iPad & iPhone Reviews for Kids, Parents, Educators, Artists, Art Lovers: Fine & Performing, Readers, News Junkies, Writers, Casual Gamers & anyone interested in the Best iPad and iPhone Reviews, Tips, Contests, Sales, Exclusive Sneak Peeks & Swag

Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

Apologies, I’ve Been Busy With New Site – Please Come Visit

Hi!

I miss this blog so much, I haven’t had a chance to ramble on and on at all since I launched AppTudes – a fresh site for app and game reviews for all interests, which I launched on Father’s day. I have been so lucky! I managed to get some amazing writers from other big sites like my own 148apps.com, my former home appadvice.com, and padpadget.com, appolicious, and some serious bloggers.

We’ve almost hit 1oo posts and our number have been through the roof! It’s so exciting, in seven months this is only my 86th-ish post, but that what’s great about having a tea. And the support from the developer and publisher community has been overwhelming. I hoped to do a launch-week push of giveaways, but we just hit the one month mark I don’t think a day has gone by where there wasn’t at least one active contest going, most days we have several.

And for those of you who like my SAHGeekMom picks, trust me we have a ton of kid stuff, art apps, and culture there too, but also real gamer games, general inteerest apps, and we just got an iPhonegraphy expert on board too!

By the way, if you review or have skills like copy editing, wordpress guruship, web or graphic design, come on over and check it out because we’re hiring! That page has most of our staff bios, but we have three newcomers so it’s time for an update. And, if you have skills, we’d love your face up there too.

I only have a minute, but I stopped by because I am going to flood my blog with the reviews I’ve written since I’ve been gone. In fact you are even getting on AppTudes doesn’t have…yet.

But remember when you see the posts, if there are contests attached they are being held on on apptudes.com and through our twitter account anf fcebook page, so you’ll have to pop on by if you want to enter. I hope you do, I have a lot of parents and educators on board and you might discover altogether different kinds of app, like I have been, that aren’t one I tend to run into.

I’m going to start using this blog again soon though, but less for reviews and more to discuss iOS news, and topics of interest that go beyond reviews. But don’t worry, wherever you find me writing, I’ll be focusing on only the very best apps for iOS. Hope to see you everywhere soon.

Happy App Hunting

The 

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Al Gore Want iOS Users To Know When It Comes To Climate Change, It’s: Our Choice

  • Publisher: Push Pop Press
  • Genre: interactive book, climate change
  • Platform: Universal
  • Price: $4.99 
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 4.75 Stars
  • Recommended Age: 10+

“Climate change threatens each and every one of us, and grows more and more dangerous every day,” says former Vice President Al Gore, as he greets readers to the interactive iOS version of his book, Our Choice.

The universal book-app is the latest of Gore’s efforts to bring global awareness to the issue of climate change, and is a benchmark in digital publishing. It is also the winner of a 2011 Apple Design Award, and is both an iOS and mainstream media darling.

The app contains an abridged version of the print book by the same title along with a host of interactive features. It starts with an up close and personal introduction from Al Gore and is jam-packed with high-resolution photos, interactive maps, “infographics,” animations, documentary videos, and audio commentary by the former VP.

The writing is fluid and informative, but if one is simply looking for competent prose on the subject, the print book would suffice.

This app, powered by Push Pop Press, brings something new to the digital publishing world that is worth discussing apart from the written content.

There are incredible book-apps that were designed as apps first, but this is the best rendition of an existing title ported and digitized for iOS to-date.

If you read my bog regularly you might be confused. I just called Virtual History – The Last Supper the standard bearer too, and I stand by the superlatives for both book-apps. But, Last Supper was always intended to be an app first, the text written content was chosen to highlight the features. This is the way already published books need to adapt to nascent technologies.

The attention to providing a rich user-experience is evident right from the interactive “cover,” a 3d rendering of Earth, which will pinpoint a reader’s location and exhibit how climate change will effect that spot on Earth.

Much thought, clearly, went into creating an interactive experience that would not just compliment, but genuinely enhance both the reading experience and the message. The features feel organic.

The app has an intuitive, user-friendly navigation system – each topic can be scrolled through and specific topics of interest can be explored without following a prescribed order.

Unusual too for this type of app fare, Our Choice shines brightest on iPad, but is actually universal and looks sharp on the iPhone too.

Check out this video to peek within the virtual pages and hear from Al Gore himself:

The is not a great choice for young children – the issues are complex and much of the subject matter is (justifiably) frightening, or it should be anyway if you’re paying attention. There are many ways to raise an iOS eco-warrior, you can find some of the best  on my Green Apps list here.

But, if you have a tween or older child studying climate change, this book is an excellent study companion and an engaging way to get young people motivated to make the hard choices facing their generation.

There are going to be haters – this is (unfortunately) a controversial subject in some quarters, especially in parts of the US. Climate change deniers are not going to enjoy this app, no matter how stellar the iOS rendition, on principal. And, to be fair, Mr. Gore’s political biases are not exactly subtle.

Looking at this as an app, however, critics and users agree, it sets a new bar in digital publishing.

Climate change is real, folks, and as Our Choice illuminates, the future looks grim, especially if pervasive indifference, diversionary discourse, malaise and a sense of hopelessness persist.

But, neither is the future etched in stone. This book’s title is not accidental; it is a matter of choice.

This app will not only inform, but also help readers become proactive in the fight to save Earth. Eco-warriors, tech junkies, and readers alike should celebrate Our Choice, it’s interactive reading as never before seen on iOS.

Note: The price is more than fair for a book-app this rich and 100% of Al Gore’s earnings from Our Choice will be donated to the nonprofit Alliance for Climate Protection.

If you are having deja vu, I just covered Our Choice in brief on my best interactive books for iPad list which you can find it here with rest of the best book-apps for iPad!

By the way don’t forget about Sunday’s big Launch of Apptudes!

We JUST set up a Facebook Fanpage here. While we figure it all out, we have special prizes just for those who take the time to visit and like. And check out some of the amazing prizes you can win during our luanch week swag-a-thon here. Over 100 new codes added today so be sure to visit us on Facebook and follow @apptudes and @sahgeekmom on twitter so you don’t miss out!

Here are a few recent and reviews and lists posts for you until I can write some more fresh content up – it may be a few days, I want to dedicate these last few days exclusively to the new site, but I’ll be bck very soon with more of what you know and love from me, The Stay at Home GeekMom.

Happy App Hunting

The 

Win iTunes Gift Cards Now With Tweet – Huge App & Game Promo Code Giveaway Coming Soon!

