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Aussie app takes world by storm


An Australian iPad app that shares worldwide travel knowledge has become an international hit, making its debut in the top 10 travel products on Apple’s US App Store.

Developed by Sydneysiders Michael Shaw and Jaidev Soin, the free Ask a Nomad app raced to number seven among travel products on the American download charts a few days after its release on June 29, and has since been downloaded more than 10,000 times worldwide.


Sydneysiders and creators of the free Ask a Nomad app, Jaidev Soin and Michael Shaw

“We had hoped it might get around a thousand downloads a month, but we took more than 7000 downloads last weekend alone and it’s now featured on Apple’s ‘New and Notable’ page on the US App Store,” said Michael, who along with Jaidev works at Australian travel insurance group WorldNomads.com.

The Ask a Nomad app lets travellers from around the world ask questions and share advice on any topic they like, without charge.

“It takes the wisdom of locals and other travellers worldwide and puts it in your iPad, giving you information that’s directly relevant and more up-to-date than any guide book,” Shaw said.

“If you’re in Thailand and want to ship a surfboard home, you can just post a question and get advice from other travellers who have faced the same problem,” he said. “If you want a good restaurant for kids in Copenhagen, or need advice on getting a job in Aspen, then you just ask.”

The app draws on World Nomads’ existing community of travellers worldwide who regularly respond to questions from around the globe via its website.

The new app makes the service more portable and allows travellers to refer to information whether they’re online or not.

“You can browse questions and answers by continent, country, city or suburb,” Shaw said. “Or you can pose your own questions and respond to others, either posting them immediately or uploading them automatically next time you’re connected to the web.”

The immediate success of the Ask a Nomad app had taken the pair by surprise, Michael said, but the secret behind it was simple and universal.

“Go to any pub in Bondi and you’ll find travellers and locals sharing advice,” Michael said. “It’s the same all over the world and it’s always been that way, so we’ve just taken it to the next level and connected those conversations worldwide.”

Questions can be asked and the app downloaded from http://answers.worldnomads.com