#MobileLife: 5 Apps for Mumbaikars to Track Local Events
A quick search for Local event apps on your smartphone will throw a lot of results, but a quick look and you will notice that very few of these apps are good enough to deserve a dekho.
So here it is. A curated list of event apps for Mumbaikars, that will help them track events.
NH7, which we love for being “a platform that gives fans a unique way to explore music from India and around the world”, recently launched an event app – NH7 inTown. This works for Mumbai right now, and will soon be available for Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
Many music fans in India are NH7 fans. Their “About Us” page provides the why: “With days of (free) streaming music, profiles and discographies of over 200 artists, top-notch editorial content updated daily, exhaustive gig listings from around the country and a robust online store, we aim to be the one stop for fans of independent music in India.”
Their curation is indeed awesome – and this extends to events as well, where its not about quantity or comprehensiveness, but well picked and will connect with their audience.
So we decided to try their app out. And just out of curiosity, a few others. Here’s a quick rundown. (This was done on an Android phone running 4.1.2)
It’s for Mumbai only for now. And the immediate “ouch” was the necessity to login (unlike on their website!). The UI and UX are both good – glossy in fact. But the app did hang on us once – we killed and restarted it. Its about events and movies only – but the great thing is that you can drill down to useful, meaningful categories such as theatre, movies, music, art, workshops, outdoor etc – this was much better than for most other apps. There’s a rating feature and “Comments” to capture reviews – but there are few and given the handpicked list of event data that is aged out after its date, this is likely to not change. There is integration with maps but hidden deep in the event details. And there’s no click-to-call anywhere that should have been trivial to add. The app does borrow very heavily from its web counterpart – but we’d still rate the latter better than the phone version.
Burrp is already quite popular for its restaurant reviews, and a data exists for multiple cities. There is no login needed necessarily, and there are multiple category filters for movies, restaurants, events – which have a mix of some mundane and some interesting data (yeah, that’s subjective, but all we’re saying is not everything is handpicked for a targeted audience unlike at NH7). Given their popularity, most data has enough reviews, click to call actions, and pretty good maps integration – you can actually navigate to choices on the map directly.
One pain we faced was that when we changed the location, the app took us back to the top of the menu and we needed to enter all our category selections all over again.
This too needs a Facebook login , though if you look hard you could continue without it. The listings are shown as – well – lists. The whole app is built more around a directory listing and works ok for restaurants, great for movies but not that great for events. There’s also the complicated UI for filters with no categories for restaurants/events, a buggy search experience (at some point the drill down into search results had retained an older search keyword!). Overall, the data is comprehensive (not always great for events) and yeah, you can make calls to businesses from the app.
MyCityWay Mumbai Way
MyCityWay is a worldwide app that’s taken a platform approach to building local apps.
From their website: “Enjoy instant access to everything that’s happening around you in real-time, with just the tap of a tile. Our apps learn from you, personalized contextually-relevant information around-the-clock based on your location, social graph, profile, intent and time of day. Whether at home or in your travels, MyCityWay helps you navigate cities better, faster and smarter.”
From the app for Mumbai, its apparent that they have tied up with local partners for locally relevant “tiles” and services – for instance Quikr is used for classifieds, and eBay Deals have a tile of their own.
The UI for this app is ok at best and terrible in places, events are a vanilla listing with no pictures, and with small/big events all in one long list – quite painful to go through. There are no reviews. Movie listings are useful, as for most apps we tried. The platform approach means a wider set of categories – tourism, city info, services, taxis and even a tile for paan shops!
Given that we were on Android, we did not have to install this, of course! There is quite a lot of data as well as reviews, but once you get past what’s available from local listings, it’s quite noisy. Once again, the approach is more of a directory listing, and not always very satisfying – this is especially true for events.
So yes, the NH7 app does have a place on your phone. Its likely to play second fiddle to the Burrp app – but you might keep going back to it primarily for the great events you’re likelier to find there.