UPDATE June 16, 2011, 10:45pm EST

New chance to win June 17, 2011 9:00pm EST – this time the prize is a $15 tunes card, but you will have to work for it. This is NOT a random draw, the more attention you bring to us, the better you chnaces of winning! Random chances at iTunes cards and even early free apps, are available by liking our Facebook Fan Page here! When we hit 200 likes someone will win a $15 iTunes card, at 300 a $20 card etc. – details here.

We also have a twitter party planned for Tuesday, June 21, from 6-8pm EST – Click Here For Details

Win extra goodies just use the hashtag #swagathon starting at 6:00pm EASTERN time and for two hours we will be giving away extra swag and answering your questions about apps and the new site – please join us!

Did that make no sense? I know right, I went to my first about a week ago – it’s simple copy and paste #swagathon into twitter’s search bar when it’s time and you will automatically see everything everyone is saying and be able to reply. You can ask us questions and win big!

If you want to win you need to be following @apptudes and we have to follow you back so we can DM (direct private message) you with the code for the app you win!

Note:

We awarded the first iTunes card for Tweeters tonight, June 16, 2011, at 9:00PM EST. The prize was a $10 iTunes card for following and tweeting this and anything else that gets apptudes.com and @apptudes or our Facebook fanpage (where you can win ever more, click here) and I even gave an extra prize to someone who has been tweeting so hard for @sahgeekmom. Since we are all the same, it seemed only fair =D

Also visit and like our Facebook page to win free app promo codes starting NOW! And more chances to win Itunes gift cards! No limit to how often or how many you can win!

ORIGINAL POST:

Do you want a chance to win some of the best bet apps and games on iOS, Mac and Android?

What about free iTunes gift cards? Free subscriptions to premium online services?

Then mark the date: Father’s Day, June 19, 2011 and start following @apptudes on twitter!

Below are just some of the AppTudes launch week Swag-A-Thon sponsors.

All the apps you see below and mnay more will be yours to win, along with other amazing prizes.

To promote this event you can WIN iTunes Gift Cards starting right NOW!

Just tweet this page once a day between now and launch (we will be updating it constantly) and we will start picking winners on Thursday, June 16 from those who are doing the best job of spreading the word.

Be sure to follow me too, @sahgeekmom to keep up to date!

Check out our press release here to learn more about apptudes.com, the freshest site in iOS, Mac and Android Apps, and look forward to more great giveaways added daily

You Can Win These great iOS, OS X Apps and their PC and Android cousins too – new apps and games are coming in so fast this is only a partial list and will be updated as often as possible. These are some of the top apps, we have award winners, and we don’t review or giveaway anything we don’t absolutely love ourselves. You really don’t want to miss out on these!

                                                     

Here are some of our amazingly generous Swag-a-Thon sponsors. they are giing out iTunes gift cards, premium memberships (think Slacker Radio!) and unique prizes.

Apps:

  • ESPN iScore Baseball
  • Nascar Junkie for iPad
  • Martha Stewart Cocktails
  • How to Cook Everything – All Version!
  • Slacker Radio (Premium Subscriptions)
  • Procreate
  • Auryn Ink
  • iQuarium
  • Pimp Your Screen
  • Radio By Spreaker (Premium Subscriptions)
  • Writing Prompts
  • Packing Pro (as featured on CNN)
  • iMuscle (Nova) iPad
  • Comic Life for Mac and iOS
  • Dramatic Music App Plus
  • Debt Payoff Pro
  • Let’s Create! Pottery
  • Let’s Create! Pottery HD
  • Autopainter HD
  • Autopainter II
  • Autopainter Express for Mac
  • Dynamic Autopainter for PC
  • Wig Booth
  • Everyday Golf Coach HD
  • 1-2-3 Draw
  • Make-A-Monster
  • Overdamped Artists Series – giving away a TON of their huge catalog!
  • Album App
  • LitterBug
  • Talking 3D Lab Mat
  • Green Genie
  • Max and Molly
Games:
  • Dress Up Rush HD (released today, June 17, 2011)
  • Grim Joggers
  • Cavemean (Lemmings!)
  • Snuggle Truck
  • Smuggle Truck
  • Azkend
  • Crux (Crosswords – the best!)
  • Jack Of All Tribes HD
  • AR (Augmented Reality) Misslie -(iPhone and iPad 2)
  • SwipeTapTap
  • Sparkle the Game
  • Royal Envoy
  • Robot City
  • Heros of Kalevala
  • Sailboats Champions Pro HD
  • Teddy’s Playground
  • ColorFlys
  • Egg Drop Soup
  • Doggie Day Spa
  • Joining Hands
For Kids:
  • Hop On Pop
  • Auryn’s Little Mermaid
  • Stack the States
  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go
  • Nosy’s Crow’s Three Little Pigs
  • My Word Wall
  • Grimm’s Rapunzel – 3D Interactive Pop-up Book
  • Once Upon a Potty: Boy
  • Bunny Fun
  • Enchanted Tales: Snow White
  • Ansel and Claire’s Adventures in Africa
  • Teddy’s Day
  • Roxie’s A-MAZZE-ing Vacation Adventures
  • Teddy’s Night
  • Stack the Countries
  • Aesop in Rhyme Series from Auryn
  • Toddler Email
  • Alpha Books
  • Toddler Toy Factory
Please take a moment to visit out amazing sponsors below and tweet now to start winning!

                OVERDAMPED ARTIST SERIES           v   

Virtual History – The Last Supper: A New Bar In Interactive iPad Books.


Virtual History – The Last Supper

Also known as: Virtual History – Ultima Cena outside the US.

  • Publisher: Mondadori It
  • Genre: interactive book, art book, education, travel
  • Platform: iPad Only
  • Price: $9.99
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 5 Stars
  • Recommended Age: All Ages (not aimed at young children)

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED– winners were notified privately by email and DM.

Mondadori’s new series of educational book-apps are changing the face of digital publishing on iOS. One of the primary inspirations for my blog was the January publication of A Virtual History – Roma (released as Rome – A Virtual History, I believe) by the European publishing giant.

Mondadori HQ

Apple was featuring it prominently on the App Store, but I couldn’t find any reviews. I bought it and my jaw almost hit the floor. Stay at Home GeekMom was born a few days later, in part to fill that void. I don’t mind paying $10 for a good book, but it’s a lot to risk blind.

So I wrote about it, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that a public company the size and with the reputation of Mondadori would care.

I wrote it for you. I didn’t contact them or even send them a link (rookie mistake), but it became my most popular post and the one most often referred here by major search engines, so I keep it up to date. You can read it here.

