By John Painter on Tue, 08/17/2010
I should have seen this one coming, Freeport (free) is an app designed around good eating, shopping and fun in Freeport, Maine. This is a good first attempt by the Freeport Merchants Association at touting a variety of attractions in Freeport using a smartphone app.
From fine dining at the Harraseeket Inn, to digging a few clams down at Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park, to of course shopping at LL Bean and everything and everywhere else in between, this app can help you discover Freeport. Heck the app even has online coupons for you to redeem while you're out and about. The app opens right up to features of the area for shopping, food and recreation and as far as I could tell this past Sunday when my wife and son and I were in Freeport, it was accurate. I can only imagine this app being promoted for download once the new Freeport spur for the DownEaster train is built, I think there's a lot of potential for guiding tourists and even a few locals just trying to remember where a particular shop is. Not that you can't walk Freeport in an afternoon, but if you know where you want to go, this will help too.
What I didn't like so much about the app was the interface which seemed a little cramped - maybe too busy, and lack of general information about Freeport. I get that the app is meant to promote members of the merchants association, but it would be more powerful if it had more information about Freeport, I'm a firm believer that something good sells itself i.e. the quality life here is what really attracts. You can walk around Freeport in an afternoon, but end up staying for awhile because within a fifteen minute drive or bike excursion you can be shopping at some great outlets, or kayaking in the bay, or hiking Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park (like my son and I do) or catching an outdoor performance in the pavilion at L.L. Bean, and so on. There's a reason why we say it's the way life should be. The final thing I think is lacking is size, if they make an iPad version... now that would be WICKED!
While I think there is still room for this app to grow, wishing it had more information about Maine or at least the Freeport area, it is a very good start indeed. If you're visiting Maine get this app. I think the insertion of coupons is smart, and including maps leading to the merchants practical, so let me assure you readers out there, yeah Bow Street Market is that good - but you'll have to come to Freeport to judge for yourself.
Drop me a line if you're ever in Maine.