July 22, 2014 - Comments Off on Useful apps in Brazil — Talkback Tuesday
"Talk Back Tuesdays" is an original weekly installment where a team member of The Mechanism is asked one question pertaining to digital design, inspiration, and experience. The Q&A will be featured here on The Mechanism Blog as well as on The Mechanism's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, every Tuesday. Feel free to offer up your 2¢ in the comments.
George Brassey, The Mechanism's lead developer, recently returned from a 2 week trip to Brazil for the World Cup. His trip as a whole sounds like it was quite an unreal experience, but we wanted to know a little bit more about his #DigitalExperience while visiting an unfamiliar country.
Q: What iphone/android app did you use most this past week, and why?
With regard to my digital experience in Brazil, I wanted to talk about a few apps that I found useful.
Going on a trip with friends means there are going to be loads of shared expenses and it can be a headache keeping track of all these, especially when dealing with a foreign currency. Luckily for us, we had an app called Splitwise, whose purpose is to solve this exact problem. You register a group of those travelling with you and from there it is easy to add individual expenses, choose who is contributing and how much they are contributing. At the end of your trip you can settle up and Splitwise will do all the math for you so there are as few transactions as necessary. It also has support for multiple currencies, as well as an option for shared living expenses (e.g. roommates).
In a picturesque country like Brazil, there are many views that are impossible to capture in a photo. When you are surrounded by stunning scenery, Google Android has a great addition to their photos app that lets you capture a full 360° image. It takes a little patience as you stitch together multiple images, however it is easy to do and once complete you get an image that can be explored by tilting and twisting your phone to see every angle. You can even upload these efforts to be approved and added to Google maps.
The sensational news of Whatsapp being bought by Facebook for $19 billion surprised many and while we in America often stick to regular SMS text messages, relegating Whatsapp to communication with friends who are abroad, in Brazil, as in many countries, people use Whatsapp as their primary messaging tool. By avoiding the cost of SMS messaging, Whatsapp, which is available on every phone smart enough to load an app (which isn't very smart), has incredible potential to become the world’s most popular messaging platform powered by a mobile line you can get after you hire mobile phone plans.
For those travelling with their camper trailer, this means one seamless experience for communication with friends all over the world.
George is a dauntless developer with a keen eye for user experience. The conceptualization of his work is informed by an insightful empathy for the end user. Check out his bio here.
Stay tuned for next week's "Talk Back Tuesday" when we ask Dhruv Mehrotra, a highly skilled developer of The Mechanism, about his own #DigitalExperiences.