An Australian app that helps consumers find flight deals and another that helps them locate food trucks in Sydney have been named by Apple iTunes editors as among 2012's top "disruptive services" that are helping to reshape industries.
City of Sydney's Sydney Food Trucks app, which was released in September, helps foodies locate their favourite food truck, and is part of a broader initiative by the council to bring the food truck cultures of London and New York to Sydney.
The app has received 23,000 downloads and on average has 600 active unique users per day, said Suzie Matthews, who is overseeing the food trucks trial.
"It's been incredibly effective as a tool for accessing customers," Matthews said.
The app was built by Melbourne-based We Make Apps, with City of Sydney also choosing to offer a native Android version, making it the first multi-platform app offered by the council.
The app is based on a RESTful API, feeding into the responsive Sydney food truck website.
"If you have a Windows phone you call still access the same information via the locations map," said Karl Herger, digital marketing specialist with City of Sydney.
The app pulls in social media updates and also utilises GPS data provided by truck operators.
With the introduction of the iPhone 5 and iOS6, which came shortly before launch, Herger said the council was forced to switch from Google Maps to Map Quest for iOS6 users.
Herger is hopeful that following the recent return of Google Maps to Apple's app store, the council will be able to put Google Maps back on the iOS6 version of its app.
The second Australian app highlighted by iTunes editors was Virgin Australia's Flight Specials app, launched 5 months ago.
A spokesman for Virgin Australia said the airline was pleased with the uptake, with the app receiving more than 200,000 downloads since launch.
"The application was built collaboratively with support from our internal development teams and one of our external development partners MNet," said Michele Gara, general manager of brand development (product) with Virgin Australia.
The airline launched an Android version of the flight specials app last week, and said it has a number of other app initiatives in planning for next year.