Version Reviewed: iPad
Device Reviewed On: iPad
iPad Integration Rating:
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There's a moment in Neil Gaiman's famous run on the Sandman comic when I realized how many inspired ideas Gaiman has in his repertoire. A character is rattling off many, many ideas and scenarios for stories, and each one sounds better than the last. My mind was blown by the sheer volume of ideas in Gaiman's head - apparently he has so many he can throw some of them away on a few one-liners in a comic book. As for me, I'm not so fortunate. Inspiration comes, but not always how or when I need it. That's why Inspiro, a new app for the iPhone and the iPad, can be very useful, or at least very entertaining.
Inspiro is an "inspiration generator" for writers, a small app that generates random strings of potential. If that last statement seems a bit odd to you, you have probably never been in the position of needing inspiration for your writing. I'm not certain Inspiro is the be-all-end-all of creativity-inducers, but it has a slick interface and a charm to it that makes it easy to recommend.
Inspiro has three main components: the muse, scenarios and the daydream machine. The muse provides odd little tidbits and descriptions, juxtaposing words in a new and fanciful way that might actually spur a writer to think differently. Scenarios is exactly what it sounds like - the machine generates random sequences of scenarios that might help you start a short story or a poem. Some of them are truly nonsense, but even nonsense can engender a brainstorm of activity. Finally, Inspiro's daydream machine is an auto-pilot mode that randomly generates sequences of text over and over again. I suppose a writer could leave it on his/her iPad while writing using a laptop. Something useful might pop up and provide some needed inspiration - or at least a good laugh when the tension of writer's block becomes to much to bear.
One of the most interesting aspects of Inspiro is that it encourages user interactivity. Users can add any words they wish using the built-in database, and it is in this way that I think Inspiro could prove to be truly helpful. Imagine adding all of the character names, situations, etc from a short story you are working on to Inspiro's database, then letting the system randomly generate possibilities. It could prove fruitful.
Inspiro is a fun toy, but it could also help break a writer's rut. Anyone working in a creative field might be interested in trying it out. Everyone will have a different experience with and reaction to Inspiro, and some of those will be better than others. However, I have to applaud the developer for trying something new on the iPad. Now, if we could just get multi-tasking, so I could keep Inspiro AND Pages open at the same time.