It has now been a month since I have had my iPad 2 and developers keep releasing fantastic apps that validate my $900+ purchase and leave me with absolutely no regrets. While I am thoroughly enjoying individual pitch stats in MLB At Bat 2011, replays of perfect goals by the Sounders FC in MLS 2001 Match Day, and followed all the NCAA March Madness action via 3G in Alaska the $7.99 application I just bought yesterday may be one of the best apps I have seen in a long time that will increase my knowledge of our history for the next four years.
History's The Civil War Today (iTunes link) application is absolutely stunning and apps like this make other tablets almost seem like a joke. Check out several screenshots of this new application in my image gallery along with some thoughts on the functions and capability of it below.
|Image Gallery: Check out screenshots from The Civil War Today on my iPad 2.|
As I grow older I am learning to appreciate and read a LOT more history than when I was young and this is a FANTASTIC way to learn and understand what our ancestors did to help form the nation we live in today. I lived in Washington, D.C. for over four years and also increased my desire for learning more about the Civil War as I walked on the grounds where it happened.
The second icon (heart in a circle) launches your Favorites page. As you read content you can mark (tap on the heart icon) as a favorite and then view all of them later in one place.
The next icon (outlines of three people) gives you an index of the biographies in the application. You can tap on a name or even search for them in the search box to jump to a biography of them.
The A-Z icon over on the right side of the application name gives you access to the glossary with a search box to help you jump to things too.
The settings icon (gear) is the last one on the top row and gives you access to toggle on or off Twitter and Facebook (for sharing pieces of information), background scene selector, and memory selector. You can choose from 0 to 10 GB of data to keep stored in cache on the device to give you faster access to it and since I have a 64GB iPad 2 I have mine set to the default of 5 GB.
When you are within an article, photo, or other area of information you can tap the heart icon to add it as a favorite or the arrow to share the content via Twitter, Facebook, or email. Tapping one of these fills out a telegram saying you liked the app and gives a link to the app. You can add more text or enter an original "Telegram" by tapping out the message using the Morse Code legend and button on the display (shown in my image gallery). It doesn't appear to give a link to the specific day though so it doesn't seem to have that much value at this time.
At the bottom of the display you will find the date timeline with the month, year and day available. Simply tap on a day to jump to the content and note that when you launch the application you are taken to the date that matches our current date.
I like the different types of information, photos and maps, North South daily quiz, and embedded video content that really brings history to life for me. At a cost of just $7.99 it is a bargain to get this type and quality of information on a daily basis for over four years.
I know what I will be reading on my commute every day now for quite some time and highly recommend this application.