Test Drive: Coachella Mobile App
In preparation for the Coachella Music and Arts Festival kicking off this weekend, festival organizers finally released the official 2012 edition of the Coachella Mobile Application. The new version serves as a comprehensive mobile festival guide that includes maps, schedules, festival news and updates, and other useful tools to help festivalgoers optimize their Coachella adventure and share their experiences with friends. The app is now available for iOS, and Android.
I checked out the updated edition on my iPhone 4 and found it to be a pretty basic yet useful app. Like last year's, the 2012 version includes an interactive festival map under "Places" that allows you to find your exact location within the festival grounds, get the set times and geolocations of each act, figure out shuttle routes, and easily search for ATMs, restrooms, and vendors. The most useful of the features was the "Favorites" function that allows users to create a personalized schedule. Unfortunately the app does not provide a way to share this schedule with your friends directly from the app, but it does allow you to sync your schedule with your Coachella.com account. As an added bonus, the new version also allows you to set up reminders that alert you when your favorite artists are playing so you never have to worry about losing track of time or missing a set.
Another cool feature of the app is that it integrates social media to offer some easy ways to share your Coachella experience with others. You can click on any artist from the "Lineup" or "Schedule" sections to be immediately taken to a menu of links to the artist's website, Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. The "Experience" tab provides a menu of links that quickly connect to each of Coachella's official social media accounts. A new feature on this year's version also lets you create your own Coachella postcards with the photos you take with your phone. Users can choose from a few Coachella designs to overlay on top of their photos and then instantly share them over social networks directly from the app.
The only major issue I had with the app was that its response time seemed a little slow and some of the images and sections took a while to load. This was particularly an issue with the map. Additionally, the app seemed to be missing some of the useful features that were included in last year's version. There was no "Find-A-Friend" function or "Forums" section, and although last year's app included a feature for marking your parking space, this year's version left this out as well.
Overall, the 2012 edition of the Coachella Mobile Application is a useful app. Although it has fewer bells and whistles compared to some other festival apps I've seen, it's pretty easy to navigate and it fulfills the basic functions well. It may be a little bare bones, but in my opinion it's much better than carrying around one of those chunky paper festival guides that always end up getting wet, ruined, or lost. Besides, it's free, so it's well worth the download.
Check the app out for yourself and head to our http://cultivora.com/festivals/view/6Coachella Festival Guide and California Destination Guidefor more Coachella insights and tips.