Tombstone Councilman Armando Villa created a free mobile app for the town’s monthly Tombstone at Twilight event.
On the fourth Saturday of every month, shops and restaurants stay open late for visitors, as the Blood at Dusk Gunfighters perform free gunfights in the street. To bring more attention to the year-old event, Villa, who helped found Tombstone at Twilight, created an app that highlights the schedule of events, photos and videos and a directory of sights. A service tab includes the location, contact information and links to social media for restaurants and Tombstone bars and saloons.
An additional tab allows users to answer the question, “How can we improve Tombstone at Twilight?” Villa said he hopes to get feedback from users to improve both Tombstone at Twilight and the app.
Social media is included in the app in the form of Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Links to social media profiles allow users to find more in-depth information about Tombstone events and interact with local businesses.
The app is only available for Androids, but Villa said he plans to make it adaptable for Windows, iPhones and tablets.
Archivist Nancy Sosa helped develop the map feature on the app.
“You can do everything on your phones now. By having an interactive map before you get to the town and once you’re here it allows people to get off the beaten path,” she said.
She added, “Most people come here and only go down Allen Street.”
As of late March, the app has been downloaded 30 times.
The target audience for the app is tourists. Villa said he thinks that most people who visit and live in Tombstone have smart phones.
Villa, who has a background in computers, launched the app on the Appcatch.com marketplace.
The actual app was mostly written on Appcatch, so Villa just had to adapt it so that it was specific to Tombstone. A considerable amount of effort was put into taking photos, videos and gathering content, he said.
As the founder of Tombstone at Twilight, he decided to refocus the purpose of the app as a supplement to the monthly event.
“We needed more presence online so what better way than with a smart phone app?” he said.
Tombstone at Twilight usually has hundreds of visitors according to Villa.
The app can be downloaded by scanning a QR code using a smartphone. Villa said he plans to put the QR code up around town so that people can automatically download it. The code will also appear in Wild West Magazine.