Developer: Collins Maps
Price: $9.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

iOS Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Atlas by Collins is an app that’s built for educating its users about the world we all live in. This is an interactive globe of the world that features information on various countries and geographic landmarks. There are different series of atlases available that change the globe to show different information, including information on membership in organizations like OPEC and NATO, or ones including the earth’s different environments.

This app really shows the potential that iOS devices truly have. A globe is a truly static thing, despite the ever-changing nature of our world. A physical globe is a relic of the time of its manufacture. The globe of Atlas by Collins may not be tactile, but its interactivity, to show the world is arranged not just physically, through its information on physical attributes like oceans, but also politically. Each country has information available on its current status and recent history, along with how their chief economic properties. Information is also available on the various political and economic alliances the countries are in. The value is in someone being able to see something they want to investigate and learn more about it when they see it.

The app contains a lot of information, and as such, it does tend to run at a rather sluggish pace on even the iPad 2, though even things like swiping around the globe and zooming in could be a lot smoother. There’s also an awkward slow transition between the Atlas view and the Apple Maps view when zooming it at a certain level. The Apple Maps view is largely useless, as there’s no way to search for information, it’s pretty much only there to zoom in closer without leaving the app, I suppose. Still, it seems like the app should be displaying some more information than it currently does when the zoom in finally happens. Still, the app appears to be focused on macro information, instead of micro information about individual objects, it’s more about information on larger concepts like individual countries and bodies of land and water.

This is great for kids as an interactive resource to learn about the planet we live on and the people that inhabit it. I bet that even adults will find something they didn’t know while playing with this app – it’s worth tapping all the buttons and playing with all its features, as things like the different globe types are not immediately apparent until the app is explored in greater detail.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Reference, iPhone Apps and Games, Reference, Reviews

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