10 Fantastic iPhone, Android Apps For Museum Visits - InformationWeek

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Mobile // Mobile Applications
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8/28/2015
07:05 AM
Nathan Eddy
Nathan Eddy
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10 Fantastic iPhone, Android Apps For Museum Visits

Expand your horizons with interactive iPhone and Android apps from the Louvre, the Prado, the Met, and other great museums.
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(Image: vichie81/iStockphoto)

(Image: vichie81/iStockphoto)

Now that we've entered the dog days of summer, and you've had a chance to hit the beach and work on your tan, it's time to skip the humidity and sweltering temperatures and cool off indoors.

No, we're not talking about sitting on the couch in front of the air conditioner catching up on Game of Thrones. We're talking about expanding your cultural horizons inside a museum. (OK, maybe you can visit from the couch, too.) To help guide you on your journey, we offer this collection of 10 apps for some of the world's greatest museums.

The majority of these apps follow a similar template, offering a selection from the museum's collection through high-quality photos and information about each piece, and also helpful guided tours that can be selected based on particular interests.

[Check out this list of handy iPhone apps to download.]

Another thing all these apps have in common is their impressive breadth and depth.

For example, the Prado museum app features 400 works of art with detailed descriptions, and many of these apps also provide you with information on the history of the institution and about the ways these collections have been amassed over the years.

As a bonus, many of the apps are available in multiple languages, so if you want to give your French a whirl while reading about the masterpieces hanging in the Louvre, you've got that option.

While this is a list of our 10 favorites, it is worth noting that this is far from a complete list. We would highly recommend checking the Google Play Store or Apple's iTunes store to see if your next museum destination offers a handy guide.

Best of all, almost every app on this list is free, which means you don't have to fork over any additional funds once you pay the price of admission.

Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio

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impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
8/28/2015 | 3:10:53 PM
saves trees and time
These are great apps to maximize your museum visit . It also helps us save trees by not having to carry around those maps that never seem to work well in museums . I would love to see the app expanded to provide information for those with specific handicaps such as visual impairments , providing descriptions of pictures and sculptures along with history
natee3287127
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natee3287127,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2015 | 3:17:36 PM
Re: saves trees and time
that's a really great idea! i'm sure these will get much more sophisticated in the future! 
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
8/28/2015 | 3:20:51 PM
Re: saves trees and time
We can only hope it will broaden the experience to include everyone!
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2015 | 12:54:08 PM
Re: saves trees and time
These are really amazing apps.  If this tool could be help to support people with physical impairment, this population will enjoy the benefits of such places.  Personally, I get overwhelm when I go to a museum, such apps will really help me make the most with the short time I have at such interesting places.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2015 | 11:12:53 PM
Re: saves trees and time
I wish these museums would use interactive AI to replace the human guide, or maybe a text to speech app that knows where we are in the museum and guides us.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2015 | 11:15:11 PM
Re: saves trees and time
@impactnow: maybe that is good, but something even better is holding a paper map and getting lost inside a museum. That would make up for some great stories about your museum visit. Museums are by default pretty boring, and museums know this, they should change their crowd handling outlook.
SunitaT0
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100%
SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2015 | 2:30:14 PM
Re: No Such Thing As Privacy with Apps
@askqn: true. Also: although an app gives you much leverage, but why would you be using it for one time excursion to the museum?
jmajher4401
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jmajher4401,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2015 | 1:20:44 PM
Cleveland Museum of Art App is more.
ArtLens is the Cleveland Museum of Art's app, which allows you to explore works in the permanent collection both at the museum and from home. Plan your Museum trip from the comfort of home. Once at the Museum point your phone's or tablet's camera with ArtLens app to learn more about the artwork you are standing in front of. Very cool.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
9/4/2015 | 4:25:02 PM
Re: saves trees and time
I have notice kids really love interactivity, using tablets, multitouch screen.  If museums could integrate these tools more, it could help drive kids into science based professions.  I think museum visit is just one part, if they are able to provide visitors with an experience, I think technology can help captivate more people.   
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