Govt reveals Budget app cost, Countdown reveals number of downloads

NZ Budget for iPhone


Chris Keall

UPDATE May 28: Progressive has released an Android version of its Countdown shopping app today (as of 9.30am it did not seem to be on Google Play - formerly Android Market - yet).

The supermarket operator says the iPhone version of the app, released May 11, has been downloaded 45,000 times.

The app has received good notices.

But NBR ONLINE would still like the ability to redeem (rather than just check) rewards points. And to be able to share a list between two or more iPhones as it's created (lists can be emailed to others).

Both features would help ensure those 45,000 keep using the app after downloading it and having a look.

Meanwhile, the government has revealed download numbers for its NZ Budget app, available in iPhone, iPad and Android versions.

The app was downloaded 8600 times and was New Zealand’s most popular free-download app on Budget day, Finance Minister Bill English says.

He says the app, which came preloaded with Budget documents, cost $59,000 (making it a tidy little score for Wellington developer PaperKite).

The cost of developing the app will be funded through savings in Budget printing costs, which are expected to be at least $100,000, the Finance Minister says.

The $59,000 bill works out to $6.86 per download - at least, so far.

Countdown's iPhone app, Google's self-driving car

May 11: Before we get to Google's self-driving car - at the more utilitarian end of the scale, Countdown has created a shopping iPhone app, working with Tigerspike - an Australian developer best known for the Economist's iPad app.

It's got some cute features, such as the ability to scan an item's barcode before you biff it out of pantry - automatically adding it to the shopping list on your iPhone.

And apparently it can even guide you toward specials in specific aisles of your local supermarket. You can also use it to shop online, and there's some kind of component for managing your points (and hopefully for redeeming - a super-slow process with cards or vouchers).

Like any annoying number of mobile development efforts, Countdown is living in a parallel universe where Android phones have yet to gain majority smartphone share. Wake up iPhone-obsessed developers, it's not 2010 anymore. Android versions of apps should be released at the same time (UPDATE: An Android version is due in about a month; no Windows Phone or BlackBerry or other versions are in the pipeline.).

How big?
Countdown won't say how many people use its online shopping service. But a spokesman did tell NBR ONLINE that the chain has 159 stores; if online shopping transactions could be considered a single virtual store, its sales volume would be larger than any single bricks and mortar outlet. "Tens of thousands" are using the online shopping option.

But anyhow, worth checking out if you're in the Countdown camp and don't mind the slightly creepy and depressing process of having all your purchases tracked (I buy how much cheap wine?).

Via Twitter, I asked readers for their feature suggestions. Scroll down to see their responses.


Below is Google's official clip of its self-drive car, which this week became the first autonomous vehicle to get licensed for the road (in the US state of Nevada).

It's a Toyota Prius sporting a roof-mounted laser-guidance/collision avoidence system, and an oboard computer with artificial intelligence and, but of course, a GPS-enabled Google Maps.

For "safety reasons" Google's self-drive cars are never un-manned.

Yet they could be.

That raises an intriguing possibility.

Why own two cars if you could, say, drive your vehicle to work, then it could self-drive home for your partner to use during the day - before he or she dispatches it to self-drive to the office for your trip home.

So if Ford and others really nail their self-drive car initiatives they could .. half sales.

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18 Comments & Questions

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I wonder if the Countdown app can have a shared account - ie. both husband and wife can add to the shopping on their iPhones and the shopping list gets combined so you dont have to take both phones to the supermarket.

[Two or more users can't collaborate on a list. You can email a list to someone else. Countdown says its added collaboration to its upgrade list - CK]


It needs to tell me when there aren't charity people outside the grey lynn countdown, and when there are no baskets left.


Ability to tell real time stock availability (not 24hour delay)


1click ordering, just like Kindle app


Insert shopping list, phone gives you the most efficient route around a store to get the things you need.


When marmite is available again?


subway-style onecard QR code so I don't have to carry a useless piece of plastic in my wallet.


an android option perhaps.


a Windows Phone version


A Windows Phone version.... hmmm.. might be a long time coming since not cost effective to develop one for a device that is struggling to hold on to a single digit market share.

Just saying...


+1 on Android option


I've been shopping with Countdown with my new iPad. It's a mixed experience, and is about where Tesco in the UK was when I left 5 years ago (except PLEASE let me go back and change my order after I place it and before it's packed for delivery. I'll buy more stuff that way, I promise!)

The new app looks interesting, but I get a chill up my spine at the thought of trying to shop via the tiny iPhone screen. That said, it is packed with some really thoughtful features so I'll certainly give it a try, especially if I can load it on the iPad and magnify it to full screen.


is shopping really that damn complex...perhaps for a man, but can't imagine wifey would ever bother carting around the phone while she shops. Talk about making a simple task complex..but i guess one needs to justify their expensive little toys


Or are you just too cheap to let the little woman buy an iPhone?


CK - Don't sweat about the cheap wine... I buy a case of cheap and nasty merlot every couple of months over winter... a bottle and half at a time go into the Beef Bourguinon to braise for 5 hours.

The folk who tell you to only cook with stuff you drink clearly don't cook enough with wine. I'd be broke if I did that or drinking cheaper wine.


I hate companies that say they are the "world's leading".


The Android version is available on Play now. Search for 'Countdown NZ'. Not too sure how I feel about it yet, need to play with it a bit but definitely excited!!


ShoppingList is a neat app that allows realtime syncing between two shoppers. Two advantages - you can tell what your partner has bought, and you can tell where they are by the items that are vanishing.

You can (manually) organise items in aisle order for one supermarket, and there is no barcode scanner, otherwise is is on a par with the Countdown app.


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