Yesterday CCI released an updated version of their Comic Con app. The old one never worked for me. Well, that's technically a lie - when I first downloaded it, it displayed last year's information without issue, but after an update it never displayed information for this year. Even after maps, panels, and other official information was released by CCI.
The new app works wonderfully by comparison - maps, descriptions of booths and panels, favorites lists and filters, and BEST of all it works without an internet connection so you can stick your phone on airplane mode to save battery and still have a working app.
The CCI app is only one iPhone app I will be using at Comic Con this year. Here is a short list of the apps I will be using to enhance and document my Comic Con adventure!
CCI App - iPhone App Store - Android Store
This is the new official app for SDCC. It includes interactive maps of the convention center and surrounding venues used by the Con, exclusives lists, a schedule of panels and signings, and other information about guests and vendors. Little star icons next to panels, vendors, and exclusives allow users to select their favorites, which they can then view independent from the complete lists. It works without an internet connection, which is important because I hear Wifi and cell connections are spotty in the convention center. Here are a couple of screen shots to show you the map and menu:
I really like this new app - the only thing I would change is displaying favorite booths on the map, wither with the star icon or in some kind of highlight. Currently it displays a bunch of pins and the logos for the larger booths (eg. Hasbro), and touching the pins displays the booth vendor's name and number with a link to see more information, but unless you know where your favorite vendor's booth is, it becomes a game of tapping the pins until you find what you're looking for.
Twitter - iPhone App Store - Android Store
This really doesn't need explanation. Between the bloggers posting tips, official accounts posting about giveaways or autograph signings, and real-time information about food, celebrities, and surprise events, this app is probably the most important one on my list. I have saved searches for various hashtags (eg. #SDCC, #SDCCTips, #SDCCLines, #NerdHQ... you get the idea) and have subscribed to a few SDCC-themed user lists so I can filter results and keep an eye on con news while I'm there. There are other Twitter apps besides the official one - like Tweet Deck or HootSuite - so if you want additional features look into those.
Instagram - iPhone App Store - Android Store
Besides posting my photos for my sister to see, some blogs and companies hold contests over Instagram during the Con. TheNerdyGirlie hosts an Instagram Photo Scavenger Hunt, while some booths have used Instagram and photos for giveaways.
Nerd HQ - iPhone App Store - Android Store
This one just came out for the iPhone last night. Right now it has a detailed map, and will eventually have links to a schedule of panels and events at Nerd HQ. Users will even be able to buy tickets to the Conversations for a Cause through the app. If you register with the app and visit Nerd HQ you will receive an RFID bracelet and pendant, which can track your activities at Nerd HQ, post updates to social media, email you your photos from the photo booths, and message you about updates to the schedule and new panel offerings.
Here's a screenshot of the app's offerings:
Note: unlike the other apps I listed, the Nerd HQ app is only compatible with iOS 7.0, so if you use an older iPhone like the iPhone 3GS (cough*like me*cough) then you will need to use a tablet or a different phone to use this app. I, personally, will be using my iPad and either the free wifi at Nerd HQ or use one of our cells as a hotspot if I need it.
While I don't want to waste space on unnecessary apps to save room for photos, I also have my favorite Sudoku game. In case I'm in a line and want some quiet entertainment, though I doubt it will get much use. And the Blogger app is on my iPad in case I want to write an entry while I'm in San Diego.
Other useful apps include a ticketing app for the San Diego trolley system, TripIt and other travel itinerary apps for tracking flights and hotel reservations, and Vine video sharing or other social media apps.
What is your must-have app for Comic Con?