Royal Opera House gets rid of iOS app after developing responsive website

The Royal Opera House (ROH) has revealed that it has “terminated” its iPhone and iPad apps after running a new a mobile-ready website over the last six months.

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The Royal Opera House (ROH) has revealed that it has “terminated” its iPhone and iPad apps after running a new a mobile-ready website over the last six months. 

In a blog, the ROH’s head of digital development said that using agile, responsive design principles to create its new website had allowed the organisation to overcome issues experienced with its iOS apps, which it has made available to customers since 2011.

“Once we had a responsive website, we questioned the need for having the app at all - it added no value for the user but increased the possibility of error, as information had to be input manually,” wrote Jamie Tetlow, ROH’s head of digital development.

“It’s with this in mind that we have chosen to close our iOS app from the beginning of the 2014/15 season. From 2 June 2014 the app will be ‘terminated’ and any installed versions will become non-functional.”

Tetlow said that although the iOS app opened up additional channels for selling tickets, via iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch, the native application had “drawbacks”.

“We used an off-the-shelf service to power the app and it has been impossible to deliver exactly the same functionality as on the website. One key issue is that you cannot select your own seat on the app - a feature that we know our customers value,” he said.

The ROH launched a mobile-ready website in December. It said that it had created a responsive website to improve the experience customers have of the site across any device, from laptops to smartphones and tablets.

“The team working on the website make small incremental changes and additions to functionality on a weekly basis and it’s this kind of continuous development that has led to recent features like ticket search, people pages and flexible advance packages,” Tetlow said.

Customer data contained in the iOS app, such as event history and personal details, will now be available from the account section of the website.

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