The 39 Best Australian apps
From the moment that Apple launched its first iPhone, Australian developers have been at the forefront of creating amazing apps for mobile devices. Over the past eight years, the local industry has blossomed, with amazing apps for everything from productivity to entertainment being created by Aussies for the rest of the world.
We've pulled together this list of 39 amazing Australian apps for iOS and Android devices, which we'll update as more amazing locally produced apps arrive on our devices.
1. Weatherzone by BOM
Before smartphones overtook our lives, finding out the weather forecast for the week involved antiquated technologies such as newspapers and sitting through the 6pm news. Weatherzone delivers the temperature straight to your pocket, with all the data sourced directly from the Bureau of Meteorology itself. You get real time data from over 2,000 locations across the country, plus ski and snow reports, BOM warnings and a national radar and lightning tracker.
2. ABC iview
Australia's original video streaming service, ABC iView still holds up as one of the best. More of a catchup TV service than a binge watching smorgasbord like Netflix, the national broadcaster's app has still managed to push the boundaries of broadcasting online in Australia, with original series, digital fast tracking and live news. Given the price, this is an essential download.
It's no surprise that when the TV networks heard Netflix was planning an Australian invasion, they decided to start their own local competitors. A joint venture between the Nine network and Fairfax media, Stan launched on the web, iOS and Android devices earlier this year, before hitting the Apple TV. While the app is getting constantly improved, the best part about the service is an impressively extensive content catalogue from Australia and around the world.
Foxtel and Channel 7's streaming venture may be more expensive than its rivals; it may only offer standard definition streams, but if you want to watch a David Duchovny TV show, it's pretty much your best friend. Leveraging Foxtel's impressive movie catalogue and Seven's local content, Presto is battling its reach and video quality issues with some great content offerings – which keep getting better every month.
5. SBS On Demand
If ABC paved the way for streaming video in Australia, then SBS On Demand made it significantly more cultured. As well as being the home of the FIFA World Cup and Eurovision in Australia, SBS On Demand is also a great way of discovering the best movies and TV shows from around the world, from award-winning documentaries to iconic animation like South Park.
Sydneysiders will be all too familiar with the perils of public transport in Australia's most populous city. Thankfully, we now have Tripview to help us navigate the mire of confusion that is Sydney's bus, train and ferry network. While a free version of the app lets you check any trip to discover the time of your next vehicle's departure, the full version allows you to save multiple trips for easier scheduling and navigation. It's worth every cent.
7. Wikicamps Australia
Sometimes you just need to pack up the car and get the hell away from the city. But where do you go? That's where Wikicamps Australia comes in, with a comprehensive list of over 18,000 campsites around the country, with user reviews, photos and comments on each site, as well as offline maps to help you find the more out-of-the-way locations. You can even narrow down sites by what amenities they have, so if you like the idea of camping but can't handle travelling without 3G connectivity, this is your app.
8. Pocket Casts
The world of podcasts is as wide and varied as the people who make them. But listening to your favourite podcast can be a convoluted experience without the right app. Aussie developers Shifty Jelly have created what is arguably the best podcasting app ever produced with Pocket Casts, with features like automatically skipping awkward silences, increasing audio volume for quiet talkers, impressive sharing options and a heap more.
9. Pocket Weather
Being able to predict the weather takes years of practice, study and an understanding of science. Making the weather forecast look amazing on your smartphone or tablet is also challenging, but it's something the team a Shifty Jelly has accomplished with Pocket Weather. Beautifully simple yet packed with information straight from the Bureau of Meteorology, you can do much worse than this app for your weather needs.
Platform: iOS | Price: $7.49
Quite possibly the most powerful art app available for the iPad, Procreate created a bit of a stir a few years back when it was used to create a hyper-realistic portrait of Morgan Freeman. With amazing versatility through a range of different brush styles, blur tools and layers, Procreate (and its iPhone sibling, Procreate Pocket) are proof that the iPad is definitely more than just a consumption device.
11. Foxtel Go
Foxtel may have jumped on board the binge-watching bandwagon with Presto, but that doesn't mean it's giving up on its core customers. The Foxtel go app requires a Foxtel subscription, but offers access to a large part of your Foxtel package, delivered through the internet to your mobile device. Plus, it's the only legal way to watch Game of Thrones on a tablet in Australia as it airs, so it's kind of worth it.
