Since 2009 South By Southwest has been known as the go-to place for new start ups, especially in the app space. Big wins come out of SXSW. Big losers do too. Then there’s the occasional app like Bizzy that rocks out of SXSW and for some reason doesn’t make it in the end (story later).
This year the category that seems to be poised for an explosion at SXSW is people discovery and social networking accessories. Companies like Glancee, Ban.jo and Highlight seem to be leading the buzz factor pre SXSW which officially kicks off Monday with the educational portion.
More after the break
While most folks won’t arrive in Austin until Friday morning, these purveyors of fine apps are packing their bags, their dreams and their best promotional faces for the big show.
From where I stand Glancee and Highlight seem to be headed for the biggest toe-to-toe faceoff. Both apps tackle people discovery and handle it well. It’s only a mildly kept secret that I own (and use) an iPhone 4S alongside several Android devices. Using an iPhone 4S keeps my unbiased but also allows me to try apps like Highlight which are only iOS.
Don’t get me wrong, TechCrunch Editor Eric Eldon praises Highlight and it’s a great app, but Glancee is just as good. With the amount of iOS fanboys in the blogsphere (I’m not one, just a user), Highlight may have the steam they need to win best in show on Monday night. But lest us not forget that FourSquare and Twitter, which both hard launched out of SXSW, were multi-platform.
Glancee, in my opinion, is going to win and win big. If they don’t they should. Why? Easy, because they aren’t ignoring the 300 million Android users. Far gone are the days where Android is seen as an OS for tech fans, tech writers and engineers (although those are the people you want using your app). Android has become so mainstream because of their variety of devices and lesser cost of acquisition.
Why wouldn’t you want to have your app available to 300 million. Last I checked, in fact, there are more Android users in the world than iOS users.
We’ll see how this goes next week in Austin, but here’s to hoping I’m right about Glancee.
Are you going to be at SXSW? If your smartphone or tablet goes dead you may want to tweet “@thedroidguy & @mypowerbag I need a #SXSWPowerup” with your location, and see what happens.
Download Glancee from the Android Market here