Last week, when I saw that they had a second offering in the same vein, Virtual History – The Last Supper, about Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece, from multiple thematic, historical and artistic perspectives, I didn’t think about the cost. I dropped the $9.99 and sat back to enjoy.

If you happen to have a passion for art, books, and apps, you’ve stumbled onto the trifecta.

I was pleased with the prose and equally impressed with the perfect balance of information and interactivity, a tightrope act for anyone on a foray into this market.

I was going to review, and rave about it; I didn’t need anything, but wrote Mondadori as a fan, even if I did use the press link. And, since I am heir to the chutzpah throne, I dared to pitch a giveaway.

I am thrilled; the folks at Mondadori are open and generous. I’m sure they will appreciate the publicity on appadvice.com, but someone like me is not going to impact the bottom line for a company that is the third largest magazine publisher in France. They own a 27 percent market share of all print books in Italy and they team up with Hearst to publish “Cosmo.” They really don’t need help from ‘lil ol’ me.

Seriously, I am so flattered to have received a reply much less codes to share with you.

But, aside from showing that Mondadori people are good people, it let me know the company is fully invested in iOS development, no matter how small a percentage of their overall endeavours it currently is.

From your perspective, it means that if there are glitches, I didn’t find a single one, but if there are, they will be fixed and if Mondadori can enhance the experience, they will.

And, it bodes well for more of this sort of app-fare to follow. That’s my ulterior motive; I want this app to sell big, so Mondadori and other world-class publishers flood the app store with more, more, and more.

To say you could not get this much for less in print is an understatement. If there is such a thing as a dollar-to-feature ratio, this app is a steal.

Mondadori teamed up with and uses Applix’s- patent pending technology for the standout feature: a 360 degree panoramic 3D immersion into images based on many of the most interesting areas of discussion. It’s called a “Bubble Viewer.” which, if you look at the pic on the right up there, you’ll see is apt. You feel like you are in the painting (or room, or courtyard,) not just looking up close.

Their first title, Rome, had the same viewer, but it was a bit clunky on my iPad. An update improved it, but I tested this new offering on my iPad 2 and it’s spectacular.

Here’s a short promotional video:

You can lift your iPad and turn it to view, for example, Milan’s Santa Maria Delle Grazie Refectory, and explore it as you would in real life, by looking (holding the pad) up, down, and all around.

I thought I’d seen this before, but wow! It’s so fluid and the environments are so graphic and detail rich. I reacted with the same excitement and wonder as I did before writing about apps became my trade, not just my passion.

It is worth the $10 even if you have absolutely no interest in the subject matter, just to see how it all works.

Other interactive features include progressive timelines, overlays, three-dimensional objects to rotate and more. They are extremely polished and hiccup free.

The written content is solid. It’s not dense, you can get through it quickly, but the breadth is outstanding.

The prose, I am assuming a translation from Italian, is neither pedantic nor patronizing. They don’t dumb it down. It’s not a scholarly work, you can read the text in an hour, but the writing is very good, and they don’t shy away from polysyllabic words when appropriate.

The features, however, make the app accessible to all. Even my energizer-bunny of a kid stopped and stared for a few minutes although he is more into Roma, because of the 3D gladiators.

There is an introduction and five chapters with various subcategories:

  • Inside the Last Supper
  • History and Studies
  • A Brilliant Project
  • The Mysteries of the Code (which will appeal to fans and haters of Dan Brown’s bestseller and the major motion picture, The Da Vinci Code)
  • From Da Vinci to Today

The introduction includes a tutorial worth checking out, but the GUI is intuitive; you’ll find everything if you tap around.

“Inside the Last Supper” is the biggest section, filled with information about the artistic innovations, the “protagonists” of the work,  (le mot juste) and details like what is (and isn’t) on the table.

Most pages are accompanied by one of the features discussed above.

The other chapters are smaller, but go into greater detail on specific areas. And the special effects are present, but not excessive. If the text says it all, they let it do so.

The digital elements are chosen carefully to enhance the reader’s understanding of the subject matter, and, it seems, the areas of focus were chosen to show off the features. It’s a perfect blend and makes the reading experience pleasurable.

The app is not about the controversies surrounding the art. Its primary focus is on the fresco, as it should be.

Where they do address Brown’s book, however, they politely, but cheerfully, debunk his theories one by one with brief, scholarly facts.

I’m no expert on Renaissance art or politics, nor do I know much about conspiracies, so I’m not going to editorialize.

But, the book doesn’t seem to have an agenda, just an interest in pointing out that there are simple and viable explanations for the mysteries. Call it an Occam’s razor approach.

The developers must have done research on the comments about other pricier App Store offerings that are image-rich.

One of the most common complaints is deftly avoided; you can minimize the text box on any page, to fully explore the image below. It’s the type of small touch that makes the app shine.

I would have used a bookmark feature, had there been one, for review purposes. And, these old eyes would love scalable fonts or a pinch-to-zoom feature for the smallish text. But, these are small matters, as this is still hands down the best book-app I’ve seen.

I poked around on Mondadori’s website and found their mission statement:

The company’s mission has always been to encourage the broadest possible dissemination of culture and ideas, with a product range that covers all genres and reaches all readers, combining a love of culture and editorial quality with market rules and a capacity to identify and anticipate change while respecting and protecting the values that underlie the publisher’s role in civil society

To that end, Virtual History – The Last Supper (Ultima Cena in some App Stores) is a complete success.

If you want to peek at the future of digital publishing you have to get Virtual History – The Last Supper. It’s a must-have for iPad and iPad 2 owners; few apps will make your device look this good.

Want to win a copy? You can enter a draw for two codes on my review on appadvice.com, but I have one saved just for my loyal readers.

Leave a comment about why you want this, how you would use it, what you think of their other title, Virtual History – Rome, or anything relevant, and frankly for this one I’m going to pick the reply I like the best. This is not just a freebie, it’s gift I hope you will treasure, and I want it in loving hands.

Added 5/28/11: You can earn an entry into a separate RANDOM draw. Just use the share button below or the Tweet link on top to share this review on Twitter. tweet and retweet it yourself and you’re in. Remember to include @sahgeekmom so I can find you!

Contest Closes Tuesday, June 1, 2011, 9:00pm PDT. Good Luck!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to my US friends and family. I’ll be back with a complete list of the best interactive books for iPad here and on appadvice.com. And, mark your calendars and add @apptudes to your twitter feed to be the first to know about an exciting new venture in app reviews! http://www.apptudes.com,  launching 19 June, 2011!

