Friday, 6 April 2012

Review: Art Guide - iPad/iPhone app by Art Fund

The new free Art Guide app (for iPhone/iPod/IPad) developed by the Art Fund and available from iTunes is an excellent app for those aiming to get out and about to see exhibitions in the main art galleries and museums around the UK

Initial impression, sat at my desk, are very favourable.  It looks like it's a very useful app for all those visiting exhibitions on a regular basis.  It provides listings of current major exhibitions and even has a  "popular" tab providing a top ten list of all current exhibitions.

Art Guide app from iTunes
The Art Guide App from iTunes
photographed on my iPad
copyright - all rights reserved
  • "nearby" function has the capacity to identify where you are
  • identifies the most popular exhibitions
  • very easy to develop a "wish list" of things you want to see and visit
  • "trip planner" enables you to identify what's on in an area you are planning to visit.  You can identify location by post code and then identify exhibitions / galleries and museums within a defined area (you choose the mileage).  It also prompts for different mileages.
  • provides detailed information about individual venues including how to contact them, when they are open and what the charges are - plus directions using Google Maps
  • enables anybody with a National Art Pass to check the benefits and discounts wherever you are
  • provides a prompt about an exhibition coming to an end (if you set up a wishlist)
  • much more suitable for iPhone and iPod than the iPad where it lacks the scope to make use of all the screen and the functionality of the iPad
Here's a YouTube video which explains what it does and shows you what you can see and how it works

Purpose of app

This is the description about the Art Guide on the iTunes website
Passionate about art? This free app is the ultimate guide to seeing and experiencing art across the UK. The Art Guide brought to you by the Art Fund helps you discover world-class exhibitions, museums and stunning country homes near you.
This is the official listing of what it does

  • Search for the most interesting and inspirational exhibitions across the UK
  • Discover over 600 museums and galleries
  • Check for National Art Pass benefits and discounts wherever you are
  • Create a wishlist of your favourite exhibitions and places you'd like to visit
  • Set up alerts in your wishlist telling you when an exhibition is coming to an end
  • Browse high-res image galleries of venues, exhibition highlights and work the Art Fund has helped buy

What type of app? 

According to iTunes, it's:
  • Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, 
  • iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and 
  • iPad.Requires iOS 4.2 or late
According to the Art Fund the android version is in the works and coming soon.  I shall certainly be downloading it to my Samsung Galaxy.

The app is looking a bit small and lonely on my iPad as it's obviously configured primarily for the iPhone and iPod.

I do wish both developers and iTunes would be more explicit about those apps which are "available" for the iPad and which ones are "designed for" the iPad!

Primarily this is an iPhone app which has been made available on the iPad.  It lacks iPad functionality (eg there's only one way you can look at it and it doesn't turn as you change the angle of the iPad.) I'd like to see an upgrade happening very fast to get this app fully sized for the iPad.

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