App Watch: What’s expected to be hot at South by Southwest

South by Southwest — the annual film, interactive and music festival — is happening this weekend in Austin, Texas. Tech folks (even those who can’t attend, like me…wah!) tend to keep their eyes on the interactive conference, or SXSWi, to see what startups get attention, or better yet, funding. After all, that’s how Twitter sort of blew up.

So, what will be the next big thing? Mashable has a great round up of buzz-worthy startups. Here were some of the ones I liked from their list:

Banjo

Free for iOs and Android

This app gets the Banjo integrates all of the biggest social networks — like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — into one gigantic social network. This app has been around for a while, but now it helps it’s users with what’s happening in real time. For example, you can get a push notification when a friend is close by. The interface is beautiful and app seems like a great way to consolidate all your social media chatter into one channel.

Yabbly

Free for iOs

When you’re making a decision about a large purchase, you may want log onto Yabbly for advice. Unlike other review websites, Yabbly promotes thoughtful, practical, been-there-done-that advice. They do it through what they call a “two-way karma system” – when you give someone helpful information, the app tracks it; then, when you’re seeking information, the app will make sure the person you helped is notified (and maybe they can help you!) At this time, the only way you can register with Yabbly is if you write a review of a product you love.

Tempo

Free for iOs (it’s optimized for iPhone 5)

The app Tempo bills itself as a digital personal assistant. It enhances the meetings and events you have in your calendar by syncing them with your contacts and other information in your phone. Some cool features include the ability to send a pre-populated “running late” email or text, know your flight status, get estimated driving time and reminders to wish your friends happy birthday on Facebook.

As for getting the app, you’ll have to be patient. Here’s what they say in the app store: “TEMPO HAS A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVE RESERVATION PROCESS. We’re bringing new users on-board Tempo as fast as possible – Thank you for waiting with us!”

There are also A TON of Chicago-based startups heading to SXSW — good luck out there! I’m looking forward to getting to know your companies better. Here’s just a few who told me on Twitter that they’ll be there:

Braintree

Belly

CentUp

ThinkCerca

Style Seek

Wowsers

Social Crunch

Neoteric Design

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