In the meantime, don’t forget to enter the Scrap It Contest for a chance to win one of three iTunes gift Cards, up to $50 value, click here. And here are some of my recent and most popular reviews and lists to keep you busy.

Happy App Hunting

The 

iPad Scrapbooking Fans Of All Ages: My Scrap LIfe

UPDATE: June 19, 2011: My Scrap Life and Kid’s Corner had to be pulled from the App Store over a Copyright disagreement. The Contest is Closed.

My Scrap Life and Kids Corner

  • By: Dirk Bost
  • Genre: scrapbooking, creative app, children’s creative app, photo fun
  • Platform: iPad 
  • Price: $.99 (both apps, sold separately)
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 4.75 Stars
  • Pump gives it 4.5 Pump’s up!
  • Recommended Age: Kids Corner Ages 3-11, My Scrap Life All Ages

 

Do you love to make scrapbooks on your iPad? What about your kids, do they have a creative side and enjoy playing with pictures?

If so, you are going to want to read this article and enter this contest brought to you exclusively by developer Dirk Bost, The Stay ay Home GeekMom and appadvice.com.

I brought you a review of Kids Corner, a scrapbooking app masquerading as just plain kid photo fun, back when it was new. It’s a great creative and educational app for kids. You can read about it here.

It was recently updated, and Dirk did a bang-up job.

There are tons of new elements to play with, and the interface, which was always simple, is now perfect for a child, even a pre-reader to interact with. It’s fast, fluid and the results are so much fun.

Pump, you know him by now, my seven-year-old son and co-reviewer, is a serious shutterbug.

And, he enjoys playing with photo editors, but if I actually said the words “scrap” and “book” to him in one sentence, he’d run for the hills. (Or his “secret” fort in the neighbor’s yard anyway.)

I am trying to raise-a-reader and artsy-type, but I seem, instead, to be raising a giant ball of mud that zooms in, empties my fridge, and zips back out leaving a trail of grimy footprints and me with a muck-encrusted kiss-mark if I’m lucky.

He’s getting ready to visit his Auntie Loo Loo (yes, we have funny names in my family) and his cousins Noa and Kaya in New York, all by himself soon.

So we went ahead and created a little project to send to them, to let them know how excited he is.

It took us under 15 minutes to make this, and when I say “us”, all I did was hand over the iPad and then save the project. He even takes his own screenshots now. (See gallery below.)

I don’t want to dwell on Kid’s Corner, you have my review, and it’s been much improved since I raved about it here and on appadvice.com.

Pump loved making himself into a pirate and exploring outer space when we first tried it out; these screenshots are from the original review.

 

But, I have to tell you about My Scrap Life, Dirk’s new app for all scrapbook fans, before we can get to the contest, so let’s check that one out. I’ll start by saying both apps, at only $.99 are a steal.

With My Scrap Life you don’t have to spend hours fine tuning a project, you get amazing looking results with an incredible degree of customizability, in no time at all. But you might get lost for hours, there are so many designs to play with.

I will be doing list of the best scrapbook making apps here and on appadvice and this is one of my top picks, and certainly the best deal in its class on the App Store.

There are no in-app purchases, and as the update to the kid version shows, you will be getting new content rolled out in stages.

Speaking of the content, many scrap-apps I have tried are cutesy. My Scrap Life has plenty of cute, if that’s your thing, but there is an artistic feel to everything from the cartoons to the word art. The elements look (beautifully) hand-drawn.

It has the same retooled sleek GUI as Kid’s Corner, and the same lightning speed (I added about 10 elements at once, like tap tap tap tap… and no problems or crashes on either iPad model.)

You get borders, backgrounds, word art, letter sets, (a nice touch, only minimally available in Kids Corner) pictures and clip-art, a text tool, easy saving, and sharing by email from within the app.

It is simple to scale, resize, rotate, duplicate and move items to the fore and background with a single tap.

Of course you can import photos from the iPad library, but you can also use something like Clipish, or just a Google’s image search, to get more backgrounds and items.

I don’t take a lot of art-quality flower photographs, I just got inspired from some My Scrap Lifr clip-art, opened Clippish Pro, did a search and ta-da.

(I believe I’ve mentioned my lack of talent before, so please, judge the app, not my creations. I look forward to seeing yours.)

I was so pleased to find all the same intuitive features of Kids Corner, but with a whole slew of new, more stylish graphic elements. The apps work alike, but are tailored for totally different markets.

I recognize a few borders from Kid’s Corner, but the content in this app is fresh, not recycled, and not geared towards younger kids.

It is, however, geared in part towards moms and dads, grandmas, teachers, and others who love to show off the kids in their world.

So you do find elements related to kids, but also to nature, parties, high school, art, even skulls and tattoos, and for all kinds of events.

The app has elements geared towards creating ecards and invitations, and has a full-functioning text tool for entering the details.

I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for Facebook integration, so I can torture more of my friends, but for now here’s something better.

EDIT JUNE !(, @)!!: Conest Closed, App No Longer For SAle

Purchase My Scrap Life and/or Kids Corner app for iPad. (Click on the icons up at the top, to go right to the app in iTunes)

  • Come up with your most creative scrap page.
  • Use the My Scrap Life or Kids Corner email feature and submit your work to ipadscrapbook@gmail.com
  • One $30 iTunes gift card winner will be selected for the My Scrap Life submissions.
  • One $30 iTunes gift card winner will be selected for Kids Corner submissions. (Creations from kids under 12 only please, moms and dads.)
  • The winner of each will receive iTunes gift cards, emailed from the developer, Dirk Bost, to the email address used to submit the scrap page.
  • There will also be one mega-winner of a $50 iTunes gift card for the best scrap page from both pools.
  • Winner’s scrap page will be featured on the My Scrap Life and Kids Corner website too.

Please, while not required, I’d love links to works in the comments, so readers can voice opinions and help Dirk pick the winners.

Look for more info, coming soon to appadvice.com, and start creating now.

Limit one entry per user, so be sure to send you very best.

The contest closes on 06/25/11 at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be notified by no later than 06/30/2011.

Please note, as you can read on my contest page, this is a contest I am happily helping to promote, but I will not be involved in the prize distribution.

I will be back tomorrow with something I’m very excoted to bring you. One of my most popular reviews, and my favorite interactive educational books on the App Store, Rome – A Virtual History (review here) has a new baby brother!

Mondadori Publishing has released Virtual History – The Last Supper. It’s simply incredible, but it’s not cheap. So read about it here and who knows, if you all keep clicking, I might just keep on giving.

