Native Inventions has launched a new Mxit application, "GetThere", which is a directions app that uses the Google Maps API and can be used on all feature phones.
"Though statistics indicate that smartphone usage in South Africa will significantly increase over the next few years, we also know that the majority of South Africans don't have access to smartphones, or the Internet, and so we wanted to create an affordable, accessible platform that reaches the broadest base possible," said Levon Rivers, head of Native Inventions.
He said that the free GetThere app can be used on any feature or smartphone using Mxit. It allows users to input their starting point and end-point addresses. The route is mapped out on a step-by-step basis, using listed directions and supporting images. "It's basically smartphone technology for feature phones," stated Rivers. The nice thing about this app is that it is versatile, commuters can use it to get directions to a specific destination whilst they are travelling in a taxi, visitors new to a city will find it useful, promotion companies can use it for their field operators, or parents can use it to assist their children, and more, he added.
"GetThere and the other Mxit applications from Native Inventions are free and supported by mobile advertising. By working on these types of products, we keep our skills on the cutting edge and also provide utility for our customers going forward," said Rivers.
Native Inventions, the innovation hub of digital agency, Native, was officially launched in November this year to create an outlet for the company's technical creativity. It is divided into three sections:
- Native IP: Native IP is focused on product and intellectual property development and the inventions team works closely with the intelligence team (concept and strategy) in applying new technology to implement their ideas. Rivers said that the Mxit apps - such as GetThere, and several others the team is about to launch - fall into that category.
"Native Alchemy, which focuses on internal employee-driven projects, also forms part of Native IP and includes ideas such as the #CloseTheTap campaign, which the agency won several awards," elaborated Rivers.
- Native Platforms: Native Platforms includes the agency's existing platforms, such as NativeOS CMS, its content management system for all its web properties; NativeOS MX, the Mxit content management system, as well as the company's vendors, such as Everlytic, for email campaigns, RSAWeb, for hosting, and Janrain, for its single social sign-on.
- Native Tech Knowledge: A large part of this section, which ensures that everyone in the company is kept up to date with new technology - is Native's Axe Sharpener Sessions. "These are basically mini-Ted-Talks where we get external and internal speakers in to talk about their products or journeys," explained Rivers. The topics range from new technology, to South African start-ups, to photography and even ballroom dancing.
Native Inventions is currently working on several new Mxit applications, which will be rolled out before the end of the year, concluded Rivers.
To get the free app, users must add GetThere as a contact in Mxit.