Explore Singapore with these artsy apps

When it opens next November, the National Gallery Singapore will be launching a mobile app that provides information on its exhibits based on visitors' locations. Here are some free apps featuring local art and culture that you can download now to ex
When it opens next November, the National Gallery Singapore will be launching a mobile app that provides information on its exhibits based on visitors' locations. Here are some free apps featuring local art and culture that you can download now to explore and see a different side of Singapore.PHOTO: NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE

When it opens next November, the National Gallery Singapore will be launching a mobile app that provides information on its exhibits based on visitors' locations.

More museums and attractions are turning to easy-to-download smartphone apps as convenient digital guides for exhibitions, tours and trails.

While we wait for the National Gallery Singapore's app to debut, here are some free apps featuring local art and culture that you can download now to explore and see a different side of Singapore.

All apps are available on both Google's Play store for android phones, and the Apple iTunes store.
 
Text in the City

There are more than 100 poems in this app featuring literary pioneers like Edwin Thumboo, as well as up-and-coming young poets like Theophilius Kwek.

Besides reading lyrical musings about places in Singapore, past and present, users can also submit new poems for a competition. Winners can get up to $1,500 in prizes, and the submission deadline has been extended to Jan 25, 2015.
 
Liu Kang - Paintings and Places

Liu Kang's art documented many of Singapore's historic scenes, from samsui women toiling at construction sites to kampung houses on stilts.

This app by the National Gallery Singapore showcases 10 of his paintings, and allows the user to explore the history behind the scenes depicted in the works.
 
World War II - A Heritage Trail

This is one of several apps by the National Heritage Board that complements the heritage trails in Singapore.

Find out more about the battles on Kranji beach and Bukit Timah, internment camps in the east, and the surrender on the City Hall steps in the photos, stories and games within the app.
 
Kampong Glam - A Heritage Trail

There are three trails featured in the app, one on the Kampong Glam area, one on the historic sites from Beach Road to Kallang River, and one for Victoria Street.
Before and after photos and oral history interviews help to fill in the rich history of the area which houses buildings like the Sultan Mosque and Golden Mile Complex.
 
Bras Basah.Bugis - Celebrating the City

This app is a walking guide to the arts and cultural district of Bras Basah and Bugis. There are entries for both historic buildings like the Armenian Church and new structures like Bugis+.
 
Balestier - A Heritage Trail

This feature-rich app about one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Singapore has the usual historical facts lined up, but also introduces users to local food like the herbal soup shop and bakeries available in Balestier.

There is a mini-game for users to "design your own shophouse", and an on-site navigation feature that "uses augmented reality technology to help you locate heritage sites and food stalls", according to the app.

This article was first published on Dec 3, 2014.