Reviews, Technology

App Review: Gridwatch

This morning Eskom hit the unsuspecting and still sleepy citizens of South Africa with a bout of load shedding. And the people where understandably not happy.

So the fun news, is that they are loadshedding from 6am – 10pm, basically all day. Urgh! 

Now I may be biased but I work with very clever people and guess what? They made an app for that! Yes, I agree with y’all when you say loadshedding should not be something that we just accept to be normal because eff that to be honest. But you know, it’s nice to be prepared and our guys and girls have built an amazing app. I give you…Gridwatch.

Gridwatch

It’s quite simple yet efficient and it has everything you need to know to make loadshedding a bit less painful. I don’t mind loadshedding so much if I’m prepared for it. If it falls around The Munchkin’s supper and bath time, we make sure the geyser has been on at least an hour before so there’s warm water. We make sure that the emergency lights have been charged and I get our supper ready so that we can eat at our usual time. Luckily we also have a gas stove so at least mealtimes are not that big a deal. But with winter coming up I’m a bit concerned about the heat situation. I’m going to have to stock up on warm, snuggly things for The Munchkin.

So back to the app. My favourite part are the notifications. You’ll get alerts for:

  • If there is loadshedding scheduled for the day.
  • When loadshedding has started.
  • A 30 minute notification before your area is due to be hit.

You can save various locations that you need to be notified for so I have: Home, Work and Athlone (my mom’s house). 

Gridwatch

Everyone’s power is on. See how the little light bulbs are on?

Gridwatch

There is no electricity at work at the moment. It also let’s you know how much time is left.

Gridwatch

Loadshedding in progress

 If you find yourself in an unfamiliar place (maybe you went to a business meeting in Joburg for some reason – I don’t know your life) and you don’t know which zone you’re in, you can do a quick search either by suburb name or by whichever city you find yourself in and navigate from there.

Find-Zone

Zones

It’s only available for Android at the moment (coming soon for iPhone) via the Play Store. And it’s free. You’re welcome.

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13 Comments

  1. Celeste

    April 14, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Zayaan I just love you so much for sharing this. And I love those clever people you work with even more!! I am sharing this with everyone I know.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    1. Zayaan Schroeder

      April 14, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      You’re most welcome! It’s so handy especially to plan your life a little bit.

  2. Liezel Kriel

    April 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Ha ha made it onto your blog. I’m famous!! Will keep eye out for iphone app when it comes out.

    Also very worried about winter. Ben kicks his blankets off during the night and will not sleep in a sleep sac anymore. Without a heater keeping the room toasty what the hell am I suppose to do?

  3. Suren

    April 19, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Excellent tool. I am using the mobi site on my iOS device until the iOS app is released. I have a shortcut on my home screen which opens up all my preset locations/zones on the web browser. I suppose one can do this for desktops as we’ll but I prefer using my mobile device for convenience and speed.

    Here is the link:
    http://loadshedding.news24.com

    1. Zayaan Schroeder

      April 19, 2015 at 7:08 am

      Thanks Suren. You’re right, I completely forgot to mention that!

  4. Paul

    May 6, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Iphone or Ipain, how soon is soon, once the new powerstations are on line and we dont need the app

    🙂

    1. Zayaan Schroeder

      May 7, 2015 at 8:51 am

      I’m not sure what their time frame is for the iPhone app but the web app (http://loadshedding.news24.com/) is pretty nifty too. You can save it as a bookmark in your browser. I actually can’t wait for the day that we DON’T need this app tbh.

    2. Zayaan Schroeder

      June 11, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Hey Paul. Gridwatch is now availble on iOS. https://itunes.apple.com/za/app/id998859545

  5. Dalisu Maphanga

    July 15, 2015 at 8:48 am

    The app looks interesting, but I downloaded it and I just cant find the option of saving my favourite places. This way I dont think it will be helpful to me because I will have to manually search for a place. Please help

    1. Zayaan Schroeder

      July 15, 2015 at 8:53 am

      When you search for a zone and then clock on it to pull up the schedule, there is a yellow + sign in the bottom right hand side. Click that and then the Save Location pop up will come up. And you can then give the location a Name like “Home”or “Work”or whatever you’d like. Hope that helps?

  6. Ken Everett

    July 16, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Hey Zayaan!

    Very cool App now that I understand how it works and what the circles and numbers reoresent.

    Please would you consider addding a Help function for us mere mortals?

    Thanks!

    1. Zayaan Schroeder

      July 16, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Hi Ken. There is some help in the About Section but if you feel it needs to be more prominent you can contact the developers via the App Feedback under Settings.

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