More reviews and a new app list coming soon. For now please enjoy these recent reviews, lists and WeekEnd Editions. All previous contests are closed.

Happy App Hunting

The 

Best iPhone Apps For News Junkies (Most Free!)

Stay At Home GeekMom Weekend Edition: Best Apps for News Junkies – iPhone (Most Free!)

Hello again,

I’ve been so good, I’ve been posting here all week and I have an exclusive giveaway going on right now for the best new puzzle game this year, Burn it All.

Now it’s time for another Weekend Edition.

I have been meaning to do this one for a while. As a news-a-holic I use my iDevices to consume news in every format. I get my print newspapers, my digital editions of print newspapers, my magazines and anything else availble in paper, in paperless form. I also comsume RSS feeds and tweets voraciously.

And if you were one of my Facebook friends you would know I love sharing what I discover or find interesting with everyone.

iPhones and iPads are the ideal way to get your news on the go in myriad formats. No matter how you like your news served, there is, of course, an app for that.

In fact there are actually thousands of apps for that, so how do you choose? And should you pay or stick to the free services?

Today we are going to look at  iPhone (and iPod touch) options for news, but instead of just mentioning my favourites, I created a guide. Part two, next weekend, will focus on iPad apps. Apps on both lists may be universal so check them both out!

Since this is a guide, not a list, the apps are ranked and categorized.

If I missed your favorite please let me know in the comments. I checked out over 60 apps for this list, but I could never hope to cover them all!

Must-Haves

PressReader Universal (free) 7 Trial issues, In-App Subscription 
5 Stars

If you are a traditional news junkie and love newspapers, but want to carry them with you or if you want your papers, but you want features that only an app can provide, PressReader is awesome. Literally,  as in I am in awe of how it brings the world to my lap.

It gives you access to over 1700 papers from around the world.

Read the International Herald Tribune, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Observer and other major international papers.

And also select from thousands of publications from cities and towns in every corner of the world, all in their native language.

The universal app is free to download, comes with seven free issues, and then has a pay-as-you go or subscription option.

Features include read aloud, multi-platform access, easy navigation, social network integration, and all papers are available for offline reading.

I wrote a comprehensive review when I first started this blog, you can read it here, but note there have been even more updates and more papers added.

Because it is a companion app to a huge website, and part of a company that delivers newspapers to hotels worldwide you can expect constant improvements.

Also you can access the papers you buy on your computer or almost any other mobile device, not just Apple gear. It’s even available for Kindle and other e-readers. This is a must-have if you don’t mind paying a fair price for a ton of content.

User reviews were middling until recent updates. The current version has 4.5 stars but only 7 people have checked in. Try a free issue , or just browse and let me know if you love it as much as I do!

Pulse News Mini (free)  5 Stars

Pulse Mini is the free iPhone counterpart to the hugely popular Pulse News app for iPad. It’s gorgeous. It also brings you news from any of a vast selection of preset feeds in all areas including sports, tech, politics, entertainment even fashion from the biggest websites around.

It lets you add your Twitter, Facebook and other social network feeds. And it functions as a Google reader.  We’ll go a bit deeper into Pulse in part two, in the mean time you can get it for iPad, also free, on the App Store.

Excellent Options:

News360 Universal (free) 4.5 Stars

With well over 2000 user reviews and a solid 4.5 rating, News360 may not need an introduction, but here’s one just in case.

The app gathers information from over 100 newspapers and magazines and presents them to you based on your location.

It also serves up multiple articles from many viewpoints on a single theme allowing for depth and perspective.

With the ability to follow topics and Instapaper and Read it later for offline reading and Facebook, Twitter and email sharing and you have another free winner.

Taptu Universal (free) 4.5 Stars

 
This one is the newest universal multi-source newsreader to hit the App Store. And I confess, I’m in love.

Taptu is the current critics darling; wired.com, TechCrunch, Tuaw and Gizmodo amongst others, have been touting the newcomer as a fantastic news app that keeps you coming back for more.

It’s user interface (UI) is beautiful. Taptu lets you add your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, and the content from your favorite web sites and blogs (via RSS feeds or Twitter.) It then transforms them into visual streams. Share via Facebook, Twitter and email.

Reported crashes were fixed in update, new version is getting 4.5 stars.

Reader ($2.99) 4.5 Stars

If Google Reader is your preferred manner of consuming news, I highly recommend Reeder.

There are many free alternatives, good ones, (I like Feedly and Feeddler), but if you rely on Google’s RSS service, no iPhone app brings you more for less.

Browsing and sharing are a breeze, the slider control is great, and it’s super easy to manage feeds and folders.

Features: send to Instapaper, ReadItLater or Readability, save to Delicious, Pinbard and Zootool; Facebook and twitter posting, and much more. Current version has 20 5-stars ratings, overall over 355, with a firm 4.5.

Sources You Know -Good Apps

PBS NEWSHOUR – official (free) 4.5 stars

What can I say, it’s PBS’s Newshour. Some folks don’t like the GUI, I say get over it.

If PBS wants to bring their content to me for free even on my iDevices, I’m thrilled to have not just one, but many hours of their insightful, in-depth analysis.

And the chief user complaint is the placement of a banner. It’s annoying, but this is PBS. If they can raise funds in-app, kudos; at least their not shilling for co-co puffs or Shi.. er Citibank. Get it!

NPR News (free) 4.5 Stars

Ok I don’t debate politics,(well of course I do, but not here) ,but this might give you a hint as to which side of the aisle I would be on if I were American.

If you hate NPR, obviously this is the wrong app, but if you are like me and turn to them for thought-provoking discussions of headlines, politics, and everything else under the sun then this is one killer app.

Forgetting the content, the features are amazing and the interface works smoothly. The latest version has over 1000 user reviews and it gets a solid 4-stars. If you assume some of the critics are NPR haters, I think my rating is more reflective of the app’s quality.

You can listen to hourly updates, create playlists of stories you want to hear, and stream podcasts, no syncing or downloading needed.

You can also read stories while listening to live or on-demand shows an can download the stories for offline access. You can find your local station or listen to your favorites from around the US (I am partial to Boston) or stick with national coverage only.

Favorite segments like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, Fresh Air, and Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! are included. It’s a must-have for NPR junkies.

CBS Sunday Morning (free) 4 Stars 


Sunday is happy day for news junkies. The best papers are bursting at the seams and for most of my life CBS has brought us 60 Minutes in the evening and CBS Sunday Morning with our coffee and crossword.

