Review: Metrobrite


As the huge South by Southwest conference approaches on the horizon (I'm flying out for the eighth time on March 6th), the growing influence of the 'off-schedule' unofficial parties and meetings cannot be avoided. Countless invitations and tickets to organise, and many of them using the web 2.0 ticketing service Eventbrite. Which is where Metrobrite comes in.

Author: Prototype Interactive

Version Reviewed:

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The first thing to stress about this client is that it doesn't appear to be an official client for the Eventbrite service, it simply uses the documented API that Eventbrite provides so you can keep an eye on events you have bought tickets to (or signed up to for free), along with creating and managing your own events.

The opening panorama view starts with events that you have created. I would have preferred the second screen (my orders) to be in the pole position, as I feel that more people will be 'consuming' events with this app rather than 'creating' events. Perhaps this could be something that you could toggle in the settings part of the app (at the moment this is restricted to asking for permission to use your current location, or to switch between metric and imperial units).

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Your orders are listed on the next pane. Tapping on one will take you to a detailed view talking about the event, ticketing options, and a screen where you can purchase a ticket (or register your attendance if it is a free event).

This is when it's time to do some serious interaction with the Eventbrite server, and Metrobrite is going to hand over the work. Sorting out ticketing is not something provided by the API, instead we will be dealing instead with the mobile web version of Eventbrite. Metrobrite will open up the correct page in a web browsing window internal to the application. You won't be dealing with a new tab in your browser, but there is a little bit of a mental jump to make as you leave behind the elements of a Windows Phone application and move into Eventbrite's clean layout on their website.

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In a way this is reassuring. The actual booking process, logging on with your password, and potentially paying for your tickets, is with Eventbrite, rather than Metrobrite. Any changes to the ordering system, new captcha boxes, or extra security questions required by your bank or payment service, will all be part of the browser section, and not the code running on your smartphone.

I also don't think that the majority of my time using Metrobrite will be in the ordering of tickets or setting up an event. It's going to be partly in the discovery process, but mostly in the checking up on events, locations, and getting myself in the doors when I actually get to an event.

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In that respect, Metrobrite does everything it needs to do, and does it very well. From being able to narrow down a search to a location, a date range, and text search fields; to a list of events you have tickets for in date order; right down to the barcode version of your ticket for an event organiser to scan and verify, Metrobrite is a well thought out portable solution to working with your Eventbrite account.

For the casual user, bookmarking a mobile web page is probably sufficient, but for heavy users throughout the year - or if you end up in an Eventbrite-rich area such as SXSW - it will prove invaluable.

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