Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review of the AAR-SBL Mobile App


I always hated trying to navigate the SBL paper catalog and when it's an AAR-SBL catalog, it's even worse. When you get to the annual meeting, you do get a condensed version, and that is more helpful, but this year marked the first time that a mobile app (iOS and Android) was available for the meeting. It was quite handy. It could be updated with latest changes. You could look through the meeting lists and add ones to "My Schedule" which made it easy to see when and where to go and see time conflicts. It included maps and lists of exhibitors. For both meetings and the exhibit hall, there was a great little locator link showing you where to go. If a meeting had any extra information attached to it (info on speakers or abstracts of presentations), that was available too. You could even attach notes to meetings within the app. There was even an included Twitter feed (#sblaar). All great stuff! Downsides? It was a bit slow and sometimes would freeze on my Droid X. The calendaring part would always start at Thursday rather than the day/time where you last were looking. I also couldn't find any way to export My Schedule (e.g., to Outlook or Google Calendar) or to add an appointment that wasn't a meeting to My Schedule. Still, a very handy app, and I strongly encourage AAR-SBL to offer it again next year.

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