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Notification of our iOS app closure

With the recent introduction of our mobile-ready website we're closing our iPhone and iPad app.

By Jamie Tetlow (Former Head of Digital Development)

2 June 2014 at 8.57pm | 8 Comments

The number of people accessing our website has increased significantly in the last couple of years, and continues to rise. We launched a mobile-ready website in December of last year to improve the experience for those using smart phones.

We're always striving to improve the quality of experience for customers across the services we offer online, and creating a responsive website is one part of this. 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.

Since 2011 we have offered an iOS application for use on iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch. Despite opening up other channels to ticket sales this native application has had its 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.

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. 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. The app will display an error as soon as the services are unavailable. Your devices will be unaffected and you should feel free to remove the application at your will. Your event history and personal details are all available from the account section of the website.

If you haven't tried booking via the Royal Opera House website for a while you should be pleasantly surprised: we have lots of new content and features, and buying tickets is easier than ever. If you're using a smartphone or tablet, why don't you add us to your homescreen for instant access?

If you have any feedback on how the website is working do let us know using the comments section below.

By Jamie Tetlow (Former Head of Digital Development)

2 June 2014 at 8.57pm

This article has been categorised Off stage and tagged app, website

This article has 8 comments

  1. Jacky responded on 2 June 2014 at 10:38pm Reply

    "If you're using a smartphone or tablet, why don't you add us to your homescreen for instant access?"
    Please could you explain how to add you to my iphone's homescreen? I had your app.

  2. Andrew Champion responded on 3 June 2014 at 12:16am Reply

    It is very sad that you are unable to achieve a workable App like many other companies. It is far easier using an App and quicker than using the website - the website is fine on a computer. I regularly used the App to track upcoming events and productions - buying tickets was something I always did on the computer. Interesting to see if others, like me, see this as a retrograde step.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 3 June 2014 at 10:07am

      Hi Andrew,

      The website has now been optimized for smaller screen sizes than desktop and will load quicker. As detailed in Jamie's article above, the new responsive website will also allow a great many more features to be used than the app ever could.

      Do try it - we're sure you'll be pleasantly surprised.


      ROH Content Producer

    • Jamie Tetlow (Former Head of Digital Development) responded on 3 June 2014 at 3:09pm

      Hi Andrew,

      I understand that as a user of the app you will find this a retrograde step and I agree that the app provided a very focused view of what's on but making those listings available came with an administrative overhead and one that was increasingly mis-aligned with the main developments on our website. The same information is available on the website in our upcoming productions list and we're currently looking at additional ways to display these event listings to make the booking process easier. I hope you'll try the website from your phone and please do let us know how you get on.



  3. Alice Poulsen responded on 3 June 2014 at 10:02pm Reply

    Whilst I applaud the development of the website and am enjoying the flexible feel etc., I am still somewhat disappointed with the website fit to the smaller screen of a smartphone (iphone in my instance).

    It is nice to be able to navigate various features however, I think that the lack of finding what is on Today/tomorrow/next few days in a fast way is more of a missed opportunity than an “error”. None of my overseas friends or myself ever use the “ticket search” to find performances but all would really like to see the “Home Menu” under the ROH logo feature a mini calendar, e.g. for today and upcoming week or even “just” a Today/Tomorrow showing. It would make it an easy and very convenient for both local and overseas visitors as it is becoming increasingly common only to bring a smartphone / tablet when going away for a few days/a week – I know because I do it too.

    However, bravo to ROH for the development, which in many ways are streets ahead of other European opera houses.

    Thank you and keep up the good work.

  4. Steve responded on 4 June 2014 at 11:48am Reply

    I have had the app on my iPhone for a long time, but over the past year I've found that I have used the website in preference, whether I am using iPhone, iPad or my computer. Great website, the app is obsolete.

  5. Jacky responded on 12 June 2014 at 11:11am Reply

    Thank you so much for the instructions. It was very easy, once you gave the link to Wikihow which explained what to do, but before that, I was wandering clueless around the internet. (People like me, who do not understand the internet, are always floored when some simple change occurs.)

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