Apps that provide real value

Thursday, 4 October 2012, 10:42.

iphone app

The adoption of smartphones by mainstream audiences has seen an explosion in the number of apps available. There seems to be an app for everything, from working out your share of the bill to keeping track of how much water you drink per day. Here at TSO, we consider ourselves leaders in innovation, so the app market provided a natural extension to the technical solutions we provide for our clients. We didn’t want to create just ‘another app’ – we wanted to create something that would stand out above the noise and provide real value for our customers.

Getting started

We know from our publishing partnership with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) that the key target market for learning to drive is 17 – 24 year olds, a demographic which suits the app market. Using our existing knowledge, we created a series of three apps for iPhone: a theory test app, a theory test kit with additional hazard perception content and a free taster app.

These apps include over 1,000 theory test revision questions. A lot of time and research went into developing these apps in order to ensure they deliver what end users want. They track progress, are really easy to use and have unique background information to work through, making them a valuable resource for learner drivers, and they go above and beyond what is offered by competitor products. As a result:

  • In excess of 200k units have been downloaded since summer 2011
  • Average ratings of 4.5* on iTunes with hundreds of positive reviews
  • The Official DSA Theory Test Kit enjoys a constant top 10 position in the UK Paid Education app chart

Following the success of the initial apps, we’ve developed the Official Highway Code iPhone app for DSA – a ground-breaking conversion of this iconic publication from print to digital with a host of additional features to get The Highway Code back in the hands of road users.


Whenever we talk about or promote our hugely successful DSA app portfolio, we get the same questions – what about Android?

We know that traditionally (for such a relatively new media!) Android owners tended to buy fewer apps, even though market share in terms of ownership has overtaken Apple. However, we’re beginning to see this trend changing and Android paid-for app sales are on the increase. We’re actively investigating converting this range of apps to Android to meet increase in demand.

What next?

The success of the ‘test yourself’ format DSA apps has proven that, when developed with the customer at the heart of the project, apps are a valuable addition to our client portfolios, and there is a market for this type of official revision aid which TSO clients are keen to explore. For instance, IT Service Management professionals preparing for their ITIL exams, and potential UK citizens preparing for their Life in the UK test. We’re now developing a platform which will enable us to produce a variety of apps to the same high quality format as our DSA theory test apps for other clients.

If you’re an existing TSO client interested in adding an app to your portfolio please speak to your CSM. If you’re interested in working with TSO please contact Peter Camilleri