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Kiwi firm launches onto the world stage with United Nations App

10 Dec 2013

Kiwi mobile solutions company PaperKite has stamped its mark on the smartphones and tablets of world leaders, with its UN Handbook App.

The team is fresh from launching the App in New York and from meeting with Prime Minister John Key.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark, who currently works for the UN, is among dignitaries that have tweeted about the app, which is now in use in 110 countries worldwide, and has been officially rolled out to UN delegates.

Creative Director Nic Gibbens says the app has put his company firmly onto the world stage and helps reinforce New Zealand’s information technology reputation.

“The handbook is extremely popular with UN members, but we’ve helped bring it into the 21st century in terms of its useability," Gibbens says.

"It was a great App to develop and it’s fantastic to see it proving so popular with its users.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), which has produced the handbook for more than 50 years as part of New Zealand’s contribution as a UN member, approached PaperKite to build the App. It took PaperKite’s eight-person team of developers three months of fulltime work to build.

The result is more than just an electronic book. PaperKite turned a heavy tome of more than 400 pages into an intuitive app, linked to mapping and complete with sophisticated search functions. It puts every scrap of information in the handbook – the names and details of every United Nations body and committee – at the fingertips of the UN delegates, media and the public within seconds.

The custom content-management system, built into the app, gives MFAT the ability to update information at any time. It is compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems.

“We were conscious that the UN Handbook represents the frequently changing makeup of the United Nations,” Gibbens says.

“It was important that it was easy for MFAT to update the App so information displayed is always current.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has commented on the importance of the Handbook.

“Understanding the United Nations will always be demanding but this Handbook makes it doable," Gibbens says. "A model of its kind is indispensible to practitioners and public alike.”

PaperKite is building a strong reputation in the mobile applications space on the back of a number of highly regarded apps both in New Zealand and overseas.

They’re the company behind the NZ Budget App (one of the first budget Apps in the world), the MetService iPhone App and the All Blacks app that allows users to tap into live scoring, while they’ve also built apps for Perth’s transit department and a host of other companies.

For more information on PaperKite visit http://www.paperkite.co.nz

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