iPad App Review – Astra Jigsaw HD

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Astra Jigsaw HD is a jigsaw puzzle app that provides an experience akin to solving a “real” manual jigsaw puzzle.  The app can be used by children, but it is also a very satisfying experience for adults who enjoy jigsaw puzzles.

The app comes with a free collection of 9 jigsaw puzzles.

Select a puzzle and touch the Open Jigsaw button.

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You can select the number of pieces, from 12 all the way up to over 900 pieces.  (I find between 200 and 300 pieces is a comfortable size to work with on the iPad.) There are puzzle shapes to select including the classic shape.  You can add a frame and decide whether to spread the pieces out.  In addition, to make the puzzle more challenging, you can choose to rotate the pieces.  To rotate, touch a piece with one finger and move another finger clockwise or counter-clockwise anywhere on the screen.

The Play Window

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Astra Jigsaw has 2 windows to work with.  Keep the pieces you are currently putting together in one window.  Keep the other pieces in the second window and you will have more room to work in the “working” window.   Touch the box at the bottom right of the screen to switch to the second window.  Touch the box on the second window to get back to the first.

You can select a group of pieces by “drawing” a box around them with your finger; you can then move them around or double tap to move to the other window.  To join pieces move them next to one another and if they fit, they will snap together.  When pieces are joined they will move together if you touch them.  This is useful when you have a lot of the puzzle completed as you can move pieces out of the way to make room for pieces you are working with.

The Toolbar

Touch the jigsaw piece at the bottom left of the screen to bring up the toolbar.

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This toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen.  It allows you to go back to the home screen to choose a different puzzle.  You can save the puzzle you are working on, and also get basic information about the puzzle such as the number of pieces and the percentage completed.  You can manually save the puzzle from this toolbar; the puzzle is autosaved when you close the app.

You can change the background of the puzzle; this is useful when the colors of the puzzle pieces are too similar to the background color.  You can bring up an image of the completed puzzle.  It will put a small image over the work area.  You can resize this image and move it around the screen.

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You can switch back and forth between the 2 windows.  You can move pieces that you are not working with to the second window  by double tapping them.    You can arrange the pieces in rows which makes them easier to see.  You can enlarge the pieces with the magnifying glass on the toolbar.

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The settings can be accessed from the toolbar.  The settings let you modify sounds, change the pieces joining sensitivity, embossing effects, etc.  Finally, the toolbar has a button for accessing Help.  The Help for this app is very extensive and well-written.

I downloaded this app, because I was a fan of the PC jigsaw puzzle game created by the developer, Lena Pankratova.  

The app is free, with in-app purchases.   There are 9 free puzzles.  You can purchase additional collections at $.99 for 25 puzzles or $3.99 for 100 puzzles.

Here’s an App Store link for Astra Jigsaw HD; it’s a free app with In-App purchase options as mentioned above.

Disclosure:  I have purchased one collection of 100 puzzles many months ago and still have many puzzles left to work on.  The app keeps track of the puzzles you have completed and the storage used.  You do not have to download all the puzzles you purchase at one time.  You can also hide jigsaw puzzles and release the space they take up.

Sheila Bigel

I am a retired Computer Programmer and Elementary School Teacher. I currently combine both of these experiences by volunteering to teach computers to Seniors at a local Senior Center. I specialize in iPad Courses, as I love the device.

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