With its infinite nooks and crannies of new, old, and downright weird things to see and do, Detroit seems ripe for an array of apps to help both longtime residents and new comers navigate the city with ease.

Grubbable, an app to help Detroiters find locally sourced food options in the area, is one such example, and it has seen quite a bit of success thus far.

Now, we’d like to introduce you to Day Tripper Detroit – a slick and savvy app designed by native Michigander Tim Tolbert, and it aims to help Detroiters new and old explore the city.

We spoke with Tim about the app and what he thinks it will offer users. All quotes edited for clarity.

Daily Detroit: Introduce yourself to us. Where are you from originally? What’s your professional background?

Tim Tolbert: I was born in Pontiac but grew up and went to High School up north in Petoskey. It seems like I’m on my fourth career now, but I’ve been a solo-entrepreneur in the mobile app space for the past two years.

DD:  What are your ties to Detroit and what inspired the app?

TT: My ties to Detroit run deep. My Grandfather worked in the Truck Division for GMC for 35 years. Some of my fondest boyhood memories involve walking into Tiger Stadium for the first time and seeing the vibrant green grass of the infield and shopping at Hudson’s downtown with my Grandmother. The app was inspired by Detroit’s resurgence and the people who are helping to rebuild the city everyday.


DD: For our readers who haven’t downloaded the app yet, can you highlight the features and how folks might find it useful?

TT: The app is very much design driven. A lot of time was spent on the graphics and user interface to make the app both beautiful and easy-to-use. My approach was to offer personally curated places/attractions and content in a logical “Category” interface rather than building a cumbersome encyclopedia-like experience.

Visitors to the city can research their trip in advance or just open up the app when they’ve arrived for up-to-date restaurant recommendations or cool suggestions on where to grab a coffee or see some culture. Most listings include in app links to business or attraction websites as well as Yelp reviews and photos for deeper research and validation. Location-based maps are also included for easy navigation.


DD: Who is this app geared toward? Is it for locals, tourists, etc.?

TT: First and foremost it’s probably geared to tourists or business travelers who could benefit from a pocket-sized, cool, curated look at Detroit in 2015 and beyond. I’m sure locals will also find it useful – whether looking for a great new restaurant to check out or researching short jaunts outside of Detroit via the “Fringe Benefits” category.

DD: What sort of price will users pay for the app and it’s features?

TT: There are several different “revenue models” you can consider when releasing an app. I ultimately chose to ask for a one-time paid upgrade to unlock all of the content because I didn’t want to limit the app’s exposure with a paid up-front app or muddy up the user interface with intrusive ads.


TT: The free-to-download app includes 3 full categories (Neighborhoods, Buildings and Architecture, My Detroit (interviews with 10 Detroiters) and the Iconic Tour (featuring exclusive pen & ink illustrations of iconic Detroit attractions and places) which will hopefully enable users to sample the quality of the material, the thoughtful design and usefulness of the app.

A one-time paid upgrade of $3.99 unlocks all of the content for the user (five more categories encompassing over 175 suggestions and places to see and visit). Think about it, for less than the price of a cappuccino or shawarma you can have a hip and updated travel guide for Detroit in your pocket at all times.


DD: How did you decide who to feature in the Detroiters on Detroit section?

TT: I focused on entrepreneurs and thought leaders working hard to revitalize Detroit.  Everyone from Vittoria Katanski, the Executive Director of Hatch Detroit to Phil Cooley of Ponyride and Slows BBQ.


DD: What’s the future of the Detroit version of the app?

TT: The app will be updated at least monthly with focus on the Eat & Drink section and the Shops section primarily – I want to ensure the app is always up-to-date and relevant. I’m exploring ideas around featuring new interviews with more Detroiters in the My Detroit category also.


DD: Is there anything else you want our readers to know about the app, or yourself?

TT: One more thing! We have built-in functionality for users to make suggestions for things or places to include. You can pull down on each listing to get access to a quick form to suggest a new place or something you think would be worthy of inclusion. We’ll in turn receive an email and will take all suggestions into consideration.  Also, app reviews and ratings in iTunes are always welcome to help discoverability of the app to more users and people researching a future visit to Detroit.

Download the app for yourself right here.

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