1,049 and the iPhone 5c at $899.

iPhone 5s New Zealand Price
iPhone 5s 16GB $1,049
iPhone 5s 32GB $1,199
iPhone 5s 64GB $1,349

iPhone 5c New Zealand Price
iPhone 5c 16GB $899
iPhone 5c 32GB $1,049

iPhone 4s 8GB $649

There are no preorders from Apple with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c being available to order from Apple Online starting Friday 25 October and limited stock available in Telecom, Vodafone and other iPhone retail stores the same day.

Expect the iPhone 5s to be in short supply right through Christmas. As well as New Zealand both iPhones launch in another 34 countries the same day and in an additional 16 countries on 1 November 2013.…

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Posted in iPhone, Telecom XT, Vodafone

iPhone 5s Launch: Live in Sydney

As usual there is still no word on the New Zealand release date of the iPhone 5s. And so where do I find myself? Outside the Apple Store in Sydney of course.

Having flown into Sydney last night I’ve been here about 90 minutes and there’s just over an hour now until the Apple Store opens. Not really wanting to endure the morning rush around George Street I’m at the Broadway Mall store just outside the Sydney CBD. About 30 minutes ago the queue was shepherded into the mall and I’ve chanced a nice leather sofa outside Kmart to wait on. At a guess I’m about 80 in line with the same number growing behind.

The only thing I don’t have is a solid stream of the America’s Cup – first world problems with 200 people all leeching one stores wifi.

I’ll be bringing a few iPhones back with me tonight – email or iMessage mike@mob.co.nz if you want one.

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The shining light of the Apple Store over my shoulder.

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George Street late last night the queue wrapped a long way round the corner

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It’s a full moon this morning over the Sydney Fish Market…

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Posted in iPhone

iOS 7 – What do You Think

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So today is the day! iOS 7 is here.

There were a few problems when I was trying to install it this morning but it was noticeably faster than previous versions.

Essentially everything has been redesigned in some way. The result, an ultra-modern ‘flat’ style design. My first impression was that it was perhaps too basic, but I’m slowly getting used to it. It almost has a bit of a Microsoft Windows feel to it (that should spark a few of you up).

There has been plenty of disscusion around the changes. I will be spending most the day exploring and getting to know everything. The idea behind this short post is to kick off some conversation around the changes. After just over 6 hours since the release, which is your favourite change? Comment below…

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Posted in All, iPad, iPhone
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