The winners of the NYCBigApps competition are out: Top prizes go to Taxihack, Big Apple Ed, and Wayfinder NYC. And horror of horrors--none of these three is an app specifically for the world's sexiest fruit-flavored smartphone!
The contest was designed to spur developers into crafting applications for the Web and smartphones that would actually benefit New Yorkers' daily life, tempting them with a prize fund of $20,000, "plus dinner with the mayor and tons of public appreciation." After months of deliberation, the panel of judges has come up with a prize winners list, and the apps all do seem to have pretty good utility.
Big Apple Ed, for example, is a solution to the tricky issue of finding good schools in NYC: "Finding a school in New York City is hard. We're here to help!" is how the Web site puts it. There's a basic search function, of course, but also top ten lists, comparison, school profiles, and so on so that you can make an informed decision about which educational establishment suits your needs best.
Then there's Taxihack, which is a live data stream comprised of crowd-sourced comments on the behavior, reliability, or whatever of New Yorks yellow cabs and their drivers. You can simply comment on the state of the vehicle, or warn about particular drivers habits if you're the nervous type--and you can also search the site via a car's medallion number if you want to see what people have said about it in the past.
Finally there's WayFinder NYC, which is the most interesting technologically. It's an augmented reality app in the mold of some other iPhone ones we've shown you previously--designed to show you the way to the nearest subway entrance, so it'll be useful for both New Yorkers who're navigating off their normal route, and tourists. It's actually designed for Android phones though.
And that's actually a bit of a surprise here--all these apps are either Web-based, or for Android. Is the Big Apple shunning Apple? Probably not deliberately, of course. The people's choice winner, NYCWay, is an iPhone app, sure enough, and it's a basic info database covering all sorts of useful stuff that residents and tourists will find useful.
[Via The New York Times]