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We're officially out of Open Beta... finally!

Yay! Its official.

We have finally moved out of Open Beta... but don't worry, we'll continue to support calls to the existing Open Beta API in parallel to a v1 API so there's no need to do anything until we move to v2 down the track.

What's so different I hear you ask? Well, the team has just finished an 18 month program of work that was designed to dramtically improve our core services and offer some new features and search enhancements including;

  • Addition of 200,000 Points of Interest (POI) listings e.g. Public toilets, train strations etc.
  • Ability to return POIs around a business e.g. The nearest car park or public toilet etc.
  • Break-out of our White Pages listings from 600,000 up to 1.2 Million business and government listings (in addition to our 1.6 Million Yellow Pages listings)
  • Configurable Auto-Suggest (aka One Search Suggest), handles What, Where or both simultaneously
  • Single search box (aka One Search) handles What, Where or both simultaneously
  • Search inside a polygon
  • Dramatic improvements to the search algorithm for greater accuracy of retrieval
  • Natural language, concept recognition, intent and other advanced search query handling capabilities
  • Brand and Product search capability e.g. Gyoza in Victoria
  • And a whole bunch more!

Thanks to all of you who have helped to shape this roadmap through your feedback and suggestions, we will continue to improve our service so please keep the feedback coming.

Over the next 12 months we'll be focussing on improving the quality, freshness and breadth of our content as well as continuing to evolve the API to deliver the best local listing search service to you, our publishers.

 

Thank You!

The Sensis API Team

 

SAPI AngelHack Winners - Fairshare

The winners of the SAPI Angelhack Fairshare

Two weeks ago the Sensis API sponsored the AngelHack event, a 24 hour hackathorn to find the best execution on an innovative idea. We posed a challenge to startups within that competition to develop the best application of SAPI that they could. We offered $500 dollars to the team that produced the best commercial outcome for sensis listings and this ended up producing 10 users, with one winning team – Fairshare!

What is FairShare?

p- Fairshare is an easy, flexible and fun way to share tasks with your housemates or family through your smartphone. It provides households with a democratic platform to easily record who’s done what along with any financial transactions, making conflict and social tensions a thing of the past. It’s also completely free.

The Solution

What Fairshare built was an algorithm that automatically values and prioritises household tasks. It’s more than an intelligent task management and household finances app though - it learns individuals’ domestic skills, maps their household preferences, and subtly incentivises users to take on less popular tasks to ensure everything that needs to get done, gets done.

How was SAPI used?

There will be occasions when housemates may not be able to do certain jobs or simply need a specialist on the scene, which is where SAPI comes in. Fairshare will use SAPI to recall the closest service company, which may include things such as cleaning, gardening and take-away.

fareshare tasksfareshare bookkeepingfareshare profilefareshare priority

The best thing about this application is that it solves a real world problem for sharehouses and families with the ability to be customised for each household. It’s also beautiful designed, as the above wireframes illustrate, and super easy to use. You can register for a trial on their website below.

Thank you very much to all those who participated in the AngelHack competition and especially those that used SAPI to achieve an outcome. Also we would like to congratulate the winners of the SAPI prize - Fairshare - for their outstanding effort in producing such an excellent application in a short period of time.

Microsoft Appfest

UPDATE: It was so much fun the first time, we're doing it again! If you are in Melbourne on Saturday March 2nd and looking to hack for #Appfest, sign up here and make sure you are in the running for *another* $500 prize from SAPI. We've even got some handy dandy code samples to help get you started and working with SAPI fast.

See you there!

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If you know anything about the team here at SAPI, you would be well aware that we love hackathons. The crazy creativity in action, the relentless pace, the always unexpected drama, and the incredible innovations that occur when people come together under intense pressure... it's all fascinating stuff.

So it should come as no surprise that SAPI have proudly agreed to offer up a $500 prize for the best use of SAPI at the forthcoming Microsoft #Appfest, taking place in Sydney Feb 15-17.

