Developer: SelectSoft
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad

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

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Venice Past & Present takes the user on a guide in order to teach them the history and culture of Venice. While the app is certainly interesting, low resolution videos and poor sound quality really do spoil what could have been a fantastic experience.

Venice may be well known for having canals rather than pavements, but there’s a wealth of historical content to discover for those who are interested.

This is where Venice Past & Present comes in. An educational app, it is spilt up into ten chapters detailing locations such as Venice, San Marino, Rimini and more, plus a quiz to take at the end.

The user can select any chapter they want, rather than being forced down a set path. When loaded, each chapter is split into two parts – a video and audio description at the top of the screen, and some accompanying text at the bottom.

Although not overly long, there’s enough information in there to hold the user’s attention.

On the downside, the user interface is extremely basic. The chapter select screen is just a picture with a list beneath it, and the text in each chapter is just in a block that looks like it has been pulled from Microsoft Word.

The videos are also of very poor quality and feel wasted on the iPad’s screen.

I don’t know when they were filmed, but it can’t have been in the last twenty years, as the picture quality is worse than what the user might record using a five year old mobile phone.

The same can be said for the sound, and the narrator’s voice totally monotonous. I’m not suggesting he should be whooping and chanting, but he just sounds totally disinterested in what he’s reading.

Venice Past & Present is an interesting app. However, what it really needs to make it stand out are much improved audio and visual sections. At the moment it feels like a bit of a missed opportunity.

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

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