Posted by: sommecourt | 07/12/2011

Pearl Harbour Battle App: Reviewed

Today is a fitting one to be reviewing a new iPad App about the attack on Pearl Harbour as it is the 70th Anniversary of the ‘Day of Infamy’. The App is a joint venture between well known military publishers Osprey and App design company Aimer Media; it indeed uses text, images and graphics from one of Osprey’s own Campaign series.

The iPad lends itself for this sort of new media, and the information and graphics are well presented. After the ‘splash page’ the App opens into a map of Pearl Harbour with a timeline below. Clicking on the Timeline takes you into a text and image section which gives the background to the battle; the images and maps are enlargeable at a click and are all very clear. Data on aircraft is also including, with some nice profiles. Next clicking on First Attack Wave takes you to the main map. Here you can add overlays of the aerial assault, highlight US ships and follow the specific timeline. Points appear on the map and these are then click-able throwing up more information and images. In simple terms the whole thing is a massive interactive visual book, and works really well. It ends with an aftermath that includes an audio file of Roosevelt’s Day of Infamy speech.

This was a very slick App and makes good use of the iPad but… it does cost £4.99. This is really my only bugbear with it. Osprey are a top class publisher known for high quality material, and Aimer have used their skills to make good use of the existing paper sources. But for nearly a fiver I would have expected a little more – animated maps perhaps, and some video as well as audio. But it really is early days for this type of military history Apps; we’ve had quizzes and a few wiki cut and pastes from App designers that have come and gone, but this is a serious effort with good intent, and the history of Apps have proved there is always room for manoeuvre on the price, so I look forward to more from this excellent stable.


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