Commercial TV in Australia really took a long time to sort itself out on the internet. Channel 10's effort, dubbed Tenplay, is among the better options out there, with full episodes (with ads!) available to stream after broadcast. For fans of the network's iconic series Neighbours or its reality powerhouse Masterchef, it's definitely a convenient app to have stored on your device.
Like Uber, but Australian and without the threat of getting picked up by an unregistered driver. GoCatch lets you book a cab anywhere in Australia, watching it approach on a map on your phone. Once you're done, you can also rate your driver, so the best are rewarded with more trips, while the less pleasant fade into the background.
Unsurprisingly, the country's international airline is also responsible for one of the country's premiere travel apps. The Qantas app lets users shop for cheap flights, book hotels or cars, check their frequent flyer points, and check in to flights from their smartphone. It also recently added the ability for passengers to download digital copies of their favourite magazines to read on the flight and then keep forever.
The Australian banks picked up pretty quickly on the power of the smartphone as a tool for banking, and the Commonwealth Bank has gone out of its way to pioneer some pretty cool mobile banking features. The app lets you do all the standard account balance checks and transfers you want, as well as withdraw cash from ATMs without your card, make payments from your phone at PayPass terminals (on some phones) and lock up your missing or stolen credit cards.
16. St George
St George customers using an iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 will love the ability to replace the need for passwords and pincodes and use the iPhone's TouchID fingerprint scanner to access their bank details. Also great for all platforms is the ability to quickly check balances without having to log in, instead swiping across to a gauge showing how far your balance is between full and empty.
Keeping on top of your finances is a never-ending battle, but one that is made significantly easier thanks to technology. Local finance startup Pocketbook lets you keep track of all your expenses and incomes across a wide range of accounts from different Australian banks, and intelligently collates them into different categories. A great tool for managing your budget.
Thanks to an army of boomer investors, buying property in Australia's capital cities is all but impossible for young people today. But it's still fun to look, and that's where the Realestate.com.au app comes in. Easy browsing by map, with customisable filters for bedrooms, bathrooms and garage spots, as well as rental searches and what properties have sold for in the local area.
If you have a particular bias towards Fairfax owned media properties over News Ltd, then you'll want to ensure you use Domain as your real estate app of choice. While it offers essentially the exact same service as the Real Estate app, it does so with a green, rather than red colour scheme, and has an integrated Commonwealth bank mortgage calculator.
20. Yahoo! Plus7
In the battle for your catch up entertainment time, Channel 7's joint venture with Yahoo! certainly helps it deliver with its Plus!7 app. While the programming selection is quite limited compared to the likes of ABC iview or SBS On Demand, it does offer a fairly simple (and ad-supported) portal into Channel 7's recent programming. You can also chat with other viewers for certain shows directly from the app.
21. SBS The World Game
SBS not only has a pretty impressive catch up TV app in the form of SBS On Demand, but it also delivers possibly the best app for soccer fans in Australia in its World Game app. With all the latest news from the world of football, plus highlights, video news, tables, fixtures and more, the app also lets you customise your experience by selecting your favourite club.
22. AFL Live
Sport is big business here in Australia, so it's probably no surprise that the official AFL app comes from a major player, like Telstra. The good news is that the app offers the ability to watch every match from the AFL season, including finals, from your smartphone. The downside is that you need to pay for the privilege, which costs $90 a year. Telstra customers also get to stream from the app unmetered.
If you need a new job – and let's face it, you probably do – then you need to install the Seek app. As soon as you setup your login, you can create a series of pre-determined job searches. Then, you will receive notifications whenever a new job is listed meeting those criteria, so you will never miss an opportunity. Throw in the ability to upload a CV and apply directly from the app, and you have a ticket to your next career move in your pocket.
24. NRL Official app
Telstra spent a pretty penny getting the digital streaming rights to not just the AFL, but also the NRL, and this app is the end result. Just like the company's AFL app, you get access to all premiership games of the Rugby League streamed to your mobile device for an annual fee of $90, although only seven are available live each week. There's also a massive archive of older matches, and it's all unmetered for Telstra customers.
Platform: iOS | Price: Free
Commercial radio today is designed to cater to a broad audience. And while Pandora tries to counter that with personalised music, Aussie app Omny takes it one step further by combining your Spotify and Pandora playlists and blending them with podcasts you might like, and personalised notifications. The end result is a truly personalised radio experience.
Paying full price for stuff is crazy in this day and age, with websites and apps dedicated to telling you when things are on sale. Lasoo combines good, old fashioned retailer catalogues with digital purchasing, to let you grab bargains from your local department store or retail outlet.
