To help mark its status as the first UNESCO City of Literature during the International Book Festival, Edinburgh has put up an interactive Flash map of 53 of the city’s bookshops and released a free Edinburgh Bookshops Trail iPhone App—but on iPhone only.
The app “shows you all Edinburgh bookshops on a map, with shop descriptions, stock information, addresses, contact details, website links, the works. It even gives you the quickest way to get there! You can also filter by genre, and we have added a quick overview of literary events for the coming 7 days.”
Unfortunately, Android users will have to do without. That seems doubly surprising given that most commercial e-readers, as well as an increasing majority of tablets, run on Android, not to mention the omnipresence of Google Maps. And app designers are always reassuring us that Android app design is as cheap and fast as iOS these days. And because I’m all Android myself, I can’t test drive it.
Still, non-Apple users can see the Flash map. And, the city website insists, “with over 50 bookshops in Edinburgh, ranging from jaunty independents to singular second-hand and big name chains, there is every reason to go book hunting in Scotland’s literary city.”
Edinburgh definitely deserves its popularity, and is pulsating at festival time. And this won’t change in a year, so hopefully by next festival they’ll have an Android app too.