These days it’s imperative for financial services providers to offer useful and intuitive mobile banking apps as branch footprints diminish and customers want to bank online rather than over the phone.
Westpac’s internet online banking platform is archaic. Having experienced the ANZ and ASB versions I find the whole thing lacks colour, life and features. Not being able to change your address or securely message the bank through online banking for example is incredibly frustrating.
In comparison Westpac’s Online Banking apps ( the iPad version in particular which is pictured below) are fantastic and it’s their simplicity which makes them a winner. While they don’t have all the functionality of online banking such as the ability to manage bill payees or pay your credit card bill, I’ve taken to using the apps rather than my laptop for my day to day banking needs such as transferring money between accounts and paying my rent.
Impulse Saver for iPhone
Westpac research found that New Zealanders spend an average of $16.1 million per day on impulse purchases. Enter Impulse Saver – an app to encourage saving on impulse rather than spending.
The app features a big red button, one touch of which sends a predetermined amount (minimum $2 and maximum $50) from your Westpac transaction account into your Westpac savings account.The idea is you hit the button when you’re in the supermarket queue instead of reaching for the chocolate bar, magazine or bottle of coke.
Saving money to me means setting aside an amount each pay day before I can touch it and spending the remainder. But if you like the idea of saving on impulse download Impulse Saver.
BudgetPlanner for iPhone
The Budget Planner app offers pre-populated budgets for different life situations (eg. single or double income and whether you also have a family and/or pet). For each of the income and expenses questions there is a slider or you can tap and enter a figure, and select the appropriate payment frequency icon.
If your take-home pay equates to more than $3500 per week or your annual bonus more than $18200 this is not the app for you as the slider only goes to these values. On the bright site if you do earn that much chances are you don’t require a budget planning app.
This app can be used by Westpac customers and non-customers alike as there is no requirement to log in to online banking. There are negatives to this however as the app is not password protected and if you share an iPad like I do (a work one) your personal information is viewable by all users unless you delete your budget.
Realestate app for iPhone
Allan reviewed an early version of the realestate.co.nz app (in association with Westpac) back in 2010. The map lets you spot exactly where houses near you are which is handy whether you’re looking to buy, or just want to be nosey and visit Open Homes near your home at the weekend.
Features added in the most recent update include the ability synch open homes and homes you like between realestate.co.nz and your mobile device, and an archive section to view sold or withdrawn properties for 30 days.
A Mobile Wallet and another closely guarded app will be released by Westpac in the coming months.
I was initially a little horrified to learn Shortland Street had it’s own iPhone app. I spent seven years of my life addicted to the program, during which time I never missed an episode.
It’s an era I now look back on and cringe but the Shortland Street app released last year contains all the information I once would have been desperate for like photos, actor bios and interviews to stalk out your favourite actors as well as all the latest Shortland Street news and daily previews to establish what’s going to happen next.
I really like the full, in-depth episode recaps which mean if you miss Shortland Street one night and don’t have time to watch it online you can stay up to date with what’s happening and avoid confusion when you next watch the program. Annoyingly though, to actually watch episodes online you have to switch to the tvnzondemand app so you can’t get your full Shortland Street fix within the app itself.
Each month you can put your questions to a different Shortland Street star by using the Live Chat feature, or you can chat at any time with other fans (I’m sure most of them are around the age of 12 and borrowing dad’s iPad).
My flatmate’s girlfriend features as the wallpaper on both his iPhone and laptop and I can’t help but give him grief about it. This week I’ve realised it could be worse – how about a Shortland Street cast pic as your wallpaper?
Have you come across any good apps for other popular television programs?
I mentioned last year that TVNZ were planning to release an iPad and iPhone app for their on-demand service, well it’s here!
The app is already New Zealand’s number two free app in the app store.
First impressions, it looks great! The quality is good, in terms of resolution. the load time appears to be very quick (on my internet anyway). The clever thing is, the app automatically checks your internet connection and decides the best quality of video for you. This is also a bummer because you can’t chose a higher or a lower quality like on the website, you just have to deal with what you’re given……Read More
Another great Kiwi developer has made a very helpful iPad app, you might have seen it in the news recently. Kiwi developer Wayne Lewis has created an iPad app which is aimed at making the lives of autistic children and their parents a lot easier.
Communicate Easy is the name of the iPad app, available on the iTunes store for $1.99.
Lewis has a personal link to autism, his son Ciaran has autism and needs help with simple daily tasks. According to Wayne, Ciaran proved to be the best app tester in the world……Read More
You can get the MetService app on your iPad for free or you can download the paid version for $2.59. Today I found myself wondering, what’s the difference between the two?
I’m sure most of you will agree with me that MetService is probably New Zealand’s most popular weather provider. Both the iPhone and iPad apps are great but is it worth $2.59?
The paid version of an app usually has a few more features than the free version, it turns out that this is not the case with MetService. The only difference between the two is advertising, the paid app has no banner ads at the bottom of your screen. In the screen shot below you can see a Hyundai ad, which is actually the only ad I saw the whole time I was using the free app today.
Also, while playing around with the app today I found that searching for the tide times in Akaroa causes the app to crash. So if you were relying on MetService to tell you when its time launch the dingy in Akaroa, perhaps not.
Basically, when considering which MetService app to download your choice is between paying with your eyes by seeing ads on the free app or forking out $2.59 for the paid version. It’s a small price for a handy app but it’s a little steep compared to other paid apps on the app store in my opinion. Thoughts? Does anyone believe the $2.59 is worth it?…Read More
TheInsider app is a locally developed iPhone app which is doing its best to make life easier for Wellingtonians and Aucklanders.
There’s a handful of other apps out there that give you a list of deals around your local area but not like The Insider. The app is a very easy to use place to find happy hours, 2 for 1 deals and other specials for your local restaurants and bars.
The app was developed by Jacob Duncan and Niko Croskery, both have full time jobs so the app was an ‘after hours’ project taking just 9 months. The two attended Tauranga Boys College together before Niko headed to Wellington to study Law and Jacob took on the mighty Dunedin to study Software Engineering. TheInsider app is the first venture from their company, Wiretapp Labs Limited.
The app was first available in Wellington last year and is now live in Auckland. However there are plans to move……Read More
If you hadn’t noticed already, the New Zealand developed app ‘The Blockheads’ has been flying up towards the top of the app store charts in the last few weeks.
The Blockheads is the latest game from New Zealand developer David Frampton. In the past he has developed the very successful ‘Chopper‘ and BlockHeads is looking like it will also be a huge success. At one point, Chopper was rumoured to be earning Frampton around $4500 a day. The Blockheads has been downloaded over 2 million times……Read More