Local measure… coming soon!

Over the past few months, the Roamz crew have been working hard on a new product called Local Measure.

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Local Measure is a business owners’ best friend and helps bring customer stories to life.

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We know people love talking about their food and retail experiences. They love taking photos of their food and sharing it with friends, they might even tweet about an issue they might be having or simply post about what they liked - or didn’t - about your business.

Local measure is a tool that delivers real-time local insight about your customers. We allow you to engage with your customers no matter which social platform they’ve used to talk about you.

If you’d like first peek at Local Measure when we go live, sign up at http://signup.localmeasureapp.com for early access or contact Aylin for more information.

Follow our updates and latest news on Twitter.

Trending places this weekend

Hey guys,

We had great feedback about our trending places review last week so we wanted to continue the conversation and highlight the places that were buzzing on social this past weekend.

The weather was unreal in Sydney over the weekend. Crowds swarmed to beaches all over, here’s how Tamarama Beach looked by midday. Tamarama Beach is a super sandy beach, surrounded by high cliffs and picnic areas to set up with friends and family - or if you’re a Surfer, I hear the waves are great here! Thanks littlehawky for the photo.



On the other side of the world, Chicago Theatre was buzzing before the Trailer Park Boys hit the stage in a Jam Production. If you attended, let us know what you thought of it! Thanks for the photo Mary E.


The Bird And Bear Boathouse Cafe is a sweet cafe along the NSW Coastline near Elizabeth Bay. The sunny weather was keeping people outdoors and brunching. I guess with this view, why would you stay indoors! Thanks for the photo jesssssvan.

St Leonards park in Sydney was happening as families and friends continued the christmas celebrations. Even this pup got all dressed up for the occasion. Thanks for the photo dobeski.


Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays to all of our users, business partners and friends. Thanks for supporting us over the past 12 months, we’re deeply grateful and look forward to sharing some exciting new updates early in the year!

Keep discovering cool things over the Christmas holidays and we’ll see you in 2013!

- The Roamz crew

Trending places this weekend

You might’ve already noticed a feature in Roamz we call hot now which triggers a phone notification if you’re around a place that has recently been buzzing on social media.

Here are a few places that were trending over the weekend - there’s no surprise that many of them are Christmas related!

At the Grote Market at Grand Place in Brussels, this geometric square sculpture representing a christmas tree lit up to share the Christmas spirit. 

The Hardware Societe is a popular cafe in Melbourne so it’s no surprising that people were out trying out the delicious new menu over the weekend. The baked eggs look great.

Photo attribution: calistlouise via Instagram

The Big Design Market was on this weekend at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne. The market is the biggest of its kind in Australia, bringing together the best of independent Australian and international design. Here’s some more info about it - http://thebigdesignmarket.com/

Photo attribution: laxmideneefe via Instagram

The Sydney Cricket Ground was buzzing as the Australian cricket team hit the ground in the 20/20 series.  

Photo attribution: twiggbob via Instagram

Creative mornings in Sydney

Hey guys, our designer at Roamz Cynthia attended a lecture at Creative Mornings on Typography in Sydney recently and she wanted to share her experience. Here it is!

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Last Friday I braved the rain and went to listen to a talk by typography-enthusiast Gemma O’Brien (aka. Mrs. Eaves). This event was a part of the Creative Mornings lecture series where once a month coffee and muffins are served while we listen to a talk about all things design. I love this series and used to go when I lived in New York so you can only guess how excited I was when I found out these events were happening in Sydney too.

(Photo source: SMH)

I have to say that my first Sydney Creative Mornings did not disappoint. Gemma’s talk was super energetic and she had a lot of interesting things to say. It was inspiring to hear her talk about how she started out in her career by creating a typography blog while she was still at uni under the name Mrs Eaves (apparently an alias so no one would know she was still at uni and also the name of a lovely typeface). She explained how she began taking photos of type everywhere from the streets to the little labels that show the book categories in Borders (One of which spelt ‘typography’ ‘topography’ and consequently sent an angry email about to Borders).

Gemma later progressed to drawing type on herself and posted videos showing the process. These videos were then picked up by someone in Berlin who offered to fly her to a conference held there to talk about typography in Australia and it was from there her career blossomed.

It was really refreshing to see someone so excited about typography not only in the conventional design sense but in the real world and humanistic sense. She shared photos with us that she had taken of type or hand drawn lettering from around Sydney and explained how typography was super important to express emotions. In particular she spoke of onomatopoeia (when words mean what they sound like) and how typography has the power to reveal so much not just by the way it looks, but the way it is constructed and where it is displayed.

