Jewish-Created Taxi Apps Among Big Hits

Hailo and Uber Among Year's Biggest Web Successes

By Reuters

Published December 31, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Angry Birds, Instagram and Facebook continued to be among the most downloaded apps of the year but rising stars also earned coveted spots on smartphones and tablets.

Uber and Hailo, which allow users to book limos and taxis and were both created by Jewish entrepreneurs, started to catch on in 2012.

This year consumers spent on average two hours each day using mobile applications, an increase of 35 percent over last year, according to analytics firm Flurry. The number is expected to continue growing in 2013.

“2012 was a transformative tipping point in the way consumers use apps,” said Craig Palli, a vice president at mobile marketing company Fiksu, adding that the biggest shift is in consumers’ eagerness to turn to apps for a broad range of day-to-day tasks.

Categories such as social networking, media and entertainment, photo editing, and games, continued to captivate consumer interest, with YouTube and Angry Birds being the top free and paid apps respectively at Apple’s App Store.

Meanwhile, several apps released this year quickly joined the ranks of the top downloaded and revenue grossing apps of the year.

The game Draw Something for iPhone and Android quickly gained widespread popularity when it was released in February, and despite dropping off, is still the second most downloaded paid app of the year Android and Apple devices.

“It had a big run and other multi-player puzzle-oriented games like newcomers LetterPress and ScrambleWithFriends proved popular, too,” Palli said. “But in many respects these titles were inspired by the more revolutionary Words With Friends.”

Songza, a music-discovery app for iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire, saw significant growth in both the United States and Canada, where it is now one of the top free apps on the App Store.

Paper, a sketchbook app for the iPad, is estimated to be one of the top grossing apps released this year according to Distimo, an app analytics company. It was named by Apple as the iPad app of the year.

But the real revolution, according to Palli, is among consumers who are eager to turn to apps for their day-to-day tasks, such as finding a taxi or hotel, following current events or increasingly, making payments.

“It is really consumers who are turning to apps first and traditional methods second,” said Palli.

Uber and Hailo, which allow users to book limos and taxis, and AirBnB and HotelTonight, for finding accommodations, began to move mainstream in 2012, Palli said.

Payment apps such as Square, and Apple’s introduction of the Passbook has further positioned the smartphone as a digital wallet.

This year, during major events such as the Olympics, Hurricane Sandy and the U.S. presidential election, the top apps on the App Store reflected those events, said Palli, showing the demand for keeping up with current events through apps


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.