The Word Atlas Review
iPad App
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The Word Atlas Review

Our Review by Kevin Stout on May 19th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: WORD-TASTIC
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The Word Atlas is a fun app for discovering new words and playing around with links between them. But it isn’t going to replace a standard dictionary app.

Developer: Andrei M
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad

iPad Integration Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Some people just love words. They play games like Scrabble and Words with Friends. They read the dictionary for fun. And they use those “word of the day” calendars. The Word Atlas is for those people.

I think it’s important to point out when developers take something that normally isn’t visually appealing (words in this case) and turn it into a visual experience. While the Word Atlas has its uses, it’s mostly just interesting and fun. I’ll start with its features as a utility and then explain how someone can play around with it.

While I would probably just pop open one of my dictionary apps when looking for a definition or synonym, both of these features are available in Word Atlas. The features are more useful when playing around with the autopilot or link feature and a word the user doesn’t know shows up. But the function is there in case someone wants to use Word Atlas as a dictionary.

Word Atlas starts to get fun with the link feature and the autopilot feature. Type in and select a word and it starts to float around the screen. Put multiple words on the screen and use the link feature to link two of the words. The app begins to go through similar words in a chain until it can meet the other word. The app description uses the example of trying to link “good” and “bad” which is linked by good-keen-intense-severe-bad. The autopilot feature takes the words already on the screen and just starts branching out to similar words. The speed at which new words appear are adjustable by a slider at the top-right corner of the screen.

I only experienced one problem when playing around with The Word Atlas. The autopilot menu wouldn’t go away until I rebooted the app. The problem didn’t happen again any of the other times I used the app.

While Word Atlas probably won’t replace anyone’s dictionary apps, it’s definitely a fun way to find new words and similarities between words. For $0.99, it’s an app I would suggest to word lovers.
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iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

The Word Atlas screenshot 1 The Word Atlas screenshot 2 The Word Atlas screenshot 3
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