OK, both shows have gone downhill since their heyday, 60 Mnutes more than Sunday Morning, but in a sea of lightweight news programs, of info-tainment and opinion lurking beneath the guise of journalism, Sunday Morning is a still breathe of sunny fresh air. Especially if you like culture with your news.

They cover the news the sound-byte stations overlook: Art, Music, Architecture, Nature, Pop Culture, History and offer thoughtful opinions from some of the best commentators still on the idiot-box And Charleses, past and present, serve the top news and political stories from unique angles.

The app brings you highlights only, not full shows, but I’ll take it. It’s also a two-fer; tap to switch to the main CBS news app: But that app is poorly rated (see below.)

This one is iPhone only, The video upscales well to iPad, but the GUI does not. Users give it 3-3.5 stars, but I am a die-hard fan of the show and if you are too, it’s even worth the pixelation on the iPad to get the video content.

Quality crumbs beat an overabundance of garbage any day.

Bloomberg  (free) 4 Stars

If the name doesn’t make you think of stocks and financial news you must have been sleeping in a cave for the last several decades.

Bloomberg is a preeminent source for all things market-reated, and the app serve up their content on iPhone.

Bloomberg offers news, stock quotes, company descriptions, market leaders and laggers, price charts, market trends analysis, and more.

You can also create a customized list of stocks you want to follow from markets around the world.

It gets a 3.5 from users, I think the UI makes it worth 4.

BBC News (free) 4 stars

What’s in a name? With the BBC, like NPR and PBS, everything. Here’s their free app that lets you access their best content.

Filter news stories by geographical region or category including business, technology, entertainment and sports. It  also has content in Spanish, Russian, Arabic and other languages.

You even get video, including one minute news summaries to keep you informed on the go.  You can also personalize the app to suit your interests and download content for offline browsing

NBC Nightly News (free) 3 stars.

I don’t like network and cable news, period. And while all the networks have apps, I will tell you now that ABC, CBS, CNN and Fox get terrible reviews.

Well Fox’s dedicated, um, call them fans, (but in the literal sense), will defend the 24 hour exreme-right-wing propaganda machine. (Even on matters where I lean right, they are just plain nuts, sorry. Blame it on my Candianess, but it’s lol-funny, in a sad way.)

But those judging the app, not the politics say it’s crap too.

NBC Nighlty News by MSNBC is the only one that gets decent ratings. Users, the few who left comments, love it or hate it, but it averages out to 3.5 stars. Just the icon makes me sure I’ll never check for myself. Blech.

Sources You Know -Bad Apps

NYTimes (subscription only) 3 stars

 
The NY Times is widely considered one of the finest news organizations in the world and their app was huge hit. A recent change making content available only to subscribers, however, has lowered their user-reviewers considerably. News Junkies are fleeing to free or cheaper alternatives.

If you do have a subscription or need your NYT like I do (book reviews!), then this app remains a good, really the only, choice.

Just read the fine print; there has been some confusion over iTunes NYT subscriptions and direct NTY subscriptions.

Network News Apps (free) 0-2 Stars 

As I said avoid all the major US news network apps, besides the NBC one, and even that is superfluous with so many better options.

I’m not going to take them down one by one, just trust me, they suck and the content is often not available out of the US anyway.

CNN’s iPad app is eye candy, but their iPhone app is almost impossible to see.

AP Mobile (free) 2 stars

 The Associated Press is one of the oldest and most respected news organizations in the world. News outlets pay them to provide breaking news from all over the globe.

Their’s was also one of the first iPhone news apps to use Push Notifications. It used to me my go-to app for headlines and push.

But so many better alternatives have cropped up, and the AP app sits mostly unchanged except that a recent update added in-app adverts, which are turning off long-time fans.

Reuters is on par with the AP and their free app gets great ratings although I haven’t checked it out myself. It can’t be worse.

Great Alternatives to Traditional News Apps:

Twitter (free) 5 stars

If I were just listing the best twitter clients, I would not give Twitter’s own iPhone app 5 stars or the top spot. But this is a list for news junkies, not tweeters. This app has all the basic functions of twitter, and, of course, it’s free.

Other apps are available with more robust features, and with less features, and more a more passive reading experience. We’ll talk which are best that in another post.

But what we do need to discuss is how Twttter is one of the best and most popular ways to access news from any device or computer, any time, anywhere.  If you know all about twitter, skip this next part, but if you don’t read on:

It seems like  years ago, but back in late January when I was starting this blog I hadn’t used twitter, nor had I any interest in it.

My understanding was that Twitter was a way to link to your friends and celebrities to send stupidly short notes about what you are doing every minute of the day.

And I was right, Twitter is that. But, it’s also become the ultimate aggregrator, for all interests, particularly news. All you need to do is open a free account and start searching.

Pick an obvious starting point like the NYT or the AP, your local paper, favorite news network, website, or whatever and it’s pretty likely they have a twitter feed.

Just choose to follow them and suddenly you are getting instant access to their latest news. Then see who they follow to find more content you wouldn’t think to search for.

Robin Rhys, appadvice.com’s on-air personality, my friend and colleague, just covered the best Twitter apps for all different levels of Twitter users. She explains a lot about Twitter in general too.

Check it out to find which Twitter app will suit you best – I use several, but Tweetings is the one that lives on my dock.

As you get to know your way around, you will find there is a ton of content for any interest under the sun.

And things called hashtags that let you see what everyone in the Twitterverse (I know, but I didn’t make it up) is talking about.

If you typed in #royalwedding yesterday you could have seen what every single person from everywhere on earth had to say. All I had to say was “who cares”, so I did chirp in, but you can see how it can help with issues that actually matter.

And don’t think you only get 146 characters of news. Twitter all about sharing links. You post a link, a short comment and ta-da you have a tweet. When you read tweets in most apps you don’t have to open a web browser, you can see the relevant web page right there.

Of course you can then retweet it to your followers and trust me, somehow, some people, will find you!

Newsy: Multisource Video News Analysis (free) 4.5 stars

Newsy is also available for iPad and TechCrunch calls it a must-download. It’s for those who like to watch the news instead of reading it.

Newsy delivers short videos designed to keep you informed on the biggest news stories. It’s great to enhance your understanding of all sides of the argument quickly,  by providing multiple perspectives from multiple sources. The current version has 4.5 stars from over 50 users.

MacHash News (free) 4.5 stars 

Apple Junkie? Tech-News-aholic? If you’re looking for the latest on OS X and iOS look no further than #MacHash. (Think hashtags, see Twitter above)

It’s a tech news aggregator that delivers the latest Apple news to any iDevice.

