Hampstead techie revolution takes ‘Appy ‘Ampstead into 21st Century

An app culture is rapidly taking off in Hampstead as small businesses and entrepreneurs embrace technology to transform business and leisure.

It is 80 years since actress and local resident Gracie Fields sung about the joys of ’Appy ‘Ampstead, but the area is once again “appy” in a very modern way.

A number of apps for smartphones have been developed by Hampstead residents and businesses – including a bus countdown app, a cupcake app, and a coffee app, which are national bestsellers.

Liz Myers, a designer and developer from Frognal, is at the forefront of building and sharing app technology.

She said there has never been a better time to develop an app, predicting that more people will use the internet on a mobile device than on a desk computer by 2014.

After working in software development for more than 18 years and on apps for seven, she has just launched her first app called 2Scoops.

It helps you find, enjoy and share the best Italian ice-cream and features Hampstead ice-cream shops, all of them hand-picked and personally reviewed.

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“Having a gelato is a spontaneous, fun, experience. My app helps you find that gelato – for friends meeting up, for mums picking up children after school, for a date, or for after the theatre,” said Miss Myers.

“It’s about bringing the spontaneous Italian lifestyle into reach.”

The app maps your nearest gelaterias, publishes daily updates from the stores, provides interactive reviews and information and helps you with Italian pronunciation.

It also allows you to take pictures and share your experience.

Researching the app was a voyage of discovery for Miss Myers, from Minneapolis.

“As a developer I often work from home so it’s nice to be able to nip out to taste gelato. Hampstead is a wonderful creative place and a great place to start.”

Other Hampstead businesses to offer new mobile services via apps include a sushi restaurant in Swiss Cottage, a financial services provider in Downshire Hill and South Hampstead High School, in Maresfield Gardens.

Those which have really taken off are a bus countdown app developed by a West Hampstead resident, now the UK’s top travel app, and Primrose Hill Bakery’s cupcake app, the UK’s current number one cookery app.