More information and registration details here: https://www.lalaninja.com.au/2013/01/21/appfest-sydney-february-2013/

So... whether you are a SAPI developer looking to build for the Windows platform, or a Windows developer who wants to build a directory service into your app, we're looking forward to seeing what you can do!

All the legal mumbo jumbo you need to know is below. Best of luck!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • The development tools, frameworks and application focus are entirely up to the participants but all final submissions must integrate the Sensis API to be eligible for a prize.
  • Entrants must ensure that they comply with the Sensis API terms and conditions (available when completing the API key request at http://developers.sensis.com.au).
  • All prizes will be awarded after 5:00 PM on Sunday 17th Feb 2013.
  • A prize of $500(AUD) will be awarded to the sole individual who registered for the Sensis API key used in the winning application. The individual will be responsible for distributing a share of the prize to anyone else on their development team.
  • All design and code assets remain intellectual property of the individuals who created them.
  • Entrants agree to being included in Sensis’ promotional activities, at Sensis’ discretion.  This may include disclosing the entrant’s name and app and information about the app.
  • Any questions? Email api@sensis.com.au

SAPI Betashop

SAPI Betashop with Mike Lee

You may already be familiar with Mike Lee... @bmf... ex Apple empoyee... cofounder of Tapulous... worlds toughest programmer... mayor of appsterdam... guy who travels with his own mariachi band.

If not, check out his product engineering presentation from YOW! last year and you'll quickly see why Mike is one of the world's most sought after speakers and product development consultants. You can't come away from one of his talks without feeling invigorated and inspired to make better stuff.

We're big Mike Lee fans here at team SAPI, and so we've partnered with YOW! to bring Mike back to Australia, and this time we're giving you a chance to workshop your own app with him.

Announcing SAPI Betashop: A chance to workshop your app one-on-one with Mike Lee.

Get personal feedback on your app from Mike Lee. Spend a full day with Mike Lee and other successful and aspiring app developers. Learn first hand what is great and what sucks from the master of mobile app development.

MELBOURNE: NOV 28
BRISBANE: DEC 5
SYDNEY: DEC 7

Tickets available here from YOW! for $275.

Interested in attending for free?

SAPI is giving away 5 SAPI scholarships to each workshop for app developers who have integrated SAPI into their app, or plan to do so. Simply complete the following application no later than November 14 and the best ideas will earn a free* pass from SAPI.

*Note that scholarship does not include travel to and/or from the event.

Questions? Send them to api@sensis.com.au

Applications are due by Wed November 14.


SAPI Cocktails Winner!

Seven weeks ago we announced our second SAPI Developer Challenge. We asked you to mix and match APIs to create your own crazy new API cocktail recipe. We offered you a $5000 prize for the most interesting mix up. And apparently we whet your appetite, because you guys served up some delicious apps!

After a couple of helpful extensions (everyone wanted more time to polish their entries!) in the end the final prize went to 'Date Planner' for Android. Well done guys!

Their recipe was: SAPI + Australian Tourism Data Warehouse + GoDo + Lasttix + eBroadcast + Google Maps = Date planning made easy.

Not only did the Date Planner team mash up an incredible number of APIs and data sources to score highest in terms of difficulty, their app was voted most practical as it helps to solve a genuine customer problem (as anyone who ever tried to plan a special night out with someone can certainly attest to.) The Date Planner app also had us excited about pending features that weren't ready for this submission, but promise to make the next release of the app even better. Coming soon will be the ability to take weather, personality types, and budget into account. The SAPI team are eagerly looking forward to future releases of Date Planner.

We also wanted to give a special shout out to a couple of semi finalists, who impressed us with their slick app interfaces and grand plans to incorporate more data and features eventually.

'Martini' is an iOS app that mixes up SAPI with a dash of Twitter to give you a bar guide that lets you see which places are being talked up online, and what's being said. Future enhancements include additional social media content from sources such as Foursquare and Yelp, and a fun 'Shaken not Stirred' randomisation feature.

