06/30/2010 5:30-7:30pm

Downtown App Launch Party at Acenar

Join us for the Official Launch Party of the new Downtown App for Smartphones! Enjoy complimentary "app"etizers and refreshments and be one of the first to check out the coolest new resource for downtown San Antonio. Update 6/28: Event has reached capacity. Thank you for your interest, but RSVPs are no longer being accepted.

What: Official Launch Party of the Downtown SA "App" for Smartphones
When: Wednesday June 30, 2010
Where: Acenar (146 E. Houston Street)

Parking near Acenar:
  • Central Parking: Corner of Soledad and Travis
  • Rand Building on Soledad (W side of Houston)
  • Houston Street Garage (College and Navarro)
  • St. Mary’s Garage (Travis and St. Mary’s)

Now the 7th largest city in the U.S. can fit into the palm of your hand with Downtown Alliance San Antonio’s new free mobile app for smartphones. Based on the non-profit’s website, www.downtownsanantonio.org, the app features a downtown business directory with maps, GPS enabled directions, events, mobile coupons and more.

Downtown Alliance, an organization dedicated to making downtown a better place to live, work, shop, eat and be entertained, partnered with local leading mobile technology firm BiBiSi to offer the application for free.

Downtown Alliance President, Ben Brewer, commented, “We are always looking for additional ways to improve the downtown experience, and getting to and around downtown are frequent questions for tourists and locals alike.” With Mayor Castro declaring the next ten years the “Decade of Downtown,” Brewer and his staff saw an opportunity to better prepare downtown for the next ten years through mobile technology.

According to Nielsen Wire, “Smartphones are expected to overtake feature phones in the U.S. by 2011, and the popularity of mobile apps will only grow.” Currently, there is a 99% penetration rate for phones with SMS, or texting, capabilities and 40% penetration for smart phones. The mobile app developed by BiBiSi offers an SMS component that can provide assistance even if the user can’t access the internet through their phone. To access the app, users can text the word “downtown” to 45384. They will immediately receive a text message back with a link to the app, formatted to fit their cell phone model. Soon, users will also be able to type in the Downtown Alliance url (www.downtownsa.org) into their mobile browser to access the app.

BiBiSi Mobile President Enrique Garza explained "The unique thing about this project is that we didn't just make it work as an application for one carrier, we configured it to work with the majority of smartphones across all the major carriers, which we feel is the future of mobile applications."

The app will continue to grow and evolve to fit the needs of downtown. For example, future plans for the app include self-guided historical tours, real-time parking spot counts and last minute specials. Brewer concluded, “It is our goal that this becomes the go-to resource for everyone in downtown San Antonio, whether they live off of South Flores, in Stone Oak, San Francisco, or Sao Paulo.”

Read the full press release