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Friday, October 4, 2013

What are the Best Wine, Beer, & Distillery Mobile Applications?

theCompass theCompass iPhone
While designing theCompass Alcohol Locator, we downloaded several other similar Android mobile apps to research the strengths and deficiencies of the current market. These mobile apps can be divided into two categories; (1) those that function as cellar inventories and tasting notes repositories and (2) those that are a compendium of wineries, breweries, or attempt to locate wine or beer in a specific area or establishment.

Some applications attempt to provide functionality within both categories, but often fail to provide adequate service in both. For instance, I utilize Untapped, an application that does well in letting users review beers but suffers in locating craft beers in your area. This is a result of utilizing crowd sourcing, where their data is populated by users and not the establishments. The crowd sourcing option is easy to implement on the application side, but for the user the result is incomplete or outdated information. On the other hand, establishment applications, such as Lost Dog Cafe or World of Beer provide real time tapped information.

Many of the best locator applications are specific to a region or establishment - such as the two listed above. Many states, regions, and enterprising companies have created applications designed for a specific geographic area that provide comprehensive information on their wineries or breweries. Two examples are Virginia Wine In My Pocket and Finger Lakes Wine Country. For me, the deficiencies in these applications are the result of their greatest strength -> they focus on one region, so if you plan on traveling to multiple regions, you must install multiple applications on your device. The one comprehensive wine application that we found was the America's Wine Trail app that provides excellent information by state, but not by geo-location. Thus if you are visiting Washington D.C., the application will provide information separately for Maryland and Virginia but not a combined view.  Our video on traveling to Bristol Virginia\Tennessee for the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion illustrates this concept.

And finally, these applications are segregated by industry - there are wine apps and there are beer apps. But do any combine wineries, breweries, cideries, and distilleries into a single app? Hence, theCompass. As we keep developing and improving theCompass we hope that it alleviates the deficiencies found in the mobile application wine and beer locator market. Cheers

Here's a few to checkout:

Beer

Wine

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