If you're planning a trip to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, everything you need can be found in the MoMA Android app. A kind of brochure and personal tour guide, it's a great way to see everything the museum has to offer — that is, when it actually works the way it's supposed to.
Using the app, you can browse through the museums collections (both MoMA's current and coming exhibits), get information on current exhibits, and take multimedia tours.
From the main menu, there are a lot of options to choose from: "Today at MoMA," "Pick a Day," "Exhibitions," "Film Exhibitions," "Film Schedule" and "Programs."
"Today at MoMA" is an option that's sort of like: "This is everything you'd find behind the museum's doors if you were to visit today." It provides you with a listing of all the exhibitions, films, events and screenings.
The "Pick A Day" tab allows you to select any date on the 12-month calendar. By tapping on a day, you can see if the museum is open that day, the hours and which exhibits and films are open to the public. It's a great resource to consult if you're planning a trip in the next couple of months.
"Exhibitions," "Film Exhibitions," "Film Schedules" and "Programs" list all the happenings at the museum, both current and coming up.
The icon at the bottom of the screen can help find the kind of information you'd find in a brochure: the museum's hours, directions, admissions, film ticketing, floor plan, restaurants, gift shop, memberships and contact information.
If you tap your Droid's menu at any point, you're brought to a list of options that are designed to enhance your visit: audio tours, videos, podcast tracks and even a way to take quick photos while you're in the museum,
Perhaps the coolest thing about this app is its various tour options, which include recordings made especially to engage teens and kids. These seem like a fun way for young people to explore the museum, and learn about art. Unfortunately, this feature has some kinks in it. For starters, when you listen to a recording, you're directed out of the application to your music player. Because the tours are organized floor-by-floor or gallery-by-gallery, you spend a lot of time jumping between applications.
I was never able to get any of the app's multimedia to work, and kept receiving a message that said I was not connected to the server. I can't tell if this was because I'm nowhere near MoMA or because there's some kind of error with the app itself.
MoMA's design is very sleek and easy to navigate — and its overall concept is fairly brilliant. However, during my exploration of MoMA, the app crashed once, and it was generally very slow to load. I was also disappointed when I couldn't put any of those multimedia features to the test.
It has a few bugs to iron out, but the MoMA app seems to have a lot of potential. I'm sure it will become an unbeatable visitor's guide within a few updates.