Further resources: apps

Simon Stephens, 15.06.2010

National Trust

Free app that allows users to find National Trust locations, view maps and access information, and find out opening times, prices and facilities.

Click here to preview the National Trust app on iTunes

V&A: Quilts

This app, made for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, presents 22 works through three centuries of quilt making in Britain from the Quilts 1700-2010 exhibition (pictured) on display at the V&A in Spring 2010. It costs £2.75

Click here to preview the Quilts app on iTunes

Science Museum: Launchball

Described as a “physics flavoured brain teaser”, the Science Museum Launchball app is a educational but fun puzzle for children and adults. Using over 20 active blocks (including fans, magnets and Tesla Coils), users must guide a ball through a series of challenges, and learn some science on the way.

The app, which costs £0.59, was created to let people experience the Science Museum London’s interactive gallery Launchpad online.

Click here to preview the Launchball app on iTunes


Dinosaurs: The American Museum of Natural History Collections

This free app from the American Museum of Natural History lets paleontologists of all ages explore the Museum’s fossil halls in depth.

Click here to preview the Dinosaurs app on iTunes

San Francisco Museum of Museum Art: Rooftop Garden

This iPad app offers a tour of the museum’s Rooftop Garden, including 10 sculptures, as well as commentaries by artists and curators. The free apps also includes a daily calendar updates of upcoming events at the museum.

Click here to preview the Rooftop Garden app on iTunes

Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers

This app – which costs $0.99 – accompanies the first major retrospective of Yves Klein’s work in the US in nearly 30 years. The Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the opening venue for this exhibition, co-organised with the Walker Art Center.

This app gives users a full overview of the exhibition and insight into selected artworks with images, video and quotes from the artist himself.

Click here to preview the Yves Klein app on iTunes

Brooklyn Museum Mobile Collection

Credited as the first museum app, this free app allows you to browse and search the Brooklyn Museum's collection.

Click here to preview the Brooklyn Museum app on iTunes

Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam): Yours, Vincent The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh

This free app offers users the chance to listen to readings of the artist’s letters, get a closer look at his early sketches and watch his style develop from a young artist to his trademark powerful brushstrokes.

The app features many of Vincent's sketches and paintings from the Van Gogh Museum collection, video interviews with the museum’s letters experts and new picture galleries that showcase his art.

Click here to preview the Van Gogh app on iTunes

Musée du Louvre

This app includes a selection of masterpieces from the museum as well photographs, details, and commentaries. The app, which is free, also includes visitor information from maps to opening times.

Click here to preview the Musée du Louvre app on iTunes



Foursquare is a popular social networking app that enables users to find new ways to explore a city. By sharing information, users can see where their friends are, learn about the places they frequent and recommend locations to others. This app, which is free, offers the potential for museums to build audiences and encourage visitors and staff to recommend objects, exhibitions or spaces to others.

Click here to preview Foursquare on iTunes


Urbanspoon is a free app enabling people to find restaurants local to them. Although it’s largely focused on the US, it does include large UK cities too. You can add restaurants and cafes on the Urbanspoon website.

Click here to preview Urbanspoon on iTunes


MuseumMobile wiki s an outgrowth of Tate’s 2008 handheld conference. The website is a free public ‘wiki’ and continues to grow as a repository for resources, best practice, and conversation about mobile interpretation and technologies for museums and cultural sites.

Click here to visit the MuseumMobile wiki site

You can find out more about the Tate handheld conference – including details on the 2010 September conference – on tatehandheldconference.pbworks.com.

The website of the Museum Handheld Survey, organised by Learning Times.

Click here to visit the Museum Handheld Survey website

The Museums Computer Group provides a forum for discussion between museum, gallery, archive and HE professionals who work with computers and new technologies.

Click here to visit the Museums Computer Group website


The Museums Association is holding a one-day conference on handheld guides on 14 July in London.

The speakers are:

* Dirk Bennett, acting head of interpretation, English Heritage
* Matthew Cock, head of web, British Museum
* Carl Warner, research and information manager, Imperial War Museum Duxford
* Matthew Goody, front of house amd retail officer, the Wallace Collection
* Gerard Malcolm, digital projects officer, Hunterian Museum, Glasgow
* Sian Harrington, property manager, Osterley Park (National Trust), Isleworth, Middlesex
* Melissa Maynard, education officer, Chiltern Open Air Museum
* Suppliers Antenna Audio, ATS Heritage, Acoustiguide, Toura, Imagineer and Xenagos will also be at the conference.

Click here to find out more on the Museums Association's events page

MP Online would like to thank the following people for their help with this article: Kevin Brown, Jane Burton, Elena Lagoudi, Vicky Lee, Ger Malcolm, Alex Morrison, Andrew Nugee, Nancy Proctor, Jim Richardson, Charlotte Sexton, Loic Tallon, Matt Vines, Alyson Webb, Tom Windross

New apps are being developed all the time. Please add any interesting apps you've spotted in the comment box below:


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19.08.2010, 11:52
Walking Through Time (a free iPhone app from Landmark Information Group and the National Library of Scotland, funded with a JISC grant) allows visitors to Edinburgh to walk over a variety of historical maps from 1849 to 1960s using GPS. As I understand it, there are plans (ambitions) to develop maps for the whole of the UK. There is clearly a lot of potential for this app in terms of allowing people to locate themselves somewhere other than the here and now - will be interesting to see how it develops.

02.08.2010, 11:55
Interesting app launched by the American Museum of Natural History.

Described as "part custom navigation system part personal tour guide", this free app allows people to choose from a range of different tours to take in all the exhibits they want to see during their visit. Visitors can also link to Facebook and Twitter to share their tour with others.

Features include: turn-by-turn directions; personal GPS; pre-loaded and custom tours; and treasure hunts.

Here's a link to the app on the iTunes website:

Kenny, Director, Screenmedia Design Ltd
MJ Subscriber, MP Subscriber
06.07.2010, 15:31
The National Library of Scotland: John Murray Archive App.

Screenmedia has recently produced an app for iPod touch and iPhone that allows users to explore some of the library's most prized letters, manuscripts and documents. This resource showcases materials from a collection spanning over 200 years and gives unprecedented access to work by great writers and thinkers including Charles Darwin, Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron and David Livingstone.

Download the free app at www.nls.uk or find out more about how we built this app at www.screenmedia.co.uk

(Image: Quilt by Anne West (1820), V&A)