As our reviewer noted, this app won’t really serve student researchers, and the interactivity is limited, but it’s just the sort of title that browsers delight in—and are likely to spend much more time with than they expected.
Gr 7 Up-A visually appealing iPad app that offers a brief introduction to 70 influential historical figures. On opening the title users will see a grid of unlabeled icon portraits. A touch to one of the icons will access two or three screens of information about the featured individual beginning with a note about his or her identity, birth and death dates, a pull quote, and a paragraph on the subject’s early life. Later screens list accomplishments, a chronology of major life events, and a note about the person’s death. Included are artists, philosophers, scientists, political leaders, and a range of other figures. There is no indication why these particular individuals were selected; they span the centuries and the globe, but the emphasis is decidedly male and western.
The app is well designed. A collage of reproductions of period paintings and engravings, photos of artifacts, and maps slide into place as users move from screen to screen. However, interactivity is limited. Tapping the framed circular images usually leads to a larger image and entertaining snatches of music of the important works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and other classical musicians can be accessed. While the font of some of the text is much too small to read, a touch to the screen will enlarge it.
The credits note that the information in the app comes primarily from Internet resources such as Wikipedia, Nasa, and Morgue File. While this app won’t serve the needs of student researchers, it does provide some basic information on the individuals included. Students exploring ideas and subjects for a biography project may also find this a useful place to start.—Mark Richardson, Cedar Mill Library, Portland, OR