Museum Mobile Apps
The first App I reviewed was at the American Museum of Natural History. Like many of the rest of us that went to AMNH, I checked out a iTouch once I got to the museum. It was a relatively painless process, and I really liked that they had the apps already loaded for me- I’m nothing if not technologically impaired, so that part helped. I’m not really sure what I was expecting from the AMNH app (Maybe I was looking for an app where you check in at certain exhibit features to get more info? Maybe I was expecting an external story like Ego Trap?), but even though these apps weren’t it, I still appreciated them. You could search for popular spots in the museum by specific object, or by exhibition category, and gain a little bit of extra info on popular sites through the app. The part of their app that I used most, however, was the map/ directions feature. In a museum as huge as the AMNH, I really appreciated being able to enter in either an exhibit or a specific item that I wanted to see, and then having them show me how to get there. It helped me prioritize and itemize what I wanted to see at the museum, and, most importantly, to find it. I don’t feel like I got an extra layer of meaning or interaction with the museum through the app, but it was definitely a great tool to help me personalize my museum visit.
The second App I looked at was the Brooklyn Museum’s app. I visited the museum a few weeks ago, and retroactively browsed the app to see how it would have changed my visit. The Brooklyn Museum’s app was far more about adding an extra layer of information for the interested visitor than the AMNH’s app was. I felt like using the app at the museum could have given me more info about the exhibits I was interested in, though not in an artifact/item specific fashion- their extra information is more about the exhibition as a whole. I also appreciate that the Brooklyn Museum’s app can be interacted with outside of the museum. With ‘calendar’, ‘visit’, and ‘Target First Saturday’ as available categories, the app can be consulted by regular visitors to easily get information about goings on in the museum without having to navigate the Brooklyn Museum’s website.