'Where to Now?' is an Android app that helps you locate nearby businesses, and mashes SAPI up with Google Maps and Google Places APIs for ratings and reviews. Judges were also impressed with the way Where to Now? integrated seamlessly with the Android API to make use of additional GPS and phone features. The intriguing vision for Where to Now? is to aggregate as much rating and review information into a single overall score, making it easier to choose where to go.

These featured apps can be downloaded at the following links:

Thanks to everyone who entered, and make sure you are following us on Twitter @SensisAPI so you can be the first to know when we announce the next Bounty Challenge for developers.

SAPI Cocktails *EXTENDED to AUGUST 15!*

SAPI Cocktail Bounty

UPDATE: Due to popular demand, we've extended the submission deadline to Aug 15!!

We're back with another SAPI challenge for July, and this time we've doubled the bounty!

We're asking developers, entrepreneurs and designers to mix, match and shake (but not stir!) any number of complimentary APIs with SAPI, to create a signature app that delights our taste-buds for any mobile platform (iOS, Android or Windows Phone).

The winning recipe will take home this months $5,000 SAPI Bounty prize.

ENTER NOW BY REGISTERING FOR YOUR BARTENDER KEY
(Be sure to use the phrase 'shaken not stirred' in your product description)

SO HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR APPS?

Try combining SAPI + Wikipedia + Facebook + Quora to help people source deep background information on businesses.

Or mix SAPI + Flickr + Vimeo + Soundcloud to create a new kind of audio visual business directory.

Stir up SAPI + Instagram + eBay + Yelp + Twitter + QuickFlix + Pinterest, with a dash of LinkedIn and a sprinkling of PayPal to create an app that does… well, what wouldn’t that app do?

There are over 6,000 publicly listed APIs available at API directory website Programmable Web and participants are encouraged to explore and use as many of them as possible.

FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS                  

  • Entrants must first gain an API 'bartender' key by completing a SAPI key request via developers.sensis.com.au.
  • When applying for a key, entrants must work the phrase “shaken not stirred” into their application description.
  • Entrants who have been granted a bartender key must then create an app that integrates functionality from SAPI.
  • Note that the term “app” means a mobile application built specifically for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone. Not a hosted web app viewable on a mobile device.
  • App must be publicly available and downloadable from Google Play, Apple App Store, or Windows Phone Marketplace by finish date to be eligible to win. So if you are planning to submit to Apple for approval, be sure to give yourself enough time!
  • Entrants will be judged on the following criteria:
  1. 50% degree of difficulty: How many API's can you mix? How hard are the API's to integrate? 
  2. 50% utility: How useful is the app? Would I use it every day?

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • The competition begins at 9:00 am on Monday July 2, 2012 and finishes 9:00 AM on Wednesday August 15, 2012
  • You do not have to be an Australian resident to take part in this competition.
  • There are no limits to team size or weighting for or against the size of the team – it is the outcome that counts.
  • Entrants must ensure that they comply with the Sensis API terms and conditions (available when completing the API key request).
  • Apps must be submitted for judging by the due date of 9:00 AM on Wednesday August 15, 2012. The bounty due date may be extended at the discretion of the organisers and entrants will be notified via email.
  • To submit an app for judging entrants must ensure their app is publicly available on the finish date and can be accessed by judges without charge.
  • Judging will take place at Sensis on Wednesday August 15, 2012 at 222 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC, Australia and the judges’ decision is final.
  • A bounty prize of $5,000(AUD) will be awarded to the winning team. The bounty will be given to the individual who registered for the bartender API key who will be responsible for distributing a share of the prize to anyone else on their development team.
  • All communications including awarding of the prize and any changes to the due date will be done via the Sensis Developers Centre, Twitter @SensisAPI and via the registered email of the entrant.  Please ensure you check these from time to time.
  • Entrants agree to being included in Sensis’ promotional activities, at Sensis’ discretion.  This may include disclosing the entrant’s name and app and information about the app.
  • Sensis is not liable for any tax implications arising from prize winnings.  Independent financial advice should be sought.                        

If you can think it, mix it and make it, then you can be the next SAPI Bounty winner!

