Tech News on G4
Caffeine-Infused Applications Top iTunes Chart
April 28, 2009
By Greg Gazin - Apple Gaziní - G4 Canada
With all the things the Apple iPhone can do, it’s amazing that the top download for the last 2 consecutive months is coffee related and it has anything to do with the taste and the smell of freshly ground beans or a gimmick of some new scratch and sniff technology.
If you are thinking “What is Tim Hortons?” be proud and you would win the daily double-double. ZuLabs, a division of Saskatoon-based interactive agency zu.com has developed a free downloadable app – appropriately called “TimmieMe” that helps iPhone users locate the nearest Tim Hortons.
Using the technology in the new iPhone 3G, this simple and easy to use application can find you 5 possible locations for your next java-fix with only 2-clicks.
"Think of it as a GPS for caffeine addicts”, says Lead Developer Cory Jacobsen.
The imagery can leave a smile on anyone’s face.
Lejbak admits that this was a pet project. As being one of the first Canadian iPhone developers blessed by Apple they thought it most apropos to have their first app that was uniquely Canadian.
What Defines Canadian?
“We wanted to do something ‘Super Canadian”, says Lejbak. “We thought of Don Cherry, The Tragically Hip and Stompin’ Tom – and maybe even Canadian Tire”, he later added. “But we just kept coming back to Tim Hortons.”
In additional to being #1, TimmieMe was also top of the pops for 5 consecutive months in the “Free Navigation” category. It’s been downloaded and amazing 85,361 times he says and has had a whopping 1.79 million uses.
zu garnered gold recognition for TimmyMe at SIMA 2009 (Saskatchewan Interactive Media Awards) in Best Mobile Services: Non-Entertainment product (category). "We really struck a nerve with the developer community," adds Tony Zuck, COO of zuLabs.
Now if you didn’t guess Tim Hortons the first time, but instead said –‘What is Starbucks?” you would still qualify for a grande or venti prize.
With the success of TimmieMe, Lejbak said it was time to go the international digital space creating BucksMe, an application to locate the nearest 5 “Starbucks” locations.
BucksMe even has a notepad feature so you can take orders for your friends and co-workers.
Unlike the first app, BucksMe would cost $0.99 to download. Obviously people found a buck to be a bargain. It hit #1 in the paid downloads (now 5th but still respectable) in its category in Canada with more than 150,665 uses in 35 countries around the world.
According to Lejbak, while downloads and use statistics are global, actual chart positioning numbers from the US are not readily available. Lejbak presumes the numbers for BucksMe to be fairly high, as it has been touted as a reoccurring 'Staff Pick' for iTunes employees – considered by many to be a sign of true success.
“We kept getting (Twitter) Tweets telling us we’re the staff favourite.”
Lejbak himself does not consume coffee, but does love hot chocolate.
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