Google recently published its annual list of best apps on Google Play for last year, and for each country Google curates a list of best local apps. Because of this, we decided take a look at what Malaysians are doing with their mobile devices and figure out what this all means. Of course, Google doesn’t say why these are the best apps of the year; so we had to do a little guesswork (which isn’t really hard, to be honest).
That a ridesharing app made its way to the top of the list is no surprise. Malaysians have taken to the services like a starving man to a Big Mac, which has even prompted the government to introduce legislation to regulate the industry. While Uber usually makes the headlines, it would appear that Grab is just as popular among Malaysians based on its popularity on the Play Store.
This could be due to the fact that Grab caters to both ridesharing services and booking traditional taxis; but the patriots in us want to believe this could also be because the company was co-founded by two Malaysians.
Grab has also been introducing additional features to try to keep passengers safe and provide some peace of mind. The service has been trialing security cameras in some cars, although it still seems to be collecting information about the effectiveness of the measure.
Malaysians love online shopping. Be it as a consumer or as a seller. imSold! scratches both those itches as it caters to the crowd that enjoys looking for bargains associated with pre-loved items.
Essentially, imSold! is an app-based flea market. Despite its low-key nature, Google Play reports that it has been downloaded over one million times, which translates to a fairly large userbase of buyers and sellers. The platform also caters for small and part-time businesses who are involved in selling pre-loved goods.
There’s a ridiculous amount of things on sale through imSold!, including things that are near impossible to find in malls. Fashion items are in abundance, but also collectibles (like antique coins), Lego Minifigs, electronic devices, musical instruments, exercise equipment; there’s even office space for rent. There really is just about anything and everything going at a bargain price available through the platform.
Apps like imSold! are great to allow people to discover items that would otherwise be impossible to find in brick and mortar outlet, and at the same time provide niche businesses a platform to market their goods. It’s also a great space for people who want to clear out all that extra stuff that has been taking up shelf space and make a little extra money on the side.
2016 was probably a very good one for Malaysians, judging by the number of people who downloaded Malaysia Airlines’ Android app. Allowing people to use it as an electronic boarding pass was a smart, modern move from the developers, and makes it much easier to organise necessary flight information.
As far as designs go, the app does what it needs to do; with everything organised by function. Those who are enrolled with Enrich, the airlines’ frequent flyer programme, can also view their remaining points. One other nifty feature on the app is the ability to scan their passports to be saved in the app to facilitate booking flights.
The only telco to make it into the top local apps list, Digi’s MyDigi app is promoted as having an entire department dedicated to the user. To be honest, we suspect that the popularity of the app has more to do with the number of Digi users rather than the actual features of the app itself – though its features are fairly fleshed out.
As it stands, Digi’s app allows users to check and pay bills, and also check their internet data usage. One thing it also adds is the ability to link multiple Digi phone numbers to a single account, which is great for parents who need to manage the bills for more than one line.
Unlike other telcos that separate post- and prepaid services into different apps, MyDigi combines both its services into one. It probably makes a huge difference for the app and helped push it over one million downloads.
*Disclosure: This article was sponsored by imSold!