Israeli couple creates award-winning personal assistant app

24me, a personal assistant app that won Best of the App Store award from Apple in 2014 (Image: 24me)

Anyone who has lived in Israel knows that an inescapable cultural feature is the challenge of functioning efficiently and effectively in a highly pressured, fast-paced society.

So it is appropriate that the parents of three extremely close in age children, Gilad and Liat Mordechay Hertanu, won Best of the App Store award from Apple in 2014 for their smart personal assistant app – 24me.

Forbes called the product ‘the best app to get it together,” while in November, Liat Hertanu was one of four Israeli women recognized by the New York Stock Exchange:

“The New York Stock Exchange … salutes leading Israeli women and their contribution to the U.S.-Israel relationship in fields of business, economy, science, high-tech and fashion, as part of the 10th annual America-Israel Friendship League Israel Day at NYSE. The AIFL is also marking the country’s disproportionate prominence on Wall Street — now ranking as the largest foreign presence outside of China and Canada.”

A key feature of the 24me app is that it attempts to capture all your key scheduling data and respond by telling you what to do and when, relieving the pressure of constantly reviewing a complicated diary and priorities, as well as enabling you to actually ‘do’ some of those things from within the app itself. It includes an integrated calendar and to-do-list where you can take notes, and allows you to connect with social networks, commercial entities such as banks and service providers, and to make payments.

24me, the company behind the app, was founded in 2013. The latest version of the product was released last summer. It has had millions of downloads and is currently available in 32 languages. It is used equally by men and women and is most popular amongst the 24 to 31 age range.

Co-founder and MBA graduate Gilad Hertanu served in the IDF as a pilot. Liat Hertanu, who has a strong entrepreneurial family background, served as an intelligence officer before graduating with a degree in computer science and earning her MBA. Their offices are in Or Yehuda.

In response to the popularity of this leading Israeli product, a KNI writer, also a busy parent of three, decided to put it to the test. Her reaction was positive, but not overly enthusiastic.

“It’s not the smoking gun I was looking for to solve all my time management challenges, but it’s a good start.”

Like many high-tech products it requires an initial outlay of time to understand it.

“I will give it another few weeks to try to maximize it and hopefully get a chance to watch some tutorials online,” she said. “24me may be worth committing to as a long-term time-management solution, as long as you do not expect immediate dramatic results.”