The MTN Business ‘App of the Year’ Awards is back with a revamped format and new genre-related categories. The industry is moving towards a focus on content categories rather than OS or platform, and so are we. Forget comparing, ahem, apples with apples, the new structure allows us to compare lifestyle with lifestyle, or business with business… All in our quest to crown the App of the Year 2015, promote the app industry in South Africa, and contribute to the growth of our digital citizenry.
The App of the Year Awards has played a role in the professionalisation and development of the app industry locally. MTN Business believes in rewarding innovation and promoting healthy competition in this vital space that drives digital uptake and contributes to the continued growth of the smartphone market.
Perhaps our most famous “alumni” is QR code-enabled m-payment app Snapscan, the overall winner in 2013 that became a household name after it was acquired by Standard Bank. You can now pay for goods using Snapscan in over 13 000 stores throughout the country. After their win, developer Kobus Ehlers said the Awards was instrumental in raising awareness and bringing more merchants into the ecosystem. Other well known previous category winners include the FNB banking app, Health ID from Discovery, Wildlife Tracker, DStv’s Supersport app, and PriceCheck, which went on to claim the title of International App of the Year at an event in the US in 2013.
“The new categories and format are a total game-changer for the Awards, not just a small refresh,” says Mandisa Ntloko, head of marketing, MTN Business, South Africa. “The new genre-based categories are much closer aligned to the way that real app users evaluate apps when they choose to download them or not. And this means all app developers are on a more even footing, so really any developer – big or small – could be a big winner this year.”
This is the first year of the new format, so unlike previous iterations of the Awards, we are completely opening up the development timeframes that qualify for entry, meaning that any app, developed in the last few months or years, is eligible for entry.
Entries for the awards close on the 26th of June 2015, giving developers just a few weeks to put forward their apps for consideration in the following categories:
1. Best Enterprise
- Media & communications
- Business solutions & sales
- Navigation (and geo location apps)
2. Best Consumer
- Finance & banking
- Entertainment & gaming (incl. kids apps)
- Media & communications (incl. community & social)
- Lifestyle (incl. health & fitness, and personal education)
- Productivity (incl. utilities)
- Creative apps (incl. Photo & video)
3. Best Enterprise Development App
4. Best Breakthrough Developer
5. Most Innovative App
6. Wild card (for apps that defy categorisation)
We will award the MTN Business ‘App of the Year’ Award from an app entered within the above categories.
To submit your app and for all the details and fuller explanations of our new categories, visit www.appoftheyear.co.za/submit-your-app/
Judges will consider the entrants against the following criteria: product solution and design, creativity, usability and market impact. They will also look at the long-term sustainability or viability of the app (What is the potential of the application and the team of developers behind it? Can the app be taken to the next level? Is there a potential path to revenue with the app?). Additionally, judges will consider the presentation of shortlisted apps at the judging event.
The App of the Year Awards will culminate in an awards ceremony on 5 August 2015 at The Urban Tree, Kramerville in Johannesburg.
The annual App of the Year Awards has grown dramatically in size and stature since its inception in 2012. At the time they were the first dedicated app awards in South Africa. The landscape of the app development industry has changed enormously since even 2012, but the Awards remain the foremost event in the app industry annually, drawing crowds, prestige and tonnes of media coverage for our competing entrants.