I love to read, write and talk about anything Hollywood Studios. When you have a passion for something, it's natural to try to get every bit of information you can find on the subject because you care about it and with Hollywood Studios, that's very true for me. The other day I was browsing the iPhone App Store and found an application dedicated just to Hollywood Studios, and my ears perked up and I quickly downloaded the app before you could say, "Hollywood Boulevard". After playing with it for a few days, I wanted to share my thoughts.
PixieStudios, by etckt, is an iPhone app that allows users to have access to the following categories of information relevant to the Studios:
Sounds good, right? So did I until I actually went to try any of those categories out. Basically, each category is just a different map, so if you click Dining, you see a Google Maps satellite image of the Studios with pins where each restaurant is. If you click Attractions, you see the same satellite image, but with pins where the attractions are. When you click any of the pins, it simply displays the name of the location. That's it.
This lead to me a very quick conclusion. Why would anyone use this over the park map? Since the app costs 99 cents, there is an investment to be made for the app and considering the park map Disney provides is free, I really tried to find a reason to use this app over the park map. Sure, it lists character meet locations or restrooms, but for the restrooms, it only lists the locations that are on maps and omits restrooms that exist but aren't on the map (such as the one at the Brown Derby restaurant). And since the app provides no additional information such as menus, photos, descriptions or reviews, it's very rudimentary in function. Considering the lack of functionality beyond listing where something is located, I can't help bot wonder why you would use this app over a park map. I mean, you'd have to be a real huge iPhone fan to the point that you try to do everything on your iPhone for the sake of doing it on your iPhone.
There are some positives to take from this app. Even on my iPhone 3G, the app is fast and does provide some things the park maps do not such as photo spots and character meet locations. That's about it though. I think the map, a satellite view of the Studios isn't very helpful, especially for those who aren't familiar with the park and the orientation of the map (the bottom of the map is where the Cars meet-n-greet is near Muppetvision) is awkward. It's clear that maps that are illustrated are far easier to read and understand.
Given that the app costs money, even 99 cents, I really can't think of a compelling reason to download PixieStudios. I sincerely hope the maker of the app is going to vastly improve this app, I fear it's just an app for the sake of having an app and to make a few bucks off unsuspecting people browsing the App Store. So for now, skip the app and stick with the park map that Disney offers in that archaic format of paper.