Any questions? Hit us up on Twitter @SensisAPI or email us at api@sensis.com.au.

Recent Sapihack Action

We've been exceptionally busy these last few weeks with three separate SAPI sponsored hack events to report on, which has resulted in many prizes being handed out. We're proud to share the results of what our community of developers and entrepreneurs have been working on.

SAPI Bounty#1: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.

Zombie Apps

We asked developers to use SAPI to create an application to help prepare for and survive the inevitable zombie apocalypse. I know, pretty silly stuff. But our community loved the challenge, and jumped in head first! Some of the highlights were:

1st place: Zombie Survival Plan which is available on the iTunes app store.

Congratulations to @tomlongo who won the $2,500 bounty for his iOS app called Zombie Survival Plan. We loved that Tom created a web app to promote the iOS version. And in the end we all decided that his entry met all of our key criteria — good functionality, clean design, and in particular the simple interface was easy to use while on the run from the undead hordes! It was actually his first ever iOS app, you can read more of Tom's story here.

Honourable mentions: Zomvival Maps which is now available on the iTunes app store, a mobile website called Zombie Survivor, and a desktop web app called Zombie/Survivor Network. It was unfortunate that the app store release of Zomvival Maps was held up by Apple for so long that they missed the submission deadline by a day, meaning they were ineligible for prizes. However it's a gorgeous looking app and we encourage you to try it out.

One More Thing Conference Startathon: A 'stop making excuses and start making something' event.

One More Thing Startathon Apps

SAPI was a proud sponsor of the OMT conference, which brings iOS developers together to share tips, inspirational achievements, and war stories. After 48 hours of 300+ developers talking non stop about how and why they need to build more amazing apps, we announced $5000 in prizes to the teams who decided to follow through and actually build something. The catch was, they had 48 hours to do it! Despite having little preparation and no warning, we saw some tremendous app ideas come out of the Startathon.

$2,500 prize for 1st place went to: Maprécis is an HTML 5 mobile app, you can try out an early beta version of here. Developer @chaarlesgutjaaa impressed our judges with his fresh take on the traditional 'find a place to eat or drink nearby' app. In his own words, "Have you ever said to your friends "let's go out to dinner in postcode 3055 between 0 and 3km from here"? I'm betting you'd probably actually say "let's go out to dinner on Sydney Rd". I'm trying to take the technical out of the process here." Maprécis calls up hotspotted regions rather than specific venues. It's faster than searching, better suited for the small screens of mobile devices (deals with the 'fat fingers' problem of wrong clicks), and instantly obvious as to how it works.

$1,500 prize for 2nd place went to: Pizzap is an iOS app, you can see it in action in this video. Judges gave developer @amleszk the nod over some very close competition due to his richer integration of SAPI, he uses our metadata to specify different styles of pizza. We're hoping this one makes it into the app store eventually.

$1,000 prize for 3rd place went to: Two similar apps build by mates who shared a code base to create a pair of niche apps. Petrol Finder which you can view here, and Love Music which you can see here. We loved the simplicity and elegance of a consistent user experience with each app targeted at a specific niche need. We'd love to see these in the app store soon too! Congratulations to both @brentvc and @stefanchurch who split that prize.

Honourable mentions: Aussie Pub Crawl mashes SAPI up with Yelp reviewer profiles to show you who drinks near you, see a video demo here. Split is a tool for splitting the bill between friends when you're out and about, and Nrby is a very elegantly designed web app you can try out that pulls the most relevant listings near you rather than forcing you to search.

Random Hacks of Kindness: Hactivism to support local communities.

Reconomise Presenting

SAPI was a sponsor of the Melbourne RHoK event this past weekend, which saw over 25 developers come together to tackle the theme of 'Community Resilience', with a focus on disaster preparation and recovery. The SAPI team submitted a specific challenge to all teams, could they find ways to help local businesses get up and running again sooner after a disaster?

