These iPhone apps will keep you grooving at SXSW 2011

Mar 9, 2011
Tech

We all know that the South By Southwest Music and Media conference is a great place to launch an iPhone app. It’s also a good idea to download these iPhone apps for navigating Austin, connecting with friends and getting an early peek at titles that will soon become household names. Since Appolicious loves helping people […]

We all know that the South By Southwest Music and Media conference is a great place to launch an iPhone app. It’s also a good idea to download these iPhone apps for navigating Austin, connecting with friends and getting an early peek at titles that will soon become household names.

Since Appolicious loves helping people discover the best mobile apps, we are sponsoring the Team Android Choice Award – Best Android App SXSW 2011. The show starts at the Android and Me Team Android party on March 13th at 7:30 p.m., with each app getting two minutes to pitch their app to a ‘packed house of elite Android nerds’ who will vote live to pick a winner.

Touring the show, getting around town, and keeping up with your peeps

While SXSW is about so much more than what goes on at the official show, it’s a good idea to download the official SXSW Go iPhone app (also available for Android). Developed by Xomo digital, which specializes in major event apps including the 2010 Olympic Games, the free SXSW Go lets you build and organize your own schedule, easily search for vendors, and check in and share your location and status.

Of course the soul of SXSW is its social spontaneity and the fact that a party can break out any place in Austin at any time during the festival. The best iPhone app to keep you appraised of all the action is the free Hurricane Party. This newly updated app, which had its beta test in Austin and is now nationwide, tells you where your friends are in real-time and lets share status updates and RSVP to the gatherings that matter most to you. The founders even challenge users to “assemble something Charlie Sheen-worthy” by using the app.

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Other worthy Austin and SXSW travel companion apps worth having on your iPhone are location-based service Loopt, which now has Push Deals, the app for Austinist, a free alternative news blog, and TipsyTaxiATX, which is the best way to get a cab and avoid the buzz-kill of waiting around in long lines.

Appolicious member and Austin transplant fletchismo shares his other favorite locally flavored titles in his Austin’s Got Apps! list.

Trendy apps showcased at SXSW about to hit the mainstream

In recent years, location-based darlings Gowalla and foursquare launched and/or achieved early fame at SXSW. Both are great apps to have with you at the festival this year. In 2011, there are no shortage of apps poised to break on through in Austin.

For a flavor of what Appolicious members are forecasting, check out rachely’s list of Apps Rocking the Buzz at SXSW 11 and appconomy’s list of SXSW Interactive 2011 – Breakout Apps.

Beluga Messenger, a free cross-platform messaging app that was recently acquired by Facebook, is the darling of the bloggers and tech elite planning to tap into Texas this week. Beluga appeals specifically to hard-core BlackBerry users who are seeking more convenient ways to message friends with devices on other platforms (although BlackBerry might be striking back with its own offering).

Says SXSW veteran rachely:

Thus far this app appears to be the buzziest of them all for SXSW. SXSW is an information overload, between blogs, Twitter, Facebook, text messages and more, you have a lot of sources pulling you different directions for events and parties. Add to that the fact that a lot of these parties are private, because the cool kid nerds like to shut out the plebes in their late night Driskill partying. Beluga lets that happen. You create pods of people and all share messages among one another, and what’s even better is they all back up online.

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Other notable newcomers looking to make their pivot to mainstream popularity at SXSW this year include free relationship tracker Hashable Mobile, and the free uber-messaging app GroupMe.

While free photo sharing app Instagram is already a crossover hit,  we look forward to its Brisk Pics promotion with Pepsi this week.

Stay tuned for more Appolicious coverage of SXSW 11 and the unveiling of apps that we will be talking about for the rest of the year.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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