Toronto in Time: Written iPhone App Review
Every day people are doing more and more interesting things with iPhone and iPad apps. They’re continuing to change what an app is and is capable of. Toronto In Time from the folks at the Historica-Dominion Institute is yet another one of these fresh, game-changing apps. Toronto In Time is an ultimate reference for the history of the great Canadian city. Check out our review below the break, eh!
Concept and Functionality [Rating: 4/5]
Toronto In Time can be used in many different ways. It’s main concept is a history guide. It has hundreds of them as well as shots from all over Toronto, with written histories of the sites included. You can look through the pictures and read the histories based on regions of Toronto, or different “themes” (e.g. Arts & Entertainment) provided by the app. One feature that really stuck out to me as something special was the “Trails” section of the app. This gives the user a collection of walking trails through Toronto, all accompanied by Then and Now galleries and histories. It’s like a whole historical tour of the city in your pocket!
The only thing this app really lacks is a search function. There’s no way to find a specific historical site without going through the different directories or map to find it. This makes finding a site difficult unless you are near it or know what part of the city it is in. Though this is only a weakness if you do have a specific site in mind, otherwise it is perfectly acceptable.
Design and Graphics [Rating: 4/5]
Toronto In Time is a great looking app. Its soft color scheme and intuitive interface are a delight in a world of clash and contrast in apps. However, some of the design doesn’t exactly match the feel of the app.
The fonts seem a little too playful for a reference guide, and it is sometimes unclear whether text underneath pictures is a caption or the beginning of a new paragraph. Pictures within the articles of text also aren’t centered on the screen in some cases, and moving between photos in galleries is done without a sliding animation, so it’s unclear at first if you are changing to a new photo, but these are small issues that certainly don’t detract from the app.
Overall Value [Rating: 4/5]
All in all, Toronto In Time is a great app. Just the large amount of information makes it invaluable for history lovers wanting a full tour of Toronto. Add in the accessibility and its price tag (free!), and this is a must-buy if you find yourself in Toronto. This represents a whole new kind of tourism entirely.
Toronto in Time requires iOS 4.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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