I spent 4 years gaining two degrees studying history at university. After all this studying you could fit my knowledge of the Romans on the back of a postage stamp. I can bore anyone to death with tedious insight into Cold War politics, and Richard Nixon, but next to nothing about the Romans. Anyway, as a I sit in my centrally heated house, munching an apple with my cat sleeping on the sofa, I wonder; what did the Romans ever do for us? Thankfully, Roman Ruins HD can go some way to addressing my Roman ignorance.
London has been one of the world’s great cities for centuries. London – A City Through Time is an iPad app that celebrates the city and presents its rich history and culture. I’ve been trying to come up with a solid second sentence here that does this great app justice, but instead I’ll share the words of no less an authority than The Economist, the blue-chip publication published out of London:
“London: A City Through Time” is neither coffee-table book nor guide nor map, but a nearly endless fusion of all three in a digital application, or “app”—nearly 2,000 years in the life of one of the world’s great cities. Even diehard Londoners are destined to discover something new.
The app is touted as ‘Probably the most advanced and complete portrait of London ever produced’ and who’s going to argue with numbers like these:
… it offers an indispensable reference to the 2000-year history of the world’s most complex city. It boasts over 6000 articles on the capital’s museums, statues, buildings, streets, trades, people, parks, rivers and more. Over 2000 rare prints and photographs. Thirty-five video documentaries and clips from the archives of the Pathé movie library.
I works in landscape mode only, but that makes perfect sense given the layout and workings of the app. There’s a rotating set of superb images taking up about 70% of its main screen. A series of panels along the bottom of the app’s screens lead to the main ways to explore it – Timeline, Browse on Map, Life in London, My London, Audio Tours, History on the Tube, Audio Visual History, browse by subject, Notable Londoners, App Credits and Error Reporting.
Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomyis one of those iPad apps that reminds you of the amazing things that can be done on an iPad. It’s just the sort of app that Steve Jobs would’ve loved to show off while sitting in a comfy chair when unveiling the iPad back in 2010.
For starters, the actual content of this app is incredible and I’m not sure it could be shared so effectively or impressively anywhere other than in this iPad app:
This sublime collection of drawings of human anatomy by Leonardo da Vinci is one of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle. All 268 pages from Leonardo’s notebooks are presented here at the highest resolution, optimised for the pin-sharp retina display of the new iPad. For the first time it is possible for anyone with an iPad to own and explore this remarkable testament to Leonardo’s scientific and artistic genius.
The apps’s list of features is also very impressive:
• Beautiful interactive book interface
• All 268 of Leonardo’s anatomical drawings pinch-zoomable at high resolution
• Takes full advantage of the new iPad’s retina display
• A magic spyglass to decode Leonardo’s mirror writing
• Touch any of Leonardo’s extensive notes to read in situ a typeset English translation
• Eleven story chapters, written by Martin Clayton, Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings at Windsor Castle, explaining Leonardo’s anatomical investigations and presenting over 70 selected works with interactive features
The 9/11 Memorial: Past, Present, and Future is an iPad app that serves to commemorate the events of that historic and tragic day and offer a unique look at the history and the planned future for the 9/11 Memorial that opens next month.
The 9/11 Memorial will be dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and will open to the public on the day after, September 12, 2011.
This app, just as the title suggests, offers a superb look at the past, present, and future of what seems destined to become an important national landmark in the US. It includes never-seen-before videos, photographs, interviews and text that document the Memorial. The app is an iPad exclusive – and the publisher, Steve Rosenbaum, calls it ‘history in your hands’. It will be released in the App Store on September 1st and will be free for 11 days – 9/1 to 9/11.
I was far away from the events of 9/11, here in Texas – but like so many others I watched the events unfold from early that morning and have vivid memories of the day. So when I was offered a chance to install a pre-release copy of this app it took me about 2 seconds to say yes. I’ve been reading and browsing the app for the last couple of weeks and as usual I’ve got some thoughts to share …
Da Vinci Codex Plus is one of those ‘only on the iPad’ type apps – although it’s a universal app that will also run on the iPhone and iPod Touch. It showcases Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus. Here’s a portion of its App Store intro:
This application is the first to allow HD navigation in Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus with touch iPods, iPhones and iPads.
The Codex Atlanticus is preserved in Milan’s Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana. Its 1119 pages make it the largest collection of the thoughts and ideas that sprang from Leonardo’s genius for more than forty years, practically the whole of his life as an artist and scientist.
This international application constitutes the very first collection of all the best military art drawings comprised in the Codex Atlanticus: 45 sheets illustrating the development of the architectonic and scientific thinking of the world’s best known inventor on the subject of the art of fortification.