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Growing attached to apps and services is something we have all done as iOS users — with Sparrow being a particular sore point. Difficulties can arise when developers attempt to improve upon their previous efforts in the name of innovation and improvement; however, as with Skitch, such plans aren’t so easily fulfilled. Therefore, upon hearing my favourite app of 2012 was being redeveloped, I listened with more than a little trepidation. As it turns out the team have released a brand new app filled with mind blowing audio and visuals, once again blowing my mind.

Again based upon Nick Risinger’s stunning cosmological photography, Sky Guide is the new iteration of Sky Survey — the most beautiful app in the App Store, until now. Like Apple, Risinger knows even the best products can be improved and with Sky Guide his team have brought a wealth of new material to give any astronomy enthusiast goosebumps. The idea may remain the same but there’s plenty of features to get excited about whilst scanning the Milky Way. Let’s take a look.


Are you interested in learning about wine, but bored with droll instructional books or turned off by elite wine-tasting groups? Maybe you’re looking to better understand the foreign words on wine labels or grasp the intricacies of pairing food and wine? The learning curve to becoming a wine aficionado may seem steep, but the creators of Pocket Wine want to change that perception. The sellers, Wine Paradigm, offer their wine knowledge and experience as a model to give you an enhanced understanding of the wine world. The result is a very useful wine reference tool for iPad, loaded with in-depth information on grape varieties, wine regions and tasting notes along with an extensive glossary of wine terminology.

This app is unlike any wine app in that it claims to give you the knowledge and guidance to make your own informed decisions about wine, rather than relying on the reviews of experts or social media. Both novices and more experienced wine hobbyists will appreciate Pocket Wine, where information is presented in terms a layman can understand, without dumbing down the content.

Wine geeks, read on to begin the journey of discovering your palate and understanding grape growing regions around the globe.


I don’t know a great deal about dinosaurs, however, I do remember being fascinated by them as a child. I grew up with Jurassic Park in the cinema and often went fossil hunting on the beaches of the south coast of England.

Understandably then, I jumped at the chance to take a look at a new app: Inside the World of Dinosaurs for iPad. The app’s description promises;

The most comprehensive interactive dinosaur encyclopedia on the iPad.

Complete with in excess of 60 “photo realistic” animated, 3D dinosaurs. So does this app really give you a view of what it was like inside the world of the dinosaurs?

Read on to find out…


The more I use it as a serious writing tool, the more impressed and more enamoured I am with my iPad. I’ve mostly used a few of the distraction-free writing apps that are around – iA Writer, Plaintext, Elements, and (my current favourite) Notesy. The truth is, though, that I am actually quite dedicated to writing by hand: there are not many things I prefer to sitting down with a notebook and a Palomino Blackwing pencil, and simply moving my hand from left to right across the page.

So this is not an article about writing on an iPad. It’s actually about writing with an iPad: about the iPad as a writer’s companion, and two apps I’ve found to be essential reference tools whilst writing.