Sources include: 9to5 Mac, Apple Hot News, AppleInsider, GigaOm, Lifehacker, Mac Observer, MacApper, MacDailyNews, Macenstein, MacLife, MacNewsWorld, MacNN, MacRumors, MacStories, Macworld, PowerPage, RoughlyDrafted, Slashdot: Apple, Smoking Apples, TidBITS, TiPb, TUAW and more in a great universal interface.

It’s a fantastic go-to resource for folks just like me. It gets a 4.5 rating from users too.

Podcasts – AudioPress Pro Player 
($1.99) 4 Stars

Do you prefer listening to, over reading or watching, the news? Or do you find yourself in the car or at work an unable to take your eyes off your task? Then Audiopress is for you.

Radio apps provide plenty of access to talk and news stations, but Audiopress brings you the news-out-loud a different way.

You can search radio stations by geo-location, but the primary function is playing podcasts. Just create a playlist and you’re set.

Don’t know the first thing about podcasts? Me neither, I equte them with iPod audio players, not iOS devices.

But Audiopress offers an easy way to discover them, and to my surprise there is a ton of great current content out there, news and otherwise.

In this app you can pick up to three topics and it chooses podcasts for you. You can then fine tune as much as you like. You can save podcasts for offline listening.

Once you learn what you like, you can add any other podcast you want, for a completely personalized listening experience. I have started to use it daily.

Share via Facebook. Twitter, and email. Free version available with limited features. 57 users share my 4-Star assessment. Try it.

Zinio Magazine Newsstand & Reader (freee to download, minimal free content, buy magazine via in-app purchase) 3.5 Stars

Prefer your news in magazine form? Well if PressReader is a virtual newspaper stand, Zinio is it’s magazine counterpart.

Access digital copies of news, sports, and every other type of magazine from top publishes. All the major names are there.

This is a paid service, there is a little free content, but expect the costs to be as much or more than retail. Much worse for non-US customers.

That said the interface is fantastic and some magazines are worth any price. I love National Geographic’s interactive content and prefer Zinio to their own app. Users like it less than I because of the cost. it gets 3 stars in/on the App Store.

Ok that should keep you more than busy for this weekend.

Until then please check out some of my most popular weekend editions and recent reviews. And enter to win the only free copy giveaway for the biggest new game to hit the app store. It’s the best puzzler of 2011 and I have a copy and a review for you! It’s the next post down or the first link below.

Happy App Hunting

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The Stay at Home GeekMom Weekend Edition: The Best Apps For Earth Day. All iOS Devices.

Green Apps! The Best Apps For Earth Day. All iOS Devices.

Go Green and Learn More About Our Beautiful Home: Earth.

For All iDevices, Ages, Interests and Budgets.

Wow it’s been so long I hope you guys remember me!

With holidays and my added gig at appadvice.com, writing AppLists and AppGuides (lists are like this post, a list of different apps, related in a broad category, in no order, guides rank apps in a single specific genre) I’ve hardly had a chance to breathe. But it’s fun.  =D

Ok so Earth Day is fast approaching, but every day really should be Earth day, especially if you have kids. I don’t have to tell you it’s their world we’re mucking up and they have the most to win or lose.

But we all can do with some education, and some tools to make being green easier. And there are many increbible ways to view our planet with iOS apps. Once you check some of them out, you will learn or remember why Earth is so special no matter what lens you view it through, and desrving of loving care.

This is a reprint from my first two app lists, all for Earth Day.

Part One is a list of iPhone/iPod touch and universal apps that can help you find practical ways to make changes, and stories and games to engage your little eco-activists.

Part Two are iPad and Universal apps that show you Earth’s beauty, history, science and natural splendour in spectacular and creative ways. There are many great choices for young students to learn and play with too. In total here are 21 green apps for iOS.

Please check them both out, the  lists follow each other in a single long post rather than being split in two as usual so you can have them in time for Friday, April 22, 2011.

Green Apps For iPhone

There are lots of ways to be a part of the solution on Earth Day and around the year. Whether you want to learn more, do more, conserve more, or educate your kids, there’s a green app for that.

My Recycle List by 1-800-Recycling.com (Free)

Everyone knows recycling is a key factor in any Green effort. But it’s not always easy to know where to bring everything or even what, specifically, is recyclable. This app offers a solution by helping you create a very specific list from nine categories of common recyclables, and then finds a location near you that accepts them.

Green Outlet by Key Lime 314, LLC (4.99)

One great way of conserving energy and reducing your electricity bill is to find out which appliances are the biggest drain in your home. Here’s an app that does that for you.

Enter your current rate (per KW hour) select anything from an xbox to a fish tank and see what it’s really costing you and the earth. The app even calculates your carbon footprint.

The Four Seasons – An Earth Day Interactive childrens story book by Tab Tale (Free)

There is not a more receptive, nor a more important group to educate about the environment than children. It’s their future that is at stake after all. This beautiful free ebook created just for Earth Day will engage your youngest eco-warriors with a charming story, animations, and tons of interactive features. It has an almost perfect rating in the App Store.

EnvironRss by Michael Wasserman (.99)

Knowledge is power and this app gives you access to an wealth of information on all matters relating to the environment. Follow events from around the world by checking out any of the many included RSS feeds like government feeds, non-profits like the WWF or Sierra club, and even cutting edge think tanks. Share by Facebook or email, save for offline reading with Instapaper integration, and add your own RSS feeds too. A great resource.

Skeptical Science by Shine Technologies (Free)

The biggest impediment to Green efforts is that ignorance and misinformation about global warming in particular, abounds; there are doubters and nay-sayers everywhere. This app breaks down common misconceptions like “it’s not happening” or “It’s not bad” and then offers factual peer-reviewed scientific research to contest almost any irrational argument you may encounter.

Clean The Gulf by Tiger Stripes LLC (Free)

The Deepwater Horizon (BP) oil rig spill in the Gulf of Mexico created the biggest natural disaster in US history. This app Is a great way for young and old to learn about the impact and help in the cleanup. The app offers information about the Gulf in simple language and with animation to make it engaging for kids. It also provides practical ways to get involved.

Earth Hour 60+ by Earth Hour (Free)

Earth Hour has passed for 2011, but this app keeps the spirit alive all year. Interact with the Global Village and see what others are doing to make an difference. Get great ideas of small things you can do every day to change the world. Then share your own ideas with photos and videos.

Three Trees by Studio Pepwuper, Inc (.99)

This game already had an environmental theme. The object is to move water, air, and sun in order to save three plants from the ravages of dust, flooding, and drought. It’s simple, challenging, and the developers are adding an Earth Day update that promises to help explain the day and provide resources for learning more.

