One of the best things about using an iPad is all the great apps that we can run on it. There are excellent apps for just about any purpose you can think of. Better still, there are lots of great free apps for the iPad. Our Best Free iPad App of the Week posts highlight these apps.
This week’s pick is Today’s Documents. This is a great selection of 365 historic documents and photos taken from the collections of the US National Archives. It shows a different historical document or photo for each day of the year.
The app offers up a good variety of items on its pages – from documents that are an important part of our nation’s history to powerful photos that encapsulate important moments or time periods. The item for today, shown above, is an epic image of US soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima in World War II.
The app is simple to use and keeps user interface elements to a bare minimum. You can just swipe left and right to move forward and back through the days of the year. You can also tap on the Calendar button at the top right to select today’s document, yesterday’s document, tomorrow’s document, select a date, or choose Surprise Me to pull up a random day.
There’s also a search bar at the bottom of the page – so you can look for specific words / topics you’re interested in.
You can mark items as favorites, and share them via email, Twitter, and Facebook.
Some of the older documents are difficult to impossible to read (even if you click the links to the National Archives website) – though it’s still cool just seeing them, it would be nice to see the resolution on these images improved if possible.
Here are just a few examples of some of the items that caught my eye the most in browsing through Today’s Documents: a transcript of John Glenn’s communications with the command center when he made the first manned space orbit of the earth, a handwritten draft of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech, a passport photo of Ernest Hemingway, and a great photo of the US’ first atomic powered submarine.
This should be a very popular app for US history buffs, for anyone who just wants to see a little bit of history each day, and for anyone who wants their kids to get a little taste of history in a fun app. I know my daughter has loved a couple of other apps that offer a fact a day – so I’m hoping she may like this one as well.
Here’s an App Store link for Today’s Document.
Quick shout out to my friend Doug Goldring for mentioning this app to me – I’m very glad he did.
If you’re after more great free iPad apps, be sure to check out our previous choices for Best Free iPad of the Week. We’ve also recently put together a best of the best of our selections from the last year in a Top 25 Best Free iPad Apps list.