Earlier this month, and I suppose the year, there was a huuuuge craze sweeping through Twitter. Google’s Arts & Culture App was comparing selfies to art- who was your classical doppelganger!? There was a huge rush to the app, it jumped from relative app obscurity up to number 1 download for both Android and Apple products. Smashing the likes of Instagram and Facebook.
The feature is only available in the US at the moment at least. Then it’s also available on just the Android version rather then the ones on iOS. I love how iOS users seem to forget how so many apps appear there first, along with features and the like, and the butt hurt in their reviews. Android is part of the Google domain, why would they favour iOS when it comes to their swishy new features?
Anyway, it turns out that the it’s locked to the US, and even then there are blocks (for example Texas). There are a couple of ways of getting round it. For example spoofing your way to an American IP with a VPN to fool the app and let you take the function for a spin. Again another chuckle during my research, a few American sites have said that we can’t have it in Europe as we’re a lot more reserved with our facial recognition regulations. Believe me, in a country were Snapchat is a means of communication, we’re fine with it.
As the feature isn’t there the app has faced some rather childish criticism over the geolocking of the feature. With a mound of one star reviews and people pointing it out and saying “Deleted already!”.
Come for the selfies stay for the natural science, art & culture
It is a pity so many people didn’t actually stick around for what the app was for. Showcasing the art and culture and science that world leading museums had to offer. A lot of these museums aren’t accessible to the everyone, or areas of them as well. From bed I was able to explore halls of museum in New York, London and Munich.
Something that makes bus rides so much more bearable is the little articles that pop up. They’re about things I would never have thought about. Right now, on the app there is:
- Food art history
- Naadam Festival in Mongolia
- Zooming in Domenico Beccafumi’s Venus and Cupid with Vulcan
- A spotlight on Carmen Miranda
- The weekly theme is Malta
- The Great Animal Orchestra in 360
- Photography of African royalty
- Jade artifacts from the Shu civilisation
- And the list really goes on
It makes use of Google’s other app. For example Google Cardboard works perfectly with the immserve YouTube videos. The same technology and principles that make Google Earth so awe inspiring have been used to recreate the greatest furthest museums on your phone.
I hate to loose hours staring at my phone. I know Belov’d dislikes it even more. Through the portal of just one app I’ve learnt and read about so many other cultures. Seen so many museums. Rewalked the paths in the Natural History Museum in London from my bed in Cork. Saw a man dedicated to his job of preserving specimens get excited about handling one of Charles Darwin’s actual specimens. The one he study as part of his theory of evolution.
What I’m trying to say is-
Just because you can’t find your Rembrandt look alike (just yet) don’t delete the app
PS oh my days guys they have a Shakespeare theme on right now 😍😍😍