I was asked to take a look at the Bubele App which was recently released for free on both the iPhone and iPad for those living in and around London and the M25. The idea of the App is simple; it is there to help you to find activities, and plan visits into the capital with kids aged 0-7.
What is the Bubele App?
London is a very big, confusing place. Whether you live there, or are going to visit, it can be rather daunting finding events and places your kids are going to enjoy. What is even worse though, is not being able to find an open space to let your kids run about in after they have been co-oped up in the tube for 30 minutes…..
Bubele is designed to help with both of these situations; the App provides information on a number of different types of kid-friendly locations near it’s user through its location specific technology. You need to filter by what you are looking for, and the App selects those relevant sites nearby. For example, if you are looking for a playground, you use the Play filter. Other options are:
- Shop, and
You can also select, via quick buttons, events, and activities that are on today, tomorrow or later to make planning straight forward.
The results you are given are shown on a map, so you can decide which ones are within distance and click on their icons to get more information, including price details if this is relevant. The App has over 12,000 activities listed currently (March 2015), but is updated regularly. All events and activities are independently audited as well.
What do we think of Bubele?
Well, after I got over the initial disappointment that Bubele wasn’t offering up the opportunity to meet with Michael Buble…
….we decided it was rather helpful! ;-)
Though we don’t live in London, we are regular visitors there as you can tell from our posts around London activities and events, but we are a wee bit rubbish at:
a) planning ahead; we never quite seem to have enough time, and generally start looking at stuff on the train in the way in
b) knowing what on earth the kids are going to like that doesn’t break the bank, and
c) remembering where everything blooming well is.
The premise for the App is that it helps with all of these things. As its an app, it is designed with “lastminute” parents in mind.
The ability to save your well loved locations within a favourites section also means you won’t forget the gems you have found on your travels. You can also share activities, etc with friends through Facebook, email or Bubele itself. The app can even send information on the activity through to your parent pals, including its lcoation. Though this does worry me a little, as there won’t be any reason for me to get lost now will there….? *panics*
After you have registered your details with the app, the Bubele interface for searching for relevant activities is *uber* simple.
Even a child could do it – you could easily let you daughter pick their own activities – but be careful, she might book you and your mum into Zumba accidentally *just kidding* The app is clever enough to customise the answers based on weather, location and the age of your kids – so you won’t be given the option of a baby massage class if your child is 6. Information on the events is concise and relevant too:
The only downside is that I can’t find the ability to search by specific location or postcode. We appreciate that this app is much more of an “on the go” tool, but the planning aspects do suggest that you are meant to be able to work in advance. This means that you might not be in the required location when you are using it for the first time. A search option would therefore be useful, perhaps in a sub-menu, so it doesn’t effect the simplicity of the interface.
The Bubele app homescreen presents your results using engaging photos, which can be scrolled through using the swipe action. It would be worth getting a few stock photos for the shops filter though – I was getting a little bored of looking at the same shot.
Overall – 8/10
This is a great tool for parents in London; helping them connect with their friends to entertain the kids. Importantly, it has a lot of coverage of outdoor spaces in London, which is something that many other apps lack. We all need a good playground once in a while….
In time, we hope that they will introduce a search function to make it easier to use the app as a planning tool for those that are going into London rather than those that already live there. In order to get a full list of activities, we had to turn off the location services to enable us to see anything at all on the app. However, this is a relatively small issue given that the priority use is likely to be for those already within the M25.
Download it now so you can get planning!