(Photo source: Tumblr)

Since moving to Sydney I have started taking photos of type (Inner West is a mecca for this type of thing) so it was good to see I was in some good company and not the only nut going around taking photos of street signs! What really stuck with me however was to try things that are more personable and to give humans more credit as an audience. Gemma explained that not every word has to be overtly legible and obvious but that we humans can distinguish a word if half of it is cut off so we can really get creative with how we use type.

This is something that is really obvious in Gemma’s work, the personality, honesty and tactile feeling of it, so it really inspired me to get experimenting. Throughout design school the importance of typography was stressed and technical skills covered but there was a certain excitement lacking for me. It was only when I moved to New York and started to look at the places and environment around me that I really started to love and appreciate the beauty and power of typography so I could really relate to what Gemma was saying. For me this talk was inspirational especially seeing how creative typography can be used in commercial work, but it was also a welcome reminder to not stick with the usual but to incorporate things that really excite into designs, and Gemma’s work is a good example of this.

(Photo source: Gemma’s blog)

Food discovery around Perth with Juji Chew

Each month we highlight food stories from our community so if you’re interested in sharing your travel or food experiences, get in touch with us on Twitter.

This week Roamz welcomes guest blogger Juji Chew from jujichews.wordpress.com to share her food picks for Perth, Australia. Enjoy.

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Juji Chew’s Perth food picks

When I recommend places to visit around Perth to out-of-towners, it comes as no surprise that food is generally always at the top of my list.
Whether you’re visiting Perth for business or pleasure, there’s a treasure trove of delicious eats available, catering to all appetites and budgets.
We have our fair share of glitz with celeb-chefs lending their recipes and names to sleek establishments around town, but for this Perth girl, it’s the smaller spots run by passionate locals that really get my appetite going.
And good news for Roamz users - my newbie attempts at finding these favourite places using the iPhone app have proven positive - so I’m more than hopeful you’ll have no trouble chasing any of these spots down.
Smoult’s Continental Deli
186 Whatley Crescent, Maylands
A Sunday morning visit to Whatley Crescent for the paper and a coffee just wouldn’t be complete without gazing at the cheeses, meats and pates on offer at Smoult’s. If you’re lucky, you might have the chance to snap up their famous house-glazed ham, sold fresh off the bone while you wait. Time your visit to coincide with lunch-hour, and you’re in luck - say hi to @ThatDeliGirl at the barbecque - she’ll fix you up with the best hot dog this side of the Swan. Try your snag with fresh Argentinian chimichurri made by Perth’s asado kings, El Asador (you can thank me later).
Mondo di Carne - butchers of distinction
824 Beaufort Street, Inglewood
Mondo di Carne are Inglewood’s best known purveyors of all things meat, look out for noteworthy mentions including horse, truffled moon meat and at least half a dozen sausage varieties made fresh on the premises.
Stop in on a Saturday morning, and your efforts will be rewarded when you spot the roast meat sandwiches. Tender slices of roast beef, lamb, or pork (with crackling), are served up generously on fresh sourdough sandwich bread with balsamic jus and sprinkled with freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt.
City Farm Cafe
1 City Farm Place, East Perth
When Monday blues hit, it’s good to know there’s decent coffee waiting for you at the other side of your working day commute. Perth City Farm, located adjacent to the Claisebrook train station is an urban farm, which features organic gardens, recycling and some courageous chickens who like to get up close and personal (on occasion).
But for me, the real star of the show is the solar powered cafe that’s open from 7.00am weekdays. Aaron and the team serve up some of East Perth’s finest coffee, with light and fluffy muffins and other baked goods (like the indulgent chocolate brownies) made fresh by the team each day. If something more substantial is your plan, I’d suggest you turn your attention to their fantastic bacon, egg, caramelised onion and cheddar panini.
Jus Burgers With locations in Subiaco, Leederville, Fremantle, Northbridge and Melbourne
'Buy West, Eat Best' is the motto at Jus Bugers, where everything from the meat, eggs, burger buns and even fresh juices are all sourced from top quality Western Australian producers. Jus was the first restaurant in the state to make the commitment, and I'm happy to report that chef and burger maestro Justin Bell's love of all things local shows.
Burger patties are prepared on site before being grilled to juicy, tender perfection - whether you choose classic beef, flavoursome lamb, or decadent Wagyu beef, you’ll notice the attention and love in every bite. My picks are the Pommy (beef, cheddar, bacon) and the Bokka (a patty made from local pork and beef Boerwors, with spicy chutney and cheddar).
A side of Perth’s best onion rings with aioli is a must. And trust me, you’ll be back once you’ve crunched through your first golden bite.
Hawkers Delight
Palm court 19, Station Street Markets, 1 Station Street, Subiaco
When favourite Malaysian hawker dishes are what I crave, a visit to Hawkers Delight at the Station Street Markets in Subiaco is the first thing on my agenda. Classic dishes like Nasi Lemak, Curry Laksa, Char Kuey Teow and Hainanese Chicken Rice are customer favourites here - with many opting to order two and even three dishes to share in one sitting. Mama Hawker prepares all her dishes fresh on site - like you’d expect from any self-respecting hawker.
Other reasons for food-obsessed Malaysian and Singaporean expats to rejoice include fresh barley water, home made soya bean drinks and homemade Nyonya kueh.

