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An app for that

Local tech can help with navigating, drinking and, now, charitable giving.

Nicole Hill January 2nd, 2013

Your smartphone can do a lot for you: stream movies and music, apply vintage filters to photos of your breakfast, occasionally take calls and — depending on your operating system — successfully navigate your travels. It’s life streamlined at the tap of a screen.

Several local apps have gotten in on the game, making it easy to find a restaurant, choose a beer, hear tunes from metro bands, schedule a spa day and even dabble in philanthropy. The idea is to make your day-to-day activities as simple as a round of Temple Run.

“[Nearly anyone] can pick up a new device or install a new app and be operating it fully within minutes,” said Jason Ewald, beverage director at A Good Egg Dining Group. “The concepts are familiar and intuitive. Heck, many 4-yearolds know how to navigate to and open their favorite kid-friendly app on mom or dad’s iPhone these days.”

One Good Egg spot, Republic Gastropub, 5830 N. Classen, offers a beer app in the iTunes store. Can’t remember the name of that draft lager you like? Use the search function on Republic Gastropub to browse by region and type, then store it in your “beer journal.” If you’re feeling lucky, leave it to chance with the “Beer me!” option that provides you with a random drink.

“The point was to make it possible to navigate a menu of more than 300 selections without difficulty,” Ewald said. “Choices are great, but too many can be paralyzing. The app is intended to be the tool that makes choosing a beer fun and easy.

Fun and easy is how the good folks at Keep It Local OK would like your evenings in the metro to be. Their iPhone app provides a curated list of all its member businesses, as well as the option to search for nearby restaurants, bars and stores for those already out and about. To get on the list, the place must be a member of the Keep It Local group.

“We’d argue those are the best businesses Oklahoma City has to offer,” said Bryce Bandy, co-founder of the organization.

The app was designed by a local developer: Steve Baranski of Komorka Technology.

App happy
In addition to dining and imbibing, your phone can help meet your beautification and relaxation needs. Set up and customize appointments at Schardein and Company Salon, 9401 N. May, and Mariposa Medspa, 1907 N. Broadway, with their respective iPhone offerings.

And you can give iTunes a rest and listen to Other Lives and J.D. McPherson on The Spy FM, no radio needed. The Spy’s streaming app is available for both iOS and Android.

Perhaps no smartphone function is more surprising than that unearthed by startup GetCharitable.

The brainchild of Michael Isaacs and Kyle DeTullio, GetCharitable resides in the stable of startups in the OKC-based Blueprint for Business. Through a partnership with Hunger Relief International, the app, currently for Android, downloads a daily sponsored image as the background wallpaper on a user’s phone. As long as

the app is running, advertisers — most of them socially conscious brands — donate a portion of their proceeds to Hunger Relief International, which feeds children all over the world.

Isaacs and DeTullio hope to expand the platforms on which the app is available and the number of advertisers participating. Isaacs noted that GetCharitable has already passed a crucial test: People are not only sharing the app with friends and family, they’re also keeping it.

That’s an important distinction as the world of charity and giving — just like your beer selections and music catalogs — moves to the palm of your hand.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to make a difference,” Isaacs said.

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