Smartphones sometimes get a bad reputation, but they can be very useful, especially for conventions. There are a lot of great apps out there for both Android and Apple phones that you can use, and we’ll even give you some links to help you out!
Official Comic-Con App
Your mobile convention guide, the Comic-Con app can help save you some spaces in your backpack. You can access maps, schedules, and more to use on the go. All of these things are also downloadable so you can use them anytime, even if the cell towers are acting a little wonky.
Google is a great option to have over some other maps because they keep themselves up to date, and they offer a variety of different transportation options and customizations. It’s easy to tap and change your route while you’re going there, and you can even download maps ahead of time to save yourself some data while you’re on the move.
Planning on taking the MTS around San Diego? You can actually skip buying a physical MTS card (and paying extra) and use an app now! Whether you choose to use the app or the card, you can use both on MTS Bus, Rapid and Trolley and NCTD BREEZE, SPRINTER and COASTER. One person can create an app and buy tickets for a group to use, too. Just make sure you have enough battery, as your tickets are stored on your phone (unless you transfer them to the cloud, but that isn’t automatic). For 2018, 2-day passes are $9, 3-day are $13, 4-day are $16, and a 5-day regional pass is just $20 (which is a great deal compared to the normal 1-day pricing!
Now, hear me out on this one. We all know that there are going to be a lot of people at SDCC, and that can overload cell towers, making texts unreliable. Not everyone has the same cell phone type or provider, and that can make getting texts sent and received in a timely manner very difficult, That’s where Messenger comes in. As long as you have internet access, you can use it, whether that’s data or WiFi. This is incredibly useful when you’re trying to find friends downtown. And if you don’t like the original, there’s even a lite version that severely streamlines it! Both versions allow for individual messages and group messages (and you can name them things like “SDCC” to make it easier to find them)
A lot of you may already use Discord for a variety of things, especially if you happen to be a computer gamer. Discord is a great way to keep in touch with friends both at the convention, as well as back home. You can create custom servers and invite people to them, and customize them even further by adding custom channels. You can easily tag your friends, or everyone at once, in a post so that you can grab people’s attention. You can even send DMs to people if you only want to speak to a single person.
Apps like Twitter (Android iPhone) and Facebook (Android iPhone) are great to have, not only for the connection to your friends and family, but also for meeting up with other fans, and even find events around town. Fan groups will plan out meetups and special cosplay photo events that you can go attend, even if you aren’t in costume. You can also keep yourself informed of various studios, artists, and fans who post spontaneous giveaways around the Gaslamp.
Odds are, you have the internet at home through a service provider that you contract directly through, rather than one bundled into your rent. Companies like Spectrum (Android iPhone), AT&T (Android iPhone), and Cox (Android iPhone) all have wifi hotspots around town for subscribers to their corresponding services. All you’ll need is their “Wifi Finder” app and your login. You can also look into where any temporary hotspots or crossovers may be throughout the Gaslamp, too. A lot of providers will temporarily share access to make internet access easier while you’re out and about.
Ratings and Reviews
Apps like Tripadvisor (Android iPhone) and Yelp (Android iPhone) can help you to find great places to go for food and other activities. Chances are, if this is your first SDCC, this is your first time in the city. There are a lot of great places to eat, drink, and just enjoy yourself, so having an app like this will help you find the type of food you want and give you an idea of the price ranges. Please be advised, though, many places in the Gaslamp will have a special “SDCC Menu” that will not be posted. Pricing may be different from what you see online as many locations will likely have a smaller menu comprised of the most popular items.
Eventbrite is a ticketing app that can be very useful at the conventions. Lots of off-site and nighttime events will use the mobile ticketing system in Eventbrite, and it also means you never have to physically print off any tickets, you just need to present your phone. A lot of these events go quickly after being announced (usually via another form of social media, like Facebook or Twitter) so already having it downloaded can mean the difference between getting a ticket, or spending the night in your hotel room.