When it comes to apps, our country offers its own unique challenges and opportunities to app developers (and anyone else, really) looking to solve a problem or fill a need. We all know the saying that “local is lekker”, and our eclectic mix of of SA-specific apps in our Gear of the Year survey certainly reflected that. With so much choice, here’s what our readers ultimately went with.

WINNER

SnapScan

Specifications
Works on Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and iOS

SnapScan is a locally-developed smartphone app that first took off back in 2013, providing business owners a new way to let customers pay for things – with their phones. All of South Africa’s major banks climbed on board by allowing their customers to link their accounts to the app, opening up the payment possibilities unlike any mobile app before it.

All people needed to do was fire up the app, scan the barcode on the till slip, make a few selections on the app interface and in just a few seconds the payment would be processed. As a few years have passed since it got going and it’s had a chance to gain momentum, it’s the app our readers clearly know the best as they voted it overwhelmingly as the best locally-developed app of the year.

36.9% of those surveyed marked it as their favourite, helping SnapScan beat the second-favourite app – Pricecheck Mobile – by a good 11.2% margin.

Mobile payment systems are huge in Africa thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and cellular networks, as these are present in greater quantities than the infrastructure on which traditional banking systems operate. SnapScan was one of the first-ever mobile payment apps to hit the South African market, making its rise to fame and popularity more or less a done deal as others have tried, and failed, to catch up.

Votes
Percentage of votes: 36.9%
Runners-up: Pricecheck Mobile (25.7%), SnapNSave (9.8%)

Journalist’s choice

Lungelo Shezi

A Hack Jozi 2016 runner-up, Tuta-Me is an on-demand service that lets people book a tutor for themselves or a child, for tutoring in a variety of subjects. The first-of-its-kind app locates tutors registered on the service and lets users choose one suitable to their needs.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.