Æ News – Edinburgh Fringe launches 2011 programme on iPhone app

June 22, 2011 | By More

@EdFringe iPhone app updated two days early

By Thom Dibdin

The update looks clean and functional

The Edinburgh Fringe iPhone app has been updated to feature the complete programme for 2011 and is available to download now, from the apple store.

At a first glance, the new work by Loc8 Solutions – now trading as “Kotikan” – looks very good. The layout is clear and the morphsuit corporate branding for this year’s fringe, which looks so naff on the hard copy of the programme, actually looks clean and functional on the app.

Functionality is a little less intuitive at times. It took a while to work out how to find what is on at a given time on a given day, for example. The day marker is obvious, under the All Categories button. You have to tap the marker, however, to get to a scroller for time of day. Once found, it works easily.

The good things of the previous version are all there again. Nearby shows, being able to highlight shows and put them in a personal timetable.

There are a couple of glaring lacks, however. The biggest is a Home button, meaning that you have to scroll back through many pages, taking time and energy.

Actually finding a particular show can be a pain too. The listing is alphabetical but there is no scroll bar to jump down alphabetically. Which means that you have to scroll past all 2,542 events to get to the last one. Well, past 2,541, to be pedantic, but you still have to wait a second or two for it to load every twenty or so shows. I haven’t got time now to work out how long it takes to scroll right through, but it’s probably minutes.

There is a search box, however, so if you know at least a bit of a show’s name then you have a chance of finding it. The search throws up all titles with the string you input, so searching for “ten” finds “So Much Potential” as well as “Ten Plagues”, for example.

The new functions look good. The @EdFringe and #EdFringe twitter feeds are in-app, while the availability of tickets is part of the basic layout of any particular performance. Tap the button and you get a note “tickets available from the Fringe Box Office in the last 20 minutes”.

The big new step has yet to be tested. Purchasing tickets through the app will not go live until August. But until then, this will serve. But can we have a home button and a scroller to go through the shows please?

Available from http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/edinburgh-festival-fringe/id370924823

ENDS

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Comments (5)

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  1. Thom Dibdin says:

    First update: Many of the entries are without the pictures from the programme. Hopefully that will be sorted out.
    Slightly more worrying is that there seems to be a disparity between the length of the entries. Some are the short entry as per the official paper copy of the fringe programme, others are the entry as listed on the Edinburgh Fringe website: http://www.edfringe.com/
    Do add any other difficulties you find with the app here…
    Thom

    ps: Thanks to Doug Segal @doug_segal for pointing this out

  2. Thanks for this review Thom – I agree, it is much better than last year.
    I like the ‘other times’ function, it will be rather helpful for our shows that play more than once in a day.
    It also manages something that the Fringe website can’t seem to, which is to separate St George’s West listings from St Andrew’s and St George’s West.
    It also seems to be a bit more live than last year, the typo I spotted in the printed brochure seems to have been corrected here, which suggests that the data has been flown from the most up to date information.

    A few missing images here and there but so far so good.

    Well done Team Fringe!

    Dani

  3. Gavin Dutch says:

    Thanks Thom, another very balanced review.

    Many thanks for the complements. I just wanted to quickly address a couple of the issues you raised.

    Including a home botton is something we’ve been very keen to do for a while. The difficulty we’ve had is how to include it so that it is positioned intuitively. We’ll take another look to see if we can find something that works.

    The lack of an alphabetical index on the shows list is unfortunately down to the difficulty the iOS index component has with loading so much data at once. We had included an index but it was taking as much as twenty seconds to load the screen. We are aware the current solution is not ideal and are looking to find a better alternative.

    Best,
    Gav

    P.S. Loc8 Solutions became Kotikan in March this year. Unfortunately we can’t yet change the developer name on itunes.

  4. Chdot says:

    Perhaps a future version could use CycleStreets?  http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=3246