The winner of the $2,000 SAPI prize was team Reconomise, who created an online network that allowed businesses to post non-emergency issues that nonetheless required quick action so that they could start trading again and serving the community. Issues could be related to assets, location, or labour shortages and any community member or business able to help could jump in and assist. By helping to re-start the local economy Reconomise facilitated an important but often overlooked step in the recovery process for a community.

What's next?

We'll be taking a break from running or sponsoring hackathons for a few months, but we'll be kicking off the next $2,500 SAPI Bounty in the second half of June, so keep watching @SensisAPI on Twitter to make sure you know when it happens and what you need to do to take part!

SAPI Bounty Winner!

Worried about the inevitable zombie apocalypse? Well worry no more thanks to our first ever SAPI Bounty winner Tom Longo (@tomlongo). Tom has created an app to help prepare for and survive a pesky infestation of the undead. Congratulations Tom!

We felt that his Zombie Survival Plan app met all of our key criteria – good functionality, clean design, easy to use when one is panicked and on the run from the undead hordes – everything you need in a good zombie app. And his integration of SAPI went beyond the iPhone app, he also used SAPI to create an online tool to test how ‘survivable’ your suburb is. All of which makes Zombie Survival Plan the most comprehensive tool to help prepare for and survive a zombie apocalypse.

Links to the winning app:

http://puppetpants.com/zombieplan/

http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/zombie-survival-plan/id527439189?ls=1&mt=8

We want to thank everyone who took part and we hope you all had some fun. We’re cooking up the next SAPI Bounty already, so if you are interested in taking part in the next developer challenge be sure to follow us on Twitter @SensisAPI and stay in the loop.

Zombie App Ideas

We hoped that by invoking a zombie apocalypse, we might inspire a couple of developers to get creative and take part in our first ever bounty challenge. Turns out, we didn't have to worry. With 18 teams signed up so far, it's clear you all care very much about protecting the human race from the zombie hordes! It's reassuring to know you've got our backs.

A lot of you seem to be working on a map/guide application for survivors, so give some thought to how you might distinguish your app from others. It might be a killer UI, it might be some flashy design elements, or it might be that you've mashed SAPI up with some other, unexpected API services. Consider your user needs... is your app meant to help users get ready before the zombies attack? Is it meant to help users during an attack? Or is it meant to help users pick up the pieces when it's all over? Each one of those might require a different type of application.

Most importantly, since this is a competition, what can you do to ensure your app stands out?

Our favourite twist so far? Probably the team working on an app FOR Zombies... because - as they said in their submission - "I'm pretty sure zombies can use apps, so we really shouldn't discriminate." Makes sense to us.

Here are a few more examples of what you guys are working on:

  • Name: Plan9
    Description: Allow the living to coexist in blissful harmony with the living dead in spite of chants of "Brains Yum Yum".
  • Name: Zombie Survivor (Survivor Zombie?)
    Description: A tracker for finding nearby supplies for survivors, based on their location and businesses nearby, and based on what they already have. Or... a tracker for finding nearby Brains Yum Yum for those survivors recently-turned-zombie, based on their location and nearby businesses. I'm pretty sure zombies can use apps, so we really shouldn't discriminate.
  • Name: Untitled Zombie App
    Description: The app will prepare users for the inevitable zombie apocalypse by generating a to-do list based on their location. The list will be populated with nearby businesses that can help with supplies. So while the zombies are all like "Brains! yum yum!" you'll be all like "You don't scare me suckers, I've prepared for this day!"
  • Name: iSurvive
    Description: This application will help the average joe survive in an undead world. When the dead rise, and they will rise, how will someone know how to survive in this deadly new environment? Through the Sensis API, civilians will be able to stop zombies saying "Brains Yum Yum" as they chew on their corpses by locating nearby businesses which may be of use to them in their survival. For example, one could locate a chemist for medical supplies, or hardware store for weapons.
  • Name: Where Iz
    Description: Can't keep up with killing those zombies? You need Where Iz!!! Find the nearest places to stock up on your essential survival needs. Explore the best hiding spots to get away from the daily grind. Connect with others who need Your Help! What do you think of that Combie the Zombie?..... "Brains Yum Yum!"

