Las Vegas companies reach out with smart phone applications

The Internet and e-mail were once handy for conducting business, planning vacations and providing cheap-ish entertainment, but smart phones seem to be taking over those roles these days.

iPhone users can now download an application that helps them stay up to date on the latest happenings at Boyd Gaming properties. It offers everything from restaurant information to the location of your favorite slot machine.

B Connected Mobile joins a growing list of Las Vegas-related smart phone applications. It even gives members of Boyd’s B Connected players club real-time information on their accounts, including their point balance and accrued offers.

Management launched B Connected, the online version, in January but users started asking for an iPhone application, says Brian Best, corporate director of e-commerce.

“It’s a personalized experience where they can access all their personal information and entertainment connection through one product,” Best says.

It took a couple of months to develop the iPhone version; other smart phone versions are in development. The application is free and available in the Apple iPhone store.

While the pickings are slim for Las Vegas-related applications right now, there are a few to choose from that offer some pretty cool features. Here are some of our favorites:

Vegas Reality

MGM Mirage International properties launched Vegas Reality several weeks ago. It uses augmented reality, says Scott Voeller, vice president of brand strategy and advertising for the company.

Basically, you lift your iPhone and point it toward the Strip. If you’re next to Mandalay Bay, photos of the resort will pop up on your screen, giving the entertainment, dining and other options for the property.

Users can even book a room for the hotel, make a restaurant reservation and buy a ticket for a show.

It works within a 20-mile radius and is currently available only for Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand and New York-New York. Other apps for MGM Mirage properties are in the works.

“We hope to have all of our properties launched by the end of this year,” Voeller says.

The application is free and available for download in the Apple store.

CityCenter

An iPhone application gives users a map of CityCenter and a virtual tour of the CityCenter fine arts collection. Download on iTunes.

Vegas Mate

Access restaurant information, hotel reviews and background information on Las Vegas resorts. Want to find a moderately priced Mexican restaurant in town? Vegas Mate enables users to search the application’s listings based on various criteria, such as price point or cuisine.

Users also can write and share their own reviews of hotels.

Harrah’s properties

Similar to MGM Mirage’s Vegas Reality app, Harrah’s offers an iPhone app that gives users information about resorts, restaurants, special events, shows and more. The application uses a GPS locator to tailor the information that is sent to the user.

Another Harrah’s application, iSpin, is basically a slot machine game for your iPhone. Download the apps at harrahs.com/iphone for free.

Campfire Magic

That’s the name of the iPhone and iPad application released by comic magician Mac King. It provides how-to instructions for 11 magic tricks for $4.99 at the iTunes App Store. The free version comes with two magic tricks: “Arm Possible” and “Crack Cup.”

The full version of the app also will feature “Mac’s Magic Scanner,” barcodes that unlock bonus tricks.

Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564.

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