The Spokane Valley City Council was taken on a virtual tour of the city via a real-life demonstration of the new official city app for Android smartphone users.
Sorry, iPhone fans, you’ll have to wait a couple of more weeks.
The city launched the new application this week that targets both potential visitors and local residents on showcasing attractions like parks, restaurants and shopping. Simplicity, according to John Whitehead, city human resources manager, is the name of the game.
“We wanted it to be easy to use,” Whitehead said as he showed council members Tuesday on how a couple of swipes on the smartphone’s touchscreen can breakdown where to find, say, Terrace View Park and whether or not the pool will be open when you get there. “We wanted something that would promote tourism, but also something our citizens would use.”
The free app – available through Android’s Play Store and soon through iTunes’ app store – has an interface that can direct users from everything from hotels to ATMs via Google Maps and Google Places, which can give details of businesses at no cost to themselves.
Whitehead said the app will constantly evolve in an effort to catch the eye of curious would-be tourists.
“We have already found four or five things we want to improve upon,” he said.
The city developed the app on its own as part of council-funded and directed efforts to improve Spokane Valley marketing efforts for economic development.
“How much maintenance is involved?” asked Council Member Dean Grafos.
Whitehead said there will be some staff time taken up, but it would be “very doable” for the city to stay on top of it.
Efforts will be made to work with the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce to make businesses aware of the app.