Video Time Machine is my pick for today’s Best iPad App Ever. Hands down. This is one of those very rare apps that grabs you from the first moment that you open it, and just keeps you gripped and fascinated on every visit to it. It’s the equivalent of a great book you can’t put down, you just keep wanting more.
As the app title states, it’s a video time machine, from the guys who created the YouTube Time Machine (YTTM) website. It contains over 10,000 hand-picked videos – from 1860 right up to 2011. So if you want to see a John Kennedy campaign ad from 1960, it’s easy to find. Or you want to watch Michael Jordan drop 63 points on the Celtics in the 1986 NBA Playoffs, oh yeah, that’s just as easy.
I love the backstory for how the website came to be, with a couple of friends out for beer and pizza and a fantastic idea fleshed out on a napkin. Here’s just a piece of the About page for the app on this:
Following many a beer (and PIZZA!) I was regaling him with the tale of my previous night, in which I had been up very late watching Michael Jordan videos from 1996. It made me feel so awesome deep down inside … like it was Sunday afternoon, and I was 14, sipping on a milkshake and watching my fav team play. That Jordan-fest lurched into a 4 am search for Primal Rage videos, and countless other mid-90s stuff.
I realized then, that it wasn’t specifically Jordan or Primal Rage videos I was searching for … it was 1996 … the feeling of being in 1996 … As I was lost, in the mists of time, Del broke me out of my ponderous silence and said ‘DUDE! THAT SHOULD BE A WEBSITE!!’ I said ‘YES!’ he said ‘YES!’ – and then we probably high 5’ed. …
Wild Earth is a new iPad app that offers up live video from wildlife cameras in several good locations in South Africa. If you like seeing wild animals in natural habitats rather than in typical zoos, or have kids who are fascinated by animals, this app may have some appeal.
I have an 8 year old daughter who is near-obsessed with animals; she can’t read, talk, or learn enough about them. From kittens and puppies to insects, to snakes, to sea creatures, she’s always interested. I’m not far behind her in interest level, so this is another app we took a look at together this week.
Quick Spoiler Alert: I love the Squrl app for iPad and iOS. It’s the best new (ish) iPad app I’ve seen this year – and easily the best app for using in tandem with AirPlay and Apple TV.
Squrl is all about videos. Discovering good video content from a wide range of all the best sources, organizing it, sharing it, and seeing what others are sharing. Here’s a little more intro type information from its App Store page:
Squrl is a clever way to collect and organize video from many different providers, in one easy to use app.
• Have you ever wanted to collect video from many different websites in one place?
• Are you tired of hunting through a half dozen or more iPad apps to view your videos?
You’ll always know where to find your videos, no matter where they are on the web, with Squrl. You can even discover new content through your network of friends!
Access all your favorite videos, movies, and subscriptions to your favorite shows with Squrl. Organizing is simple and you’re alerted when new videos are available to watch.
TWCable TV is a new iPad app from Time Warner Cable – that provides live streaming of TV shows from a selected range of TWC channels. You need to be a Time Warner Cable video subscriber to use the app, and have a username and password registered with them as well. I had never done this before but was able to do it from within the app when trying it out today.
I haven’t used many live streaming TV apps, but I gave this one a try as we use Time Warner Cable at home and we’re pretty happy with their basic cable package.
The Funnies for iPad is a new app that brings popular comic strips to the iPad. It’s probably not the first app of this type for the iPad, but it’s the first that’s caught my eye and I’ve been giving it a look over the last several days. Here’s its App Store elevator pitch:
All your favourite comic strips on your iPad!
The Funnies brings all your favourite comic strips to your iPad in a stunning app that features stunning, high-quality graphics and a highly-responsive interface.
Remember when the Koi Pond app first hit the iPhone? It was, and is, quite a neat little app that let you watch koi swim around gracefully and tap the water to create ripples in the pond. Since then, many similar apps have been added to the App Store.
Ocean Blue for iPad takes this sort of app to a whole new level. It’s bigger in every way – designed for the iPad’s big screen, full of a wide variety of sea creatures and environments to view them in, and a good range of ways to interact with them and even learn a bit about them.
Stephen Fry’s first iPad app – FryPaper – has launched today, as expected, to go along with the launch of the iPad in the UK (and eight other nations). The name of the app – originally said to be FryPad – looks to have been changed to fall in line with Apple’s policy on no usage of the word ‘pad’ within app titles.
The app is a very basic and bare bones one for now, in which some of Fry’s latest writings are shared.