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Here are nine of the best apps South African developers have created.

Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa

A decade ago, no ornithologist worth their binoculars would’ve been caught dead without their copy of Newman’s Birds of South Africa. Today, there’s no need to lug a book around because the 2010 commemorative edition has been turned into an app for Apple devices. In addition to listings for 975 different South African species and 1 300 labelled illustrations, the app includes more than 800 bird calls – something a paper version could never manage.

The app also includes more than 1 000 photographs and lets users identify birds by size, colour, region or even current location, or search by scientific or common names. The Life List feature also lets avid birders record and store information about their sightings.

Download it for iOS.

Squabbl

A mix of 30 Seconds, charades, and memory games, Squabbl is a mobile game for the whole family. Each game consists of three rounds. In the first, players describe a word to their teammates without using the word itself. For the second round, the same words are used – albeit shuffled, so you might get an opposing teams word, meaning it pays to pay attention to every clue in every round – but have to be acted out silently. For the third round, players can only use one word as a clue.

Perhaps the best part of Squabbl is the option to add your own words, which means it’s easy to tailor the game to different levels of general knowledge or specialist topics, and gives it plenty of longevity.

Download it for Android or iOS.

KaChing

Paying for parking at shopping malls is a chore, a chore KaChing is hoping to make a thing of the past. Download the free app, add a bank card as a payment method and the details of your vehicle’s licence plate, and you need never queue to pay for parking or scrounge around for change in your pocket again. When you drive up to a boom at a mall that offers KaChing (currently offered at four of Joburg's biggest malls, one in KZN, and more in the pipeline), a camera scans your licence plate and the boom lifts without you needing to collect a ticket.

When it’s time to go, the same process lets you out and your linked credit card or prepaid account is billed. The best part? You still pay the usual parking fee.

Get it for Android or iOS.

WumDrop

Using the phrase 'Like Uber for X' to describe an app is becoming a cliché, but it’s a pretty accurate way to describe WumDrop, where X stands for 'deliveries'. Need a document or package (up to 15kg) delivered in a hurry and don’t want to have to deal with traditional couriers and the waybills and administration that comes with it? WumDrop’s the app you’ve been waiting for.

Use it on iOS or online, put in your collection address and destination address and a WumDrop driver will head your way to fetch and ferry your parcel. You can track your parcel in real-time, and once it’s delivered the WumDrop driver will send you a picture for confirmation.

Download it for iOS.

Domestly

In addition to supplying consumers with high-quality, thoroughly vetted cleaning staff, Domestly hopes to help reduce unemployment in South Africa. The app connects cleaners looking for work with people in need of their services. Consumers can choose a time that suits them for the cleaner to come, and can choose between a half- or full-day service.

Consumers can search for cleaners by region, and are encouraged to rate them once the job is done, so that other consumers can choose who they’d like to use based on others' reviews.

Download it for Android or iOS.

LogBox

If you’ve ever had to fill in the reams of forms a new doctor, dentist or other medical professional requires, you’ll understand the appeal of LogBox. Download the app, add your personal information – or the information of family members – and when you visit a medical professional that supports the service, all you need to do is scan a QR code using the app, and the relevant information is securely transferred to them immediately. The app is free for patients, but medical professionals pay a nominal fee.

Download it for Android or iOS.

Tuta-me

Another on-demand service, Tuta-me connects qualified tutors with those who need them. According to Tuta-me, 'Google can only teach you so much, sometimes you just need a human'.

It’s not just school pupils who can benefit from Tuta-Me, because in addition to offering tutoring in school subjects, the service lists music, language, swimming and even cooking teachers.

Users search the app for a teacher in their area offering the service they need, can book and schedule appointments through the app, and can make payments electronically, removing the need to have cash on hand. Once you’ve made a booking the tutor comes to you, whether you want to do your lesson at home, on holiday or even in a coffee shop.

Download it for Android.

Liedjie

The first product from local streaming media company NicheStreem, Liedjie offers fans of Afrikaans music a dedicated music streaming service. Users can create their own playlists, store content offline to save money or for those times they can’t get online – like when travelling – and listen to a wide selection of carefully curated playlists.

Users can try the service for free for two weeks, after which it costs R49/month. At the moment the app is only available for desktops or laptops and for Android devices, but an iOS version is due out soon.

Download it for Android.

Bokone Bophirima Tour App

The North West province offers rich pickings for local and international tourists alike. The Bokone Bophirima Tour App offers information about destinations, shopping and activities using an interactive map. It also includes listings for accommodation, transport and events in the province, which are regularly updated. The free app is only available for Android devices for now.

Download it for Android.

Note that while these apps may be free to download, the data to do so is not. Log into My Vodacom to purchase data bundles quickly and affordably to make sure you never run out of data »

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