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Richard Florida

Wednesday 20 September 2017

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ParisApps, the super-application

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par Elsa Sidawy | 06.14.11

une_paris-apps2_110609

If you are not a Smartphone owner, forget about it. On Monday 6th June, a Mobile Monday – an event devoted to the actors of mobility – dedicated to the launching of ParisApps, took place in the ballroom of the Paris City Hall. The ParisApps concept is a website listing the best Smartphone applications dedicated to the City of Lights. Its purpose is to help users find their way around in the digital jungle.

When entering the word Paris on the AppleStore, users find themselves inundated by a list of applications that is several times the size of their screens. How can they make their way through them and which applications should they choose in that context? For the launching of ParisApps, a hundred of them have been meticulously listed by the team in charge of development. “The idea is to complete a real guide” thanks to the participation of users themselves, Vincent Morel, assistant manager to the Digital Paris Department, explained. Eventually, this number should increase thanks to “Paris inhabitants and people around the whole world who are in love with Paris.” It is a kind of user comments website dedicated to Paris-oriented applications.

Smooth surfing
When going to the website, there is no waste of time. Users choose their favourite platform (Apple, Blackberry, Symbian, Android) in order to be directed to the applications they are interested in. “Apple is not favoured, even though they are actually more creative about Paris!” Vincent Morel insists on saying. Web users are then invited to surf on the various applications that are listed according to their needs: getting around, discovering, visiting, experiencing… Surfing via visual flows is designed to be “ultra fast”, according to Ouriel Ohayon, the founder of AppsFire – which specialised in discovering and promoting applications for mobile phones – who developed the platform for the city.

For instance, if you want to know, before downloading it, about the pros and cons of the Culture Clic application, which displays art works and museums throughout the capital, you learn that its biggest asset is its advanced augmented reality module, but this is offset by the fact that content still seems to be quite limited. There is no stonewalling either concerning the very Parisian application dedicated to Vélib’ (self-service bike scheme): in the Androïd version, graphic design is strict and geolocation difficult while in the iPhone version users are welcome with an advertising page. Each information page is detailed with respect to the chosen platform. There is no discrimination or preference given to one or the other. In the end, users will be the ones to confirm, invalidate or moderate comments. And if need be, developers will be able to improve their applications according to those comments.
They will also have to take into account the tests conducted by a jury made of bloggers, media and actors of mobility, which will meet four times a year to award the best applications with the ParisApps label. Which should stimulate their creativity.

une_paris-apps_110609In the spirit of the data release process
ParisApps actually echoes ParisData, which opened a few months ago to support the city data release policy. Through these various initiatives, Paris wants to prove its ability to innovate, go forward and encourage developers to use the data made available to them in order to invent applications that will be useful to the community.
While they were at it, the city council actually decided to set an example as it launched the “Le Bon Tri” application, a tool with a very sophisticated design meant to help Paris inhabitants, especially the youngest, improve their household-waste sorting. Will it be part of the applications that will be saved from the digital bin? It will be up to the Paris inhabitants to decide.

Photo credits: Paris.fr / ParisApps

Translated by Oona Bijasson

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