Last night I attended the launch of the new ‘Visit Stratford‘ app at Stratford Circus, the modern performance venue next to the Theatre Royal Stratford East.
Development of the ‘Visit Stratford’ app was funded by Stratford Renaissance Partnership, the London Borough of Newham and London & Partners (who are the official promotional organisation for London – they run the leisure tourism body for example). It contains lots of information for visitors about what to do and see in the area including an events guide and listings of local shops and restaurants (500+ businesses so far and growing), and it also provides historical data about Stratford as well as facts on the further regeneration of the area. There’s even an audiovisual walking tour available within the app which will take you around the centre of the area and fill you in on some of Stratford’s ‘back story’. Of course there’s also information on the London 2012 Olympics if that’s the reason you’re here!
Having tried it out on the Android platform (it’s also available for iPhone of course) I’m quite impressed – the design is really functional and its quite attractive too (its not disimilar to Windows new tiled interface, although executed predominantly in black and red rather than blue and white). One notable feature of the app is that the fact that its a big binary blob, weighing in at a fairly hefty 46.5 megabytes. Why is that good you say? Well, all of the data (with the exception of the live travel information) is contained within the app itself, including map tiles. People visiting during London 2012 will be able to download it before they arrive (or over wi-fi when they get here) and won’t have to suck down any additional data to make use of 99% of the app’s functionality. I think that’s a pretty good way to package an app that’s aimed at visitors who are quite likely to be arriving from abroad – just consider how many people get caught with mega-bills for data when they return home after a holiday!
You can download the new ‘Visit Stratford’ app directly from the Google Play or iTunes stores on your phone or through the web here, and of course it’s free. If you’re a local business who wants to put themselves ‘on the map’ so to speak, just send an email to this address with your details.