Platform: iOS| Price: Free
It's like having an art department on your iPad. With a collection of templates and the ability to purchase stock photography cheaply directly from the app, Canva offers the ability to create everything from business cards to presentations, as well as simple things like engaging social media posts. With an incredibly simple interface, even the most design illiterate person can create attractive products.
28. Hello Local
Sometimes the best savings creep up on you unexpectedly. Especially when you're using the Hello Local app, which will send you a notification of a great deal as you walk by a participating store. By using your location information, the app can give you the best deals on products that interest you, without sharing your personal information. You can also filter the types of deals you receive, so you're not spammed by the latest offers on moist towelettes (unless you want to be, of course).
Platform: iOS | Price: Free
Being able to get on top of your fitness goals is a challenge, especially with the endless stream of fitness wearables hitting shelves. Bodywise is trying to become your software hub for your fitness goals, syncing with Jawbone and Fitbit devices, as well as HealthKit in iOS. Rather than counting calories, the app focuses on the important things that will make a difference to your overall health, like alcohol or smoking.
Platform: iOS | Price: Free
The App Store has no shortage of apps designed to help budding chefs perfect their culinary masterpieces in the kitchen, but Cook is noteworthy for a few reasons. Firstly, it was developed in Australia. Secondly, it is extremely personalised, with the ability to customise everything from the font to the image, and then share it with the world.
Platform: iOS | Price: Free
Relying on Apple's iTunes music recommendation engine is a pretty flawed approach at discovering new tunes. Better is to explore this little app, which uses intelligent algorithms and a simple, connected graph-like interface to show you which artists you should be listening to, as well as giving you the links you need to actually click through and purchase the music or watch the artist on YouTube.
The days of placing your credit card behind a bar for a good night out are well and truly behind us now, with Aussie app Clipp landing on iOS and Android. Supported at over 500 bars around the country, the app lets you flash your phone at the bar staff to add drinks to your tab, and then close the tab by "closing" it and paying with your PayPal account. You'll get your receipt emailed immediately, and earn rewards points all at the same time.
Early mornings are hard, especially in that wicked time between waking and your first cup of coffee. To find the best cup of caffeine to get you started in the morning, there's the Beanhunter app, which lets you find the nearest cafe, or browse by name, roasts or brew methods, and then review the coffee for other users. And if you're one of those people who just loves taking photos of coffee, you can do that too.
34. ANZ goMoney
With a name like goMoney, you just know this app is going to be all about watching where your money goes. ANZ's mobile banking app lets users easily check balances, pay bills, and perhaps most importantly, send money to anyone with nothing more than their mobile phone number, placing the onus on them to actually collect the money rather than you delivering it. But seriously, have you ever known anyone to not collect free money
Platform: iOS | Price: Free
With all these shiny new video streaming services launching in Australia, deciding what to watch can be a truly confusing adventure. Enter Gyde, which lets you browse through movies that you might want to see, and then tells you what service you can watch it on. What's more, it also knows what you can get through iTunes, so there's almost always an opportunity to catch up on films you've been wanting to see for ages.
36. Gift plan
Platform: iOS | Price: Free
Facebook might be great at reminding you about birthdays, but it doesn't fare so well as a reminder on when you need to grab your 5 year old nephew a birthday present. Gift Plan is designed to help make buying gifts for anyone easy, with the ability to add ideas, photograph purchased items and set reminders of when you'll need to head to Toys 'R' Us. It also works for everything from Christmas to your anniversary, which is sure to help save at least one relationship this year.
Forget about filling your wallet with dozens of incomplete rewards cards for each cafe you visit. eCoffeeCard lets you scan a QR code at your cafe to register each coffee purchased, so you can mark another one off on your quest to redeem a free coffee. It also has the ability to rate cafes and see special offers, but really, you're just here for the free coffee.
Platform: iOS| Price: $6.49
If you want to make something happen, you need control, discipline and an app. Streaks helps you create better habits by letting you track six tasks you want to complete everyday, from reading to exercising. The app pulls in data from Healthkit to automatically tick off your activities, or you can mark off your own activities.
Need something done, but don't want to do it yourself? Airtasker will let you pay someone – anyone – to do your dirty little jobs for you, for a small fee of course. From cleaning your bedroom to picking up your laundry, to lining up to buy one of the first iPhone 7 handsets, Airtasker proves that people can do pretty much anything to make a bit of coin on the side.