The Grateful Dead App

As innovative as the iPhone is/was, it’s the world of Apps that really make it special. It’s taken computing power back to being practical, and for the first time in a long time, not about the internet. As people launch more and more apps, it’s no surprise to find many bands launching their own iPhone apps.

So why are so many of them so shit?

Trawling around, we’re finding dozens of them. But the great thing about the App world is functionality, and many of these band’s apps are glorified webpages.

Calendars, News, About pages…what’s the point. When you have the internet on your phone? The worse are band apps that have Galleries. Galleries! This isn’t a mid 90s CD-Rom. Did you forget the screensaver?

Which is actually the point of this article. Too many of these apps feel like mid 90s CD-Rom programs. A bit of music, maybe a game, some photos, the lyrics… which may well be fine. But this is an app, something you keep on your phone. Not a CD-Rom that is there when you feel like listening to that record.

And why do we need band applications at all? Want to listen to music? There are lots of ways of doing that on the phone. Spotify‘s subscription will cost you less than buying all those band apps. And then there’s growth. We love a lot of music. But are we going to have to get every one of those band’s apps on our phones? If they start offering exclusives of some sort, we might have to. Or more likely, we’ll give up being a super fan because it’s too hard. We will be excluded.

So, we’re yet to be convinced by any band’s app. We’re struggling to see the point. And unless someone has a great idea, we will see it die alongside the mid 90s CD-Rom.

For the record – the band apps I’m looking at for this article are Wilco, REM, Belle And Sebastian, Pearl Jam, Grateful Dead, Pink, 311, Alice In Chains, Death Cab For Cutie, and more. If there is a good one we may have missed.

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