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Each weekend, Mashable selects startups we think are building interesting, unique or niche products.
This week we’ve focused on three new apps that help complete (or even inspire) daily tasks.
Any.DO is a social to-do list that’s easier to use than any other we’ve seen. Hailo makes hailing a cab a matter of checking in on an app, and photo game Onefeat inspires creative feats throughout the day.
Hailo: A Network For Taxi Drivers And Passengers
Quick Pitch: Hailo is a network of licensed London taxi drivers that customers can hail using an app.
Genius Idea: Making it easier for customers and taxis to find each other
Mashable’s Take: Hailing a cab can be a competitive sport. Taxi drivers have no way of knowing for sure where there are customers who need a ride, and customers have no way of telling them.
Hailo aims to help the two parties find each other. Customers can request a ride with a free app. After their license is verified, drivers who register can use their own version of the app to accept those requests. So far the service has signed up about 2,300 of 23,000 London Black Cabs.
At the end of a ride booked with Hailo, the cab driver enters the meter fee into his or her app and the customer’s credit card is charged. Hailo takes a 10% cut for making the arrangement. Founder and CEO Jay Bregman says drivers have already charged £1 million in fares through the system.
Bregman hopes to expand soon into other cities. He says the company has already met with the Taxi & Limousine Commission in New York City and is actively preparing to launch in the United States. There he will have competition from Taxi Magic, which charges the user — not the driver — to pay for the ride with a credit card.
Success for a taxi app is somewhat of a chicken-and-egg problem. On one hand, users won’t want to use an app to hail a cab if there aren’t enough drivers registered to respond. On the other, drivers probably won’t find much use for an app that doesn’t send them customers.
Any.DO: A Social To-Do List
Quick Pitch: Any.DO
is a simple social to-do list.
Genius Idea: A to-do list that responds to voice commands and gestures
Mashable’s Take: If app stores were physical places, you’d have a hard time throwing a rock in them without hitting a to-do list app.
The team behind Any.DO has already proven it can stand out in this crowded space. Their first to-do list product, an app for Android called Taskos, registered more than 1.3 million users. Those users are now invited to migrate to Any.DO.
Any.DO helps users create, organize and share tasks with friends, even if those friends don’t use the app. It responds to gesture-based commands such as shaking the phone to remove completed tasks, and it can add tasks through voice recognition. Most of the app’s functionality — sharing, reminders, folders and priorities — is similar to other to-do list apps. What makes it stand out is its simple, intuitive interface.
Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors recently led a $1 Million investment in Any.Do, but free apps can be hard to monetize. An Any.DO spokesperson said the business has “a few things in the pipeline” that could generate revenue, but it’s not ready to talk about them.
Onefeat: A Photo Task Game
Quick Pitch: Onefeat
is an iPhone app that turns photo missions into a social game.
Genius Idea: Photo sharing apps have taken off in the last two years, but many of them look the same. Take a photo. Add a filter. Post it to your networks.
Paris-based Onefeat has added a new twist to photo sharing with its iPhone and Android apps, turning photo sharing into a game. Users earn points that can unlock trophies by completing “feats” such as “Get to the end of the world” or “Take a self portrait” that are proposed by other users.
Flipping through feats is as entertaining as completing one yourself, and it’s not surprising that users from Brazil, France and the U.S. are playing regularly.
Image courtesy of istockphoto, barisonal
Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark
The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.
Via Mashable: http://www.mashable.com