Christchurch creatives build iPhone app for Vodafone

iPhone specialist develops app for NZ Music Awards

In preparation for the upcoming New Zealand Music Awards in October, Christchurch-based iPhone app company Smudge Apps has developed a free iPhone application for head sponsor Vodafone. The app lets users vote for the People’s Choice Awards and features artist profiles, competitions and news from finalists.

Vodafone chose to work with Smudge Apps after the start-up developed a mapping app for agricultural Field Days in June, says Vodafone’s head of brand engagement, Tessa Tierney.

“We were really happy with what they did,” she says. “They are incredibly smart guys and very easy to work with.”

Smudge Apps, started in 2008 by developers Reuben Bijl and Toby Vincent, has developed a range of successful corporate apps, for example Yellow for Yellow Pages and the highly-rated movie timetable app Flicks. The company also develops its own apps, with 12 currently available on the iTunes App Store. Examples include the ‘super-secret’ private web browser Top Secret, a digital sound-level meter and MapShare, which allows you to share maps via email.

“We started out developing our own apps in the first year and got around six million downloads,” says Bijl.

Since then, the team has maintained the apps, but have been too busy building contract iPhone apps to create more of their own. Bijl and Vincent plan to find a happy balance between the two endeavours in the future.

Fortunately, Bijl’s and Vincent’s homes were unaffected by last week’s earthquakes in Christchurch.

“We’ve been able to keep working by moving our office home,” says Bijl. “It’s hard to believe it has happened and it’s going to be long process to get everything resolved,” he says.

The release of the Music Awards app is part of ‘Vodafone’s 30 Days of Music’, a celebration of Kiwi music and a countdown to the biggest night on the Kiwi music calendar, says Tierney.