Upgrading your old custom app

By How To No Comments

Did you have an app custom developed a few years ago that hasn’t seen an update for a while? Chances are it’s seen better days. Learn how you can utilise My Tours to make it super simple and affordable to keep your app in top shape.

Unfortunately, apps take a long time to develop, and can go out of date from a single software announcement. These updates offer great new features, but making sure your app isn’t slow, buggy, or downright impossible to use will cost you thousands.

There’s also updating the content in your app. Information changes, images and audio go out of date, organisations are rebranded. Often, even these updates require paying a developer to do it for you — as if getting all the content created and together isn’t hard or expensive enough!

At My Tours, we know there’s a better way. Our platform works on both Apple and Android, and is continuously being fine tuned and tweaked to make the most of the latest updates and technology: so your customers get the best and easiest experience, letting your content speak for itself.

And, on the topic of content: you can update it in real-time, by yourself. Just pop onto our website and do anything from changing a word to making a new tour. When you hit publish it’s live in your app, even for those who have already downloaded it. You get full control, like custom branding — so it’s still your app.

Switching to My Tours

So: how easy is it to switch to My Tours from your existing app? Answer: not hard at all. Just head over to our app builder and get to work transferring your content. You’ll need a few extra graphics, and maybe a few minor content tweaks, but we promise it’ll be over in a jiffy. And, once you’re done we can send you a demo to peruse, or put it live on the App Store for you. And what about the users of your old app? We can replace it on the stores, meaning devices that had the old app downloaded will download your shiny new one.

Other features

  • Great maps that work offline
  • A handful of beautiful map styles
  • Custom maps for indoor or outdoor use
  • Geofences: give your users notifications based on where they are
  • Audio content
  • Video content
  • Custom colours
  • Up to 50 tours in one app
  • Multilingual support (14 languages, and counting!)


Content, branding, audio, images, maps — it can all be a bit of a nightmare, especially when you’re on tight deadlines, or don’t have the skills in-house. We know this isn’t the funnest situation — so we’re happy to help. Everything from great customer service to content creation or curation, designing or translation, we can do it. And if we can’t, we have partners around the world who can.

Header Image: Army dental mechanic completes a set of dentures. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-012970-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23135801

Upcoming Conferences – October 2015

By Conferences No Comments

It’s that time of year again. NDF is on October 13th and 14th in Wellington and Museums and the Web Asia is on October 5th-8th in Melbourne, Australia. The two conferences are among my favourite and this year I’m a bit biased – I am on the programme committee for MWA2015 and I have joined the board of NDF 😉

National Digital Forum (NDF)

NDF is New Zealand’s main conference for technology and museums. The conference has a really good reputation drawing attendees and speakers from New Zealand, Australia, and around the world.

We’re involved in a couple ways this year; presenting a lightning talk titled Open Data is Table Stakes and helping run a hardware hacking workshop where I will be showing off the DIY Book Scanner. The scanner will also appear during the demo table sessions during the lunchtime of day 1 or day 2 of the conference.

Museums and the Web Asia (MWA2015)

MWA2015 is the offshoot of the MW conferences run out of the US. I’ve attended the US conferences on a number of occasions and it is always good to get a over to the states to get a feel for the state of play in #muestech. This year I was luckily enough to be on the programme committee to review talk proposals and I’m really looking forward to anything on digitisation, collaboration and the museum as a platform. My mind has been buzzing recently with ideas about how we can make small museums be more awesome!

If you are off to either conference and want to catch up on anything mobile, collections, open data, or general museum tech I would love to chat. Just get in touch via email or Twitter.

See you in a few weeks.

Header Image: Wellington, 1858, by John Bunney. Purchased 1944. Te Papa (1944-0001-2)

Your Tours: CityExplorer San Francisco & crowdfunding

By Case Studies No Comments

Earlier this year we put CityExplorer San Francisco live for Gloria Lenhart. One of the first apps to use the new platform, Gloria also funded her app using Kickstarter. We had the opportunity to catch up with Gloria in San Francisco and take a walk around the Mission Murals walk. We also chatted with her about the experience of making her app.

What made you decide to make a tour app?

As a tour guide in San Francisco, I know a lot about the history of our neighborhoods and what’s happening in them right now. I have fun sharing stories and tips with the travelers and locals on my tours. But with the City Explorer San Francisco app, I can make the tours available to more people. Plus, the app lets people take a private tour when they want to rather than having to meet up with a group.

Why San Francisco?

San Francisco offers so many interesting places to explore. We have historic buildings mixed in with innovative modern architecture. San Francisco is one of the leading cities for street art in the world and we also have a large collection of public art. There’s a lot of history, from the Gold Rush days on the Barbary Coast to the Summer of Love in Haight Asbury to the tech revolution that happening right now. We also have some of the most recognized landmarks in the world. I can provide an insiders view since all of this is right in my backyard.

It was pretty brave to use a Kickstarter campaign to fund your app — when did you realise this was the best way to go?

I used Kickstarter to raise money but also to raise awareness of the project. I was surprised and pleased at the amount of support it got. I exceeded my goal amount, which was great because a portion of the proceeds from the app go to a local non-profit, 826 Valencia, which provides tutoring and writing programs for kids in under-resourced schools throughout city.

What made you choose My Tours?

I was so lucky to find My Tours. I could not have produced the app without them. I’m a tour guide not a tech person, and My Tours gave me an easy, affordable way to leverage their technical expertise to present my information on a variety of platfroms. It’s an affordable way to have a professionally-produced app without the worry of large cost overruns.

How did you find setting up your app — audio, writing, photos etc. Any tips?

It is extremely easy and intuitive to load my information into the My Tours templates and have the app look professional. One tip I have is to not finalize the text until after you record the audio – I always make changes after I’ve heard it.

One big advantage to using My Tours is that you won’t have to worry about getting your app accepted by iTunes or Google Play. I’ve heard other developers complain about delays going back and forth on specs and requirements, but with My Tours the City Explorer San Francisco app was accepted immediately and went up quickly and effortlessly.

What was your favourite part of the process — getting to go on your own tours perhaps?

My favorite part is the look on people’s faces when I tell them that I launched an app! However, if enough tours are downloaded so that I can write a substantial check to support 826 Valencia’s programs for kids, then that will be my favorite part.

What’s next for City Explorer?

There are seven tours on the app now, and I plan to have a dozen tours in all by the end of this year. After that I may develop a few limited-time or seasonal experiences – like Spring in Golden Gate Park. I’d also like to experiment with longer hikes. My Tours is a great platform that supports many different kinds of tours so there are no limits.

Heading to SF soon, or keen to have a play on Gloria’s app? Download it here.

Any further questions for Gloria, or keen for your app to be showcased next? Email us here.