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    cjvitek's Avatar
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    Default Review: Event Finder

    So it's Saturday night, what do you want to do?

    "I don't know, what do you want to do?"

    How many times have you had conversations like this? I can't count the number of times I have. Finding something to do is sometimes the most difficult task. But the iPhone app Event Finder can help out.

    This application is, well...an event finder. It will find nearby sporting, theater, "family", and music events based on a distance range you select (from 5 to 200 miles). It will identify your location either from an address/zip code you can put in, or from the location services.

    One you select a distance, simply hit "find shows" and it will give you a chronological list of events.

    Now, I live in south Texas. Like...really south Texas - about 20 minutes from the border. And there aren't any major cities nearby. But when I put in my location, I was impressed to see that it included local minor league sports teams, the nearby Dodge Arena, and even events in South Padre Island (about an hour away). Interesting to note, I put in a 60 mile limit, but it gave me some events that were 65 miles away. I don't know if this is a glitch, if the user selection criteria are misleading, or if there is "wiggle" room built in (so if it find sometimes with an extra few miles, it will include it).

    I don't know the databases it will search, so I can't speak for how complete it is. But as I said, it did seem to find some local things - including some local music shows. It would be nice if they had a "culture" option as well to find museum shows, art shows, that sort of thing.

    By "family", I can only assume it means family oriented activities (circus, fairs, etc). None came up in my area, so I am not sure. I think depending where you live, you might get TOO much information. I put in my grandmothers zip code in NYC, and it came back with a huge number of events within a 20 mile radius!

    When the events are shown, they are sorted chronologically. It would have been nice to include the option to sort by distance (and chronologically) but by date will suit most people. When you click on an event, you can email the information, get a map to the location, or get ticket information (via ticketmaster...not sure if Ticketmaster is the only database that is searched).

    If ticketmaster is the only database, then I will be annoyed. Basically this would amount to an advertisement for Ticketmaster then (an advertisement you have to pay for). I did search a few different events, and it always came up with ticket information at Ticketmaster.

    This seems like a handy app, but it all depends on the database query abilities. And without delving more into the code (or trying more than the dozen events that I tried) it is hard to get more information.

    Pros: Can find nearby events, good return rate in a search
    Cons: Potentially only looks at Ticketmaster, sorting options not robust

    All in all, for $1.99 this isn't a half bad application. If you live in an area with lots of events, it might be useful - although without a way to refine either the sorting options or the event categories, you might find yourself overwhelmed. Because of these questions about it, I am only giving it 3 out of 5 stars.


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