Vancouver Jazz Festival iPhone App

This year, the Vancouver Jazz festival added a new tool for all its attendees to use: a “Mobile Companion”, for the iphone (free, from the app store [NB: iTunes store link]). This is probably the first (that I’m aware of) of innumerable related apps. I fully expect that every major, and shortly, even minor festivals, will have a similar app. It just makes sense.

When you first open the app, after asking for your location, it’ll update with the current schedule, and present you with a screen like this:

Jazz Fest Mobile Companion main screen
Jazz Fest Mobile Companion main screen

With this, I can quickly find what’s happening right now, what’s happening soon and how far it is from me so I can guess whether I can get there.

If I click on an event, I get another screen with info on the show itself:

The Event Details Screen
The Event Details Screen

This allows me to quickly see who’s playing, the cost, where it is and gives me links to the 2 things I’d want to do next: 1) phone for tickets or 2)find out how to get there (as an aside, the only major improvement I’d like to see is a almost-real-time count of the number of tickets available, even if it was “less than 100 seats left!” or “nearly sold out!”, rather than a specific count.

Of course, because your on an iPhone, the map is even more useful, because with 2 more clicks, you can directions to where you want to go, in the means of transport of your choice:

How to get to the venue
How to get to the venue

This is extremely useful for any multiple venue’d event, such as the jazzfest, the film festival (imagine the unwieldy Vancouver Film Festival Guide, digitized on your phone, along with movie descriptions directions, times, links to purchase tickets, etc.). It would likly prove just as useful for single-venue events like Sasquatch, or Pemberton – live-to-the-second updates of who’s on which stage, maps to bathrooms/vendors, etc.

Give it another couple of iterations, and tying in these apps to things like twitter for real-time interaction will be easy, seamless and make it possible to interact with the larger digital realm. I’d love to see a couple more links on that Jazz Fest details page: This event on Twitter/Facebook/Flickr/YouTube/(whatever) that opens up a search results, in the app that displays relevant results, and perhaps gives an interface to contribute to it as well.