WWF Panda Collection Tin by WWF UK (1.99)

The World Wildlife Fund is a global organization that works to preserve animals from extinction around the globe. One way you can support their cause is to buy a virtual gift for yourself or a friend. You get a cute 3D panda tin, and the WWF UK gets research funds.

GoodGuide by GoodGuide (Free)

Changing what you buy, and even how you shop is another way to help the Earth. Some products are less toxic than others, some companies have a better environmental track record than others.

This app helps you sort through over 70,000 Food, Personal Care, Household Cleaners, Toys, and Paper products. You just use iPhone camera as a bar code scanner and find out everything you need to know. Then share the info on social media and create shopping and blacklists.

The Lorax – Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media (4.99)

If anyone knows how to engage kids, it’s the great Dr Seuss. The Lorax is a cautionary tale about corporate greed, deforestation, and extinction. The Once-ler recounts how the Lorax “who speaks for the trees” tried and failed to save the Truffula Forest and its inhabitants from his Thneeds Factory. The app comes with read-it-myself or read-it-to-me options and renders the Green classic beautifully for iOS.

Lorax Garden by Oceanhouse Media (1.99)

To compliment the book, the Lorax Garden offers gameplay for any age. Where the book ends sadly (but with a glimmer of hope), now you have the chance to help the Lorax reforest the woods with Truffula trees and flowers you grow. It’s a lot of fun and brings the message that change is possible home.

iPad Apps For Earth Day

To know Earth is to love Earth. But efforts to secure our planet’s future require a knowledge of it, past and present. Only when we understand our wondrous world can we truly engage in the battle to save it. In honor of Earth Day we look at some of the very best iPad titles in the App Store for learning about our home. From the sky, through a camera lens, through animals, nature, art, history and fun, we we bring you the best iPad apps to celebrate our planet and understand our place in it, on Earth Day and all year long.

Google Earth, by Google. Free

The best way to get to know your planet is to see it, and no one brings it to you quite like Google Earth. It uses Google’s satellite imagery to allow you to explore the far reaches of the globe or your own backyard at a swipe. The app is great on all iOS devices, but it shines on iPad, especially when viewing the high-resolution images of over half the world’s population and browsing the vast nunber of geo-located photos from around the globe.

DINOSAURS iPad: American Museum of Natural History Collections by American Museum of Natural History.( 99)

They say those who don’t study the past are doomed to repeat it. How better, then, to learn how to avoid a catastrophic future than by studying dinosaurs and their legacy. The American Museum of Natural History brings their world-famous exhibits to iPad so everyone can discover the clues our cold-blooded forbearers left behind.

It contains a mosaic of over 1000 images from the museum’s archive in a collage that replicates a T-Rex; each interactive pic provides information about where the fossil was found. It’s Mesozoic eye candy.]

50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic by National Geographic Society – 4.99 (Reg. 9.99)

How the National Geographic Society narrowed down their spectacular archive of iconic photographs is beyond imagining, but this app presents you with 50 of their finest shots. And a ton of background information too.

Features include: a video introduction from the Editor-in-Chief of the Magazine; photographer bios; background information on the photos; videos; and interactive maps and timelines. It is a bit expensive, but the way National Geo captures nature and culture is priceless.

Britannica Kids: Rainforests by Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc ($4.99)

If you have a child in grammar school, they have almost certainly learned about the fragile existence of the world’s rain forests. Brittanica (of Encyclopedia fame) serves up an interactive mix of games images and information on 21 animals and topics like “What is a Rainforest”, “Rainforest Plants” and “Rainforest Threats” It’s a great study aid, and sure to engage. Aimed at kids 8-12.

 Living Earth HD – World Clock and Weather by Moshen Chan (.99)Looking for something a little more functional? This app brings you a virtual 3D view of Earth from outer space and while universal, serves as an ideal showcase app for your iPad’s display. It features accurate cloud rendering in close to real time, allowing you to see storms as they happen from a rare vantage point.
It’s also a world clock with an alarm functions, and a weather app with a four day forecast for over 22,000 global locations. Watch sunrise lead to sunset, the seasons as they change, all in stunning hi-resolution.

Geo Walk HD – 3D World Factbook by Vito Technology Inc. (2.99)
This app provides an innovative approach to teaching kids about the world. Young users are presented with a 3D virtual globe that is spinable and scaleable. The app contains 500 pictures and brief descriptions broken into four categories: places, animals, plants, and people. There is even an interactive quiz. It’s a good choice to engage grade and middle schoolers with their planet without overwhelming them with tons of information. They call it “Edutainement”; that’s on the nose

Heritage, by Fotonauts Inc. (Free)

Fotopedia brings you the world in many wonderful ways, but none of their apps are better suited to Earth Day than Heritage. This award-winning collection of 25,000 stunning photographs from around the globe is completely free. Admire images of our beautiful planet in all its glorious colors then save your favorites to use as wallpaper or share via social media.

Here On Earth by Arcade Sunshine Media, LLC. ($11.99)

For those who want something substative, the interactive edition of Tim Flannery’s book about Darwin, Dawkins, evolution, and how to reshape our thinking on those matters, is an ideal choice.

The multimedia version of the bestselling work, “traces the history of the planet, the history of humanity, and the impact that we have had on our planet.”Before you balk at the price, the text iBook is only a dollar less; in print, it’s more.

Here the text is accompanied by 25 Interviews with the author, videos from award-winning filmmakers, social network integration, even air play support. it’s not for the intellectually timid, but the special features make the book much more accessible. A benchmark for interactive books in any genre.

TreePad by Algorithmic Botany (Free)

Here’s a completely different way to celebrate Earth Day and your love of trees year round. Treepad gives you the ability to render 3D tree models from a vast assortment of natural tree elements. It has the customizability of a top-notch art app, but with results so realistic you will find yourself making one after another and filling at least your virtual space with oxygenated wonder.

Art Authority for iPad, by Open Door Networks, Inc. (9.99)

Photos, fossils and facts are traditional ways to view the world. A path less travelled is history through the lens of art. Of all the multi-artist apps in the App Store this one offers the greatest breadth. It has everything from cave drawings to contemporary classics, taking you on a journey like no other. The app is full of hi-def images of masterworks broken into periods and displayed like an art gallery. It will take you on an odyssey through time guided by many of the most creative people to ever grace our planet. Also availble for iPhone.

Thanks for checking this out doing your part to make a greener tomorrow. I’ll be back soon with fresh apps soon, in the mean time please check out some of my recent reviewes:

Happy App Hunting

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