Wonders of Life app

Recently I was approached to ask if I’d like to review the new Wonders of Life app for the iPad.

Brian Cox's Wonders of Life
Brian Cox’s Wonders of Life

It’s from the same lot who did the Wonders of the Universe app and contains a ton of interesting (and educational!) stuff – over thirty creatures and habitats, from great white sharks to kangaroos, the octopus to the scorpion, as well as looking into microbes and molecules.

The app is great fun and really easy to use. From the overview of the earth you can zoom in on various areas to find out more about the flora and fauna. Tap again and move in closer, to get a better look at butterflies and monkeys, kangeroo eyeballs and chameleon DNA, with the ubiquitous and perennially youthful Brian Cox providing his usual enthusiastic narration.

Wonders of Life - Kangaroo

Apparently there are over 2 hours of HD video included in the app itself, largely made up of short clips of either the animals or habitats or Brian enthusing about them! I’ve not had a chance to explore it fully, but look forward to using it as an interactive tool with the kids when it comes to homework time.

Shark!
Shark!

They call it ‘a stunning 3d guide to the majesty of nature’, and they’re not wrong. I think it’ll be a really useful toolnto poke around in and see what wonders they can discover.

Here’s a short video about the app & you can see just how good it looks!

It’s available on iTunes (sorry, Android users!) and at the moment it’s £3.99
Wonders of Life app on iTunes

swiftkey

A while back I installed the Swiftkey keyboard on my phone. It’s briliant, with a pretty intuitive autocorrect. As you’re tapping words in, suggestions ping up above the keyboard allowing you to select words more quickly.

You get some nice stats too. Apparently I’m 32% more efficient at typing due to Swiftkey and saved 144,002 keystrokes in the time I’ve been using it. It’s pretty customisable too, with different themes and functionality. A couple of weeks ago I realised that you could swipe words – rather than tapping away at individual letters, you just swipe around the letters in the word and Swiftkey works out what word you’re looking for and away you go. They call it Swiftkey Flow and I’m a complete convert.

The fun thing is the auto-suggest though. Before you’ve even started typing, Swiftkey presents you with three words – based on stuff you’ve typed previously, or from what its ‘prediction engine’.

I fired it up and started tapping the middle suggested word:

I am a beautiful person who is the best #Bond movie and the bottom of the brass tube had two little spikes the best of luck with the latest version of the most important thing is that the information contained in this email address and password for the first time I’d been and gone to the House of Lords and famous high quality cover at competitive prices.

Brilliant. Sounds just like some of the spam comments I get on here!

Seriously though, Swiftkey is ace, and the autocomplete is really useful when you’re using it properly – it’s pretty good at suggesting stuff based on what you’ve typed before.

When I’m faced with the keyboard on the iPad (when I can wrest it from Kate or the kids) it feels really weird having to type properly! If you’ve got an Android phone, give it a go.