Exploring new Seattle iPhone apps (Erika)

19 Jul

App # 1: Local Event Finder

  • App purpose: Find local events and happenings in Seattle. There are a number of offline and online resources that promote local Seattle events, but there really aren’t many apps out there that are providing a great calendar of festivals, concerts, street fairs, etc.  It would be great to have an app where you could find events by category, date, and location.
  • Audience: The main target would be socially active, local Seattlelites.  The secondary target would be tourists.

  • Competing apps:
    • Serendipity (Free in iTunes): You can locate live music, theater, and other live events for the day. It is integrated with Google Maps and you can create an account and group to share your location with others in your group. The app is free, but has very sparse information listed.
    • SwamiCity Seattle (Free in iTunes): With SwamiCity, you can select from the below screen of categories to find something to do in Seattle.

      Within a category, there are a number of venues listed, but some of the navigation and user experience could  be improved. For example, under “Concerts,” it then lists “Seattle Concerts,” which is a bit odd since the whole app is supposed to have Seattle information. And majority of the links direct to web pages versus an information page within the app itself.
    • ToDo Finder (Free in iTunes) – This app appears to be the closest competitor, but I actually couldn’t get it to read my location properly. According to the app’s description, you can search for a variety of things on the spot from salsa dancing to poetry readings. You can also find things to do using the search functions for where and when.
    • There are also specific venue apps like Sasquatch! Festival, Woodland Park Zoo, and iSIFF
    • And a number of city travel guides like Lonely Planet Seattle City Guide that may include a sprinkling of local events.
  • Possible organization sponsors: The Stranger, Daily Candy, Seattle’s Convention and visitors Bureau, City of Seattle, Seattle CitySearch, Seattle Weekly

App # 2: First Thursday

  • App purpose: Help people navigate the famous First Thursday art walk in Pioneer Square and learn more about participating artists and their collections.
  • Audience: art lovers, artists, socially active people, art investors/buyers/sellers
  • Competing apps: There aren’t any true competitors here, however, there are a few apps I stumbled upon while searching through iTunes that serve as really good models for how this First Thursday app could work.
    • Dumbo Art under the Bridge Festival (Free in iTunes) – This app is a great model for the Art Walk app I’m envisioning. The app helped people navigate the 3 day festival in Brooklyn through a digital map and schedule of events, and extended the experience by offering videos, recorded statements, text and images from the artists so that people can learn more about them and their art.

    • Walking tour apps like Invisible Paris (Free in iTunes) that give you a guided tours of an area could also lend itself well to the First Thursday app. And below are some screenshots of the Invisible Paris app’s tour of street art.
  • Possible organization sponsors: Pioneer Square Community Association, CityArts, Seattle’s Convention and visitors Bureau, Seattle Art Blog, City of Seattle – Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs or a mobile app agency trying to gain experience (this is what ended up happening for the creation of Dumbo).

App #3: Metro Trip Planner

  • Purpose: While I am a big fan of OneBusAway, I would really love to see that app integrated with King County’s online Metro Transit Trip Planner. Trip Planner lets you put in a start and end address, day, and the time you want to leave your starting point or arrive at your destination, which allows you to better find and plan a route in advance or when you’re going somewhere new. Whereas OneBusAway and the slew of other iPhone Seattle bus apps are optimized for certain routes you are familiar with and finding the next soonest bus at one of your regular bus stops. Usually, I have to use a combination of Google Maps or Trip Planner to find the best bus route and stop, and then consult OneBusAway for updated departure times.  Additionally, I can also see the full route map of a given bus line and the regular weekday and weekend cadence for the buses instead of having to continuously query by each specific time and location.
  • Audience: tourists and local Seattlelites who are trying to plan a trip by bus and need to figure out the best bus route for a given time and start/end address versus just real-time bus info for a specific stop.
  • Competing Apps:
    • There are a bunch of bus apps, including OneBusAway, Seattle Bus, myTransit – Seattle, Seattle Bus Map, TransitGuru Seattle, and TransitScope, that fundamentally offer the same benefits. They allow you to see when the next bus is arriving at a specific stop, store your frequented routes, and see routes and where you are to some extent on a map.  OneBusAway appears to be the only free iPhone app listed and the others range from $0.99 to $4.99.

  • Possible organization sponsors: King County Department of Transportation (created the Metro Transit Online Trip Planner), Seattle’s Convention and visitors Bureau, and City of Seattle.

2 Responses to “Exploring new Seattle iPhone apps (Erika)”

  1. Kathy E. Gill 19 July 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Comprehensive and thorough – thanks, Erika!


  1. Friday | PSTO News - 30 July 2010

    […] Exploring new Seattle iPhone apps (Erika) « MCDM Smartphone Class Whereas OneBusAway and the slew of other iPhone Seattle bus apps are optimized for … There are a bunch of bus apps, including OneBusAway, Seattle Bus, … uwsmartphones.wordpress.com/…/erikas-new-seattle-app-expl… […]

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