By Koray Hussein
Just a quick update today as we’ve been contacted by the good folk over at the Ma Vil– Umm, Culture Key app. They’ve rebranded now and done away with the swanky French name and gone with the infinitely easier to remember name: Culture Key.
That’s not all they’ve changed though. They’ve simplified their already beautifully simple interface and made a few fresh tweaks. The distance from the event in the bottom right hand corner for instance is now a touch larger and they’ve done away with the weather graphic in the top right hand corner altogether, which is the only real negative I can see in this update… But I am one of those people who checks the weather constantly and, I guess that’s what apps like Yahoo! Weather are for anyway.
The filters menu has also moved from the left hand corner over to where the weather used to be and is now much more easier to navigate. Before, every time you changed the date or category you were searching it would automatically regenerate the listings and would require you to go back into the filters menu to make any other change. Now however, it’s just a matter of tapping on what you would like to search and then clicking Done. No more going in and out of menus.
Other than that I haven’t really noticed any other changes to what was already a pretty fine app… It’s just a pity that there’s no Android version out there yet. But I have been assured by Thomas over at Culture Key that they are trying their best to rectify that.
If you’re interested in trying out Culture Key (and why wouldn’t you be?!) then you can download the app by clicking here.
Originally Posted 24/02/15
By Koray Hussein
I’ve always found it slightly odd how cumbersome it is finding new and exciting places in this city, especially when on the go. Finding good food has gradually gotten easier over the past few years with apps like Zomato, Yelp and Zabihah (for the halal options) coming out but unfortunately it’s taken some time for other areas like exhibitions, the theatre or just general London exploration to catch up.
Fortunately though, there’s now a brilliant little app for the iPhone (an Android and Windows Phone version is surprisingly non-existent) called Ma Ville, London’s Culture App. I’m not exactly sure why they went with a French name for an app based on London (maybe it was to sound more cultured?) but it’s not really important. What is important though is how the app goes about it’s business… Thankfully it’s pretty damn easy to use and takes mere moments to master Ma Ville.
Your first suggestion is front and centre as the app loads, with all the relevant information lining the edges.
In the bottom left corner you’ll find the name of the suggestion, underlined with what the suggestion actually is (Ma Ville also offers up walks and festival ideas) and where you can find it. In the bottom right is the self explanatory distance you are from the featured event/exhibition and in the top right is the weather. All rather easy to understand.
In the top left however you’ll find a pull out menu. Tap here and you’ll be able refine exactly what it is you’re looking for. Not in the mood for any festival suggestions and would rather find a decent walk? Tap on City strolls & Parks. Couldn’t give a toss about London’s music scene but would like to know what’s happening in the nearby theatres? You guessed it, tap on Theatre. It’s all very nice and neat and, as I mentioned before, super simple to get to grips with.
Let’s say you’ve finally found something you’re actually interested in, like the War Artists At Sea exhibition on at The Queen’s House. All you have to do is tap the centre of the image and you’re greeted with this:
Tap Description if you want to find out a little more about the event, with pricing, opening times and the starting/closing dates at the bottom. There’s also the (again) self explanatory sections Photos, Location and Share Event too; all of which act exactly how you would expect.
The Add To Favourites is quite possibly one of my favourite things about the app. You may have noticed in the menu pullout image at the top that there is a Favourites tab. This allows you to go through all of the events, exhibitions and walks that the Ma Ville team have put together and select all the ones that sound like they could be interesting. If you’re a little knackered at the time of searching but would really like to check out the Camden to Little Venice Canal Stroll, then tap on Add To Favourites and it’ll be right there the next time you visit the app.
If all this gushing sounds more like an advertisement than an actual review then that’s probably down to how much I enjoy using this app. It’s the perfect companion for a Londoner who doesn’t want to stay at home on a Sunday, not to mention the app itself is undeniably elegant.
The only gripe I have with the folks over at Ma Ville is the fact that it’s not on Android or Windows Phone. It’d be nice to be able to recommend this app to everybody but as it stands it’s an iPhone only app. Still, Ma Ville does exactly what it says on the tin and does it without confusing the user.
Bravo Ma Ville, bravo.