Please remember that this bounty closes on 9:00 am Thursday May 24, and your application must be freely and easily accessible to judges (ie. available in an app store, online at a publicly accessible URL, etc.) at that time to qualify. So if you have chosen to develop an iOS app, you really want to be submitting that to the app store soon in case Apple does that Apple thing they do and sits on it for a while.

Let us know how you are going, and give us some insight into what you are building on Twitter using #sapihack. Whatever back-story you choose to share... be it the development process you are undertaking, or your personal philosophies about the undead... your back-story will be taken into consideration when judging. We want to hear from you.

Good luck, and keep hacking!

SAPI Bounty #1

SAPI Bounty for Zombie Apps!

The SAPI team have issued this $2,500 challenge to Developers

Create an app or a website - that uses SAPI in some capacity - that helps you survive the zombie apocalypse


REWARD: $2,500

DEADLINE: MAY 24

FOLLOW ALONG: #sapihack

QUESTIONS? @SensisAPI

 

SIGN UP NOW!!!! 

(MENTION BRAINS YUM YUM IN YOUR ENTRY)

 

SAPI asks.....

How will you survive and thrive during the inevitable zombie apocalypse?

What should you have prepared?

What do you need to know when the walking dead come looking for brains?

How do you make your way in a post-apocalyptic world?


 

FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Entrants must first gain a Zombie API key by completing a SAPI key request via developers.sensis.com.au
  • When applying for a key, entrants must work the phrase “Brains Yum Yum” into their application description.
  • Entrants who have been granted a Zombie API key must then create an app that integrates functionality from SAPI.
  • Note that the term “app” refers to any widget, website, application or program and can be built on any platform so it doesn’t have to be a mobile app. Go nuts! 

App must be publicly available for judges to access (eg. Android Market, Apple App Store, or Internet) by finish date to be eligible to win!
 
Entrants will be judged on the following criteria:

Originality - How unique is the concept.
Usability and Design - How good does it look and how easy is it to use?
Effectiveness - How well does the app prepare someone for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
Backstory - Entrants are encouraged to share their development story via Twitter using the #sapihack hashtag.
SAPI Integration and Use - How well did the app integrate SAPI? 

SIGN UP NOW!!!! 

(MENTION BRAINS YUM YUM IN YOUR ENTRY)

 

RULES

  • The competition begins at 9:00 am on Thursday April 26, 2012 and finishes 9:00 AM on Thursday May 24
  • You do not have to be an Australian resident to take part in this competition.
  • There are no limits to team size or weighting for or against the size of the team – it is the outcome that counts.
  • Entrants must ensure that they comply with the Sensis API terms and conditions (available when completing the API key request). 
  • Apps must be submitted for judging by the due date of 9:00 AM on Thursday May 24. The bounty due date may be extended at the discretion of the organizers and entrants will be notified. 
  • To submit an app for judging entrants must ensure their app is publicly available on the finish date and can be accessed by judges without charge.
  • Judging will take place at Sensis on Thursday May 24 at 222 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC, Australia and the judges’ decision is final.
  • A bounty prize of $2,500(AUD) will be awarded to the winning team. The bounty will be given to the individual who registered for the Zombie API key who will be responsible for distributing a share of the prize to anyone else on their development team.
  • All communications including awarding of the prize and any changes to the due date will be done via the Sensis Developers Centre, Twitter @SensisAPI and via the registered email of the entrant.  Please ensure you check these from time to time.
  • Entrants agree to being included in Sensis’ promotional activities, at Sensis’ discretion.  This may include disclosing the entrant’s name and app and information about the app.
  • Sensis is not liable for any tax implications arising from prize winnings.  Independent financial advice should be sought. 

Any questions? Hit us up on Twitter @SensisAPI or email us at api@sensis.com.au. Then grab your chainsaw and your boomstick and get to work…

 

SIGN UP NOW!!!! 

(MENTION BRAINS YUM YUM IN YOUR ENTRY)



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