Tapping into Chicago Ideas Week on your Smartphone: Guest

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At long last, Chicago Ideas Week is finally here! Whether you're looking to connect with other attendees between sessions, view your agenda while on the go, or learn more about the show’s speakers, there are iPhone apps and Android apps available to keep you in the know.

Lightbank company developed the official apps for Chicago Ideas Week

It’s safe to say that Chicago Ideas Week founder Brad Keywell performed due diligence on DoubleDutch, the San Francisco-based developer that created the official iPhone and Android apps for the show.

Keywell is also a co-founder of Groupon and managing partner with venture capital firm Lightbank, which just doubled the amount it will invest in young companies to $200 million. While a large portion of Lightbank’s 25 or so portfolio companies are Chicago-based, the firm did lead the $1.2 million venture capital round DoubleDutch raised earlier this year.

In addition to creating the Chicago Ideas Week apps, DoubleDutch also develops mobile technology for organizations ranging from Cisco, to TED to Arizona State University.

Speaking of TED...

CIW will culminate next week with the TEDxMidwest conference at the Oriental Theatre on October 13 and 14. While TEDxMidwest is one of the toughest tickets in town, its parent organization TED (which showcases the best in Technology Innovation and Design) publishes extraordinary mobile apps for iOS devices. There are also a bunch of lower quality and unofficial client apps for TED on Android devices.

The TED app curates more than 900 TEDTalk videos, with new talks added virtually every week. Free to download, TED also lets users create and share their favorite speaker playlists and download talks to view later in offline mode.

So eventually we should be able to download TEDxMidwest Talks from this year, which will include presentations from Segway inventor Dean Kamen, actor Kevin Bacon (who will discuss the six degrees of himself -- and his charity) and horror movie director Wes Craven.

This app’s on fire

A new iPhone application launched this week to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the Chicago Fire. Developed in partnership between the Chicago Historical Society and Northwestern University, the 99-cent Chicago Fire app will offer audio tours of 10 neighborhoods and and 54 Chicago landmarks afflicted by the fire.

Tours include the Water Tower, Holy Name Cathedral, and an old cemetery in Lincoln Park where many Chicagoans held tight until the flames were put down.

The app represents a major update of the “The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory” project from 1996.

Brad Spirrison is the Managing Editor of Appolicious.com and AndroidApps.com, where consumers find mobile apps they'll love. The Appolicious family of sites (which also includes video review service AppVee.com) and mobile apps (for the iPhone and Android devices) are discovery tools to help consumers browse, search and share recommendations for the hundreds of thousands of apps available on the iOS and Android platforms. Spirrison, a longtime Chicago-based media and technology commentator, lives in Lakeview with his wife and young son.

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