This is an incredible short documentary about a teenager Kevin Doe from Sierra Leone who taught himself electronics and got a residence at MIT.

He scours the trash bins for spare parts, which he uses to build batteries, generators and transmitters. Completely self-taught, Kelvin has created his own radio station where he broadcasts news and plays music under the moniker, DJ Focus. Kelvin became the youngest person in history to be invited to the “Visiting Practitioner’s Program” at MIT. 

Seen on Boing Boing.

Apps we <3

One of our designers at Roamz Cynthia has described her fave app at the moment for Apps we <3. It’s no surprise that is design related, check out her awesome illustration below.

Granimator

Granimator is really cool iPad app that allows you to make sound-based wallpapers letting you to go crazy with creative experimentation.

You can download different packs from within the app that have been created by artists, designers and illustrators throughout the world. What’s even better is that all these packs are FREE to download and use.

Once you have chosen a specific pack you can choose various graphics, sounds, tools, shapes and backgrounds to create your wallpaper. I love how easy to use and smooth the app is. The animation to erase shapes particularly is a favourite of mine.

Once your wallpaper is complete you can share it out to social networks or choose to upload it to the Grallery which is a gallery for wallpapers created that you can browse through and is available as a free app for iPhone.

Here’s one i prepared a little earlier-

- Cynthia

Roamz update hits Android!

Android friends, today marks an exciting new chapter in the Roamz Android journey.

Today we are releasing a huge update on Android. It includes a search layer that uncovers local content about the social chatter happening nearby, a starring feature that bookmarked a place, new sharing integration, new app icon and a total design and backend rebuild.

We’re thrilled about releasing these changes as well as G+ sign in for our loyal Android users. We’ve also optimized the app for Nexus 7 devices so that Nexus tablet users can use Roamz on the go.

So what’s new on Android:

  • Local search that lets you see what people nearby are talking about. 
  • The ability to bookmark a place. Just tap the Star button and you’ll receive a notification next time you are nearby. We think of it as bookmarking for the real world!
  • You can now sign up using G+ when joining Roamz 
  • Optimized for the larger screen on the Nexus 7 tablet 
  • New ways to share content on social, including Tumblr integration. 
  • Updated profile and place pages that display more content, photos and info about the place. 
  • We’re allowing for anonymous roamzing before having to sign up. If you like what you see, then sign up and join the family! 
  • We got faster too! Notice the speedy improvements on adding a post. 

Here’s a couple of screens to entice you to upgrade -

Search screen - Nexus 7 tablet

Nearby screen -  Galaxy Nexus

We hope you like the update and we look forward to seeing even more discoveries shared through our Android users.

Link to Google Play to download the app.

The Roamz Team

Roman and Peter join Roamz

Peter (on the left) and Roman (on the right).

A little about Peter…

Describe what you do at Roamz: For the moment I’m working on the client facing bits of our products

Favourite mobile app at the moment (besides Roamz of course): My favourite mobile app is always Opera Mobile, I find the text wrapping to be really good; anything else is unreadable.

Favourite activity to do on the weekend: On weekends I frantically catch up on things I was unable to do during the week and play PC games in the evenings if possible

What’s your fave open source project? openssh


A little about Roman…

Describe what you do at Roamz: I’m making the Roamz platform stable, scalable and smart.

Favourite mobile app at the moment (besides Roamz of course): Rdio - music anywhere.

Favourite activity to do on the weekend: Fly back to Brisbane and go rockclimbing.

What’s your fave open source project? At this very moment - Python Requests (http://python-requests.org). A great example of what an opensource project should be.