Five essential (and free) apps for the Edinburgh Festival
With the Olympics hogging the headlines, you could be forgiven for overlooking the fact that the world’s biggest arts festival is about to descend on Edinburgh.
So if you have yet to start planning which shows to see or where to go during the month of August, here are five apps you need to download now.
• Edinburgh Festival Fringe / iTunes link
With the advent of the satellite-tracked smartphone there is now no need to carry the weighty paper tome that is the Fringe programme everywhere you go. Last year we found the official Fringe app extremely useful, especially if you have a spare couple of hours to kill and no idea how to begin filling them. It tracks your location and then you simply choose your preferred genre and start time. You can then find out what’s going on nearby, down to the very last metre. You can also save your favourite shows, view maps of venues and even access special offers. Best of all, you can avoid the queues by purchasing tickets for any Fringe show directly from the app.
• EdinBus / iTunes link
As any Edinburgh local will know, the fabled tram network is still far from completion, so in the meantime the best way to get around town cheaply is by bus. EdinBus is a great way of finding out where the nearest bus stop is, which services stop there, and exactly when the next bus will trundle along (two at a time, no doubt). It uses BusTracker technology which means that even if the traffic is causing a delay, you’ll know about it. If you take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the routes you’ll need, this will make sure you’re never late for another curtain call.
• Google+ Local / iTunes link
Formerly known as Google Places, this is, suffice to say, not just about the city of Edinburgh, but it’s probably the best app for finding all those things you need to find during festival time - venues, pubs, cash machines or food vendors open till 3am. Because it’s tied into Google it’s reliably comprehensive, including user reviews, contact details, photos and suggested directions using Google Maps. One type of place it probably won’t spot, however, is the pop-up bars and venues which take over the city centre for one month only.
• Trip Advisor / iTunes link
A variation on Google’s location based service but stronger on accommodation, Trip Advisor’s free app plugs into their (in)famous user review database to help you choose where to stay while you’re in town. Like the popular website, you can sort by rating and price and, because it tracks your location, by distance too. The design is appealingly simple, with a quickfire selection of nearby amenities under tabs called Stay, Eat and See. And when you check out at the end of your stay, why wait till you get home to wreak your revenge on the rude receptionist or bland food when you can do it from your mobile device?
• Theatre Ninjas / iTunes link
One thing the Fringe isn’t short of is performers clamouring for attention. Instead of waving flyers around, some have turned to ticket promotions as a more innovative way of getting bums on seats, and Theatre Ninjas capitalised on this to great effect last year. The service offers exclusive free tickets to shows near you, giving you a code to swap for your freebie. Their website hasn’t been updated in a while, but fingers crossed the ninjas will kick back into town next month.
• Finally, it would be remiss of us not to point you in the direction of The Scotsman iPad app, which will have a dedicated Festival section with the best reviews and features.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
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