iPhone App Review: Earth Changes and Our Hidden Past

iPhone App Review: Earth Changes and Our Hidden Past

August 17th, 2011 by

In this new “book” by author Mike Pettigrew, you can travel along on a journey to explore our past and learn what Earth’s past may mean for our own future. Presented as a standalone audiobook app, Earth Changes And Our Hidden Past features over 90 minutes of spoken text, plus a gallery of photos. The book itself touches on the topics of global climate change, crustal displacement, the Great Pyramid, and even Atlantis.

How It Works

The content of the book is presented almost purely in audio format (with some photographs included), so while you won’t be reading this on the commuter train in to work, you could listen to it on the car ride home. Why you’re riding a train to work and driving a car home is a little unclear in my example, but you get the picture.

After watching the load screen you are dropped right into the book itself, beginning with the introduction. Along the top of the screen are the different sections: “Audio”, “Chapters”, “Resources”, and “Gallery”.

The Audio tab is of course where you listen to the book, and it includes standard iPod controls to move back and forth through the chapters, as well as an audio scrubber to slide through the audio within your current chapter. The Chapters list is where you can jump to a specific chapter, but most importantly you can see the chapter titles and see how long each one is. Think of it like the table of contents. The Resources tab simply includes information about the author, including his other works, some other suggested titles for further reading, the app’s production credits, and a link to tell a friend about the app. The Gallery is, of course, the photo gallery.

When playing a chapter you are free to move around within the app. A smaller version of the playback controls appear at the bottom of the screen while navigating to other sections of the app.

Pros And Cons

Earth Changes And Our Hidden Past is a well-designed audiobook that doesn’t just present you with a list of sound files to listen to. The developers went the extra step of creating an interface environment that supports the book’s text, as well as securing a narrator with an interesting voice that is also easy to understand. The information within the book is presented in a clear and understandable way, which is essential since they have not included a text-based version of the information within.

The only thing I would wish for in this app would be, of course, a text-based version to be able to read along with (or to just plain read). The app stops playing once you leave, meaning that if you want to listen to the book and browse the internet, answer emails, or play Angry Birds, you’ll just have to plain not do that. The app is better suited for driving commutes or relaxing on the beach, where you don’t really want to be doing anything but listening anyway.

Overall

Earth Changes And Our Hidden Past is an interesting set of theories and ideas about our planet’s history, presented in a clear and understandable way. The app itself is well-designed, making “reading” this book a pleasure every step of the way. It is currently available for $5.99 as a universal app for small and large iOS devices.

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