SXSW 2012: Unofficial Guide, SWSW Go App for iOS, Android, BlackBerry

Scheduling apps for South by Southwest (SWSW 2012) make navigating the madness of downtown Austin easier.’s Unofficial Guide to SXSW and SXSW GO Official 2012 come to the rescue. Our copy editor Madison Andrews who is an Austin resident tells us what makes them work and why.

Scheduling apps for South by Southwest (SWSW 2012), like’s Unofficial Guide to SXSW and SXSW GO Official 2012, make navigating the madness of downtown Austin easier.

The main difference? SXSW GO offers location-based mapping and sharing. provides a directory of all things unofficial.

Don’t have a badge?’s sleek, color-coded guide is ideal. Search for film, music and free drinks. The Unofficial Guide serves up a list of events even if you’re not registered. There’s an expandable description for each event and a link to the host’s website. Its unadorned user interface and rocking functionality are exactly what I need this week.


Chirag Mehta and Taylor McKnight created the site for SXSW 2008 using a simple Ajax interface. It’s still one the best tools for navigating this show. The app is multiplatform — it’s on Android, iPhone, Blackberry. It’s embeddable, shareable via Facebook and easy to tweet. Use it to create and save your personal schedule —  use the Facebook option to see what your friends are doing in Austin.

SXSW GO is schmancier but it’s so heavy duty it’s kind of wonky. It’s got location services, social connectivity, you name it. It’s best at networking, allowing you to browse a complete directory of registered attendees and view their profiles, make connections and share photos. Mapping is the handiest feature in GO — search for venues and maneuver once you’re there.

Of the two, the Unofficial Guide to SXSW is the better app for me — it’s sturdy, functional and it knows its limitations. There’s no need for two apps when one will do, especially considering none of this will matter in a few weeks anyway.

Have fun in Austin!