A new mobile app lets you take a virtual tour of the White House - and you can even see this year's Christmas decorations
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
- The White House Experience app lets you take a virtual tour of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
- You can even see rooms that most people don't get to see at the in-person tour, such as the Lincoln Bedroom.
- We walk you through how the app works and all its features.
The White House Historical Association, Amazon Web Services, and Cuseum launched a new "White House Experience" mobile app.On it, you can take virtual tours of the White House, see the holiday decorations, and even determine your presidential lookalike.Advertisement
You can download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play store. Here's a walkthrough of how it works and what you'll find.
On the homepage of the app, you get to decide: take a tour of the White House or test out the Presidential Lookalike feature.
You can pick from three tours: Explore the Virtual White House, White House Neighborhood Walking Tour, and the White House Companion Tour.Advertisement
But this holiday season, they have themed tours that show you what the White House looks like decorated for Christmas.
The virtual White House tour lets you see the Blue Room, the East Room, private bedrooms on the second floor of the White House, the West Wing, and the Oval Office.Advertisement
Each room you move through in the tour has photos that show its evolution over the years and a description of its history. Some of the rooms are the same you can see on an in-person tour of the White House.
But you also get to see private rooms on the virtual tour that members of the public don't get to see on the in-person tour, like the Lincoln Bedroom and the first family's private dining room.Advertisement
The app includes a floor plan so you can get your bearings.
First lady Melania Trump unveiled the holiday decorations at the "People's House" on Monday, November 26, and you can see photos of the transformation in the app.Advertisement
The White House is expecting 30,000 visitors this holiday season. Skip the crowds and tour it virtually!
The virtual tour says it takes about 55 minutes to complete, but you can zip through it in 10-20.Advertisement
The White House Neighborhood Walking Tour, which takes about an hour to complete, gives you the opportunity to see historic sites such as Lafayette Square and St. John's Church around the president's neighborhood.
It's like a guided walking tour if you're in the area. But you can learn about the places and see photos inside the famous buildings in the app without being there, too.Advertisement
The third tour is designed to be a guide for people going on the in-person public tour of the White House. It offers extra info on every room you'd see on the tour.
Users also have access to an outdoor map of the White House grounds and the President's Neighborhood, as well as the surrounding Washington, DC area. It can be found by touching the "Map" tab on the bottom menu.Advertisement
The "Events" tab on the bottom menu lets you see what the White House Historical Association has coming up that you could attend in person.
The Presidential Lookalike tool is like the feature on the Google Arts & Culture app that went viral in January. But instead of famous artwork, the White House's compares your selfie to past presidents and first ladies.Advertisement
You have to take a selfie in the app to use it; you can't upload an existing photo.
The facial recognition feature is powered by a tool called Amazon Rekognition.Advertisement
I got a 21% match for former first lady Grace Coolidge, who was a popular hostess and threw many White House parties with her husband, President Calvin Coolidge.
You can have the app tell you which president or first lady you look like regardless of sex. I got a 12% match for former President George Washington.Advertisement
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