MTV Networks has come up with an iPhone app for those attending the Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear. It’s available now for your iPhone, iPad and iTouch, and it’s FREE! I spent some time with the rally app this evening on my iPhone 3GS, and break down the different aspects of the app – the pros, the cons, and why you need this on your phone.
What the app is all about
The app has five key features
- Map: This is an API of Google Maps, showing you the Google map of the rally, and your relation to it.
- Camera & Photo Stream: A stream of pictures loaded by users, and the ability to download your own pictures.
- News, FAQ, & Community: A bundle of features that includes RSS feeds from the official sites, the ability to link your Twitter and Facebook profiles to the app, feeds for the @rally4sanity and @stephenathome Twitter feeds, and Rally FAQs
- Foursquare logins for both events: Foursquare is offering special badges for the “Sanity” and “Fear” events, and the app allows you to register for both
- Welcome: A special video message from Jon and Stephen [coming soon!]
The photo feed has the potential to get quite interesting during the event, as all users have the ability to upload pics. I really like the way that both Twitter feeds, their @at mentions are put both separately and together. I think this is going to be a great way to read what people are posting during the rally.
There’s been a lot of talk about how Stephen and Jon have really used social media to push the boundaries of how the media can be used. The Foursquare custom badge is definitely going to be one of the highlights of their social media coup at the event.
On October 30th, the app will be featuring an EXCLUSIVE “Welcome” video, which alone makes the download worth your time even if you’re not going to make the rally.
The Twitter API is not as intuitive as I would hope, but after fiddling around a bit, I was able to figure things out. The links are all available through the paperclip, if you click on the tweet, for example. I was able to post easily to Twitter when connected to my home WiFi, but I discovered I was completely unable to do so through the app when on 3G. This could pose problematic when 100,000 people on their smartphones are trying to post through the AT&T network.
The Google map is a good starting point, but there’s no options for directions, or anything other than seeing where you are in relation to the stage.
Other than the camera and photo stream and the “Welcome” video, there’s no unique content included with the app. Yet.
What’s the most practical uses for this app?
Keep using your Google Maps app for directions to get there, but once you get to the mall, the app map will be fantastic in keeping your location in perspective to the stage. Follow the crowds on Twitter through watching the @all tabs. Make sure to watch the video when you get to the National Mall as your own personal welcome from Jon and Stephen. If you Foursquare, make sure to log in when you get to the rally to earn your special badge.
And let’s thank the wonderful people at MTV Networks for busting out with a killer app just in time for my DC trip! Whoo!