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Review: ‘Biography’ for iOS

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 inand are likely to spend much more time with than they expected.

Title: Biography
Corey Rozan and Karen Stephenson
Mohammed Al Nafisah
Developed by:
iOS, requires 4.2 or later

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


  1. Hy there we are Somos the Barcelona based studio that designed this this little app, thank you for the honest review, indeed the app is all you said and our client’s intentions dont go further than what you have explained. Our client is in love with history and wanted to build a very easy to use and functional app that would somehow review several character that he thinks where and still are important to our world history. The task was accomplished with a modest budget and all things, design, interactivity etc.. where thought to be exatly like they are, realistic and simple. It was not thought to be an educational tool, but to serve peoples general curiosity and also as base for further projects.

    Thank you once again