iPad App Review: Science 360 for iPad

A few months ago, while on the never ending hunt for science related iPads apps I came across Science 360 for iPad.  This app has a five star review in iTunes and a strong pedigree coming from the National Science Foundation.  I’d expect this app to perform well as a standalone way to be immersed in relavent science news and stories from around the world.  However, this is only partially true.

The app takes a few solid minutes to load up, and even when it loads each individual item  then needs to load, and based on how quick your internet connection is that could maybe take awhile.  Science 360 does give a large amount of articles and videos.  The user interface would have you believe that it is an unlimited amount but I quickly saw repeats just scrolling around for a few seconds.   I also noticed some lag when navigating around.

There’s no real way in telling what you’re looking at until you press any given picture or video.  Seems like a missed opportunity added a filter to show only one type of science video for teachers to let their students explore but that isn’t the case.  The tag option lets you search for certain types of videos but in a different format, and it doesn’t seem as engaging.  The videos and articles are sorted by date which isn’t too helpful unless you’re searching for the cutting edge.

This app also requires a very strong internet connection to be at all useful.  Many of the videos are streamed and some of the articles also have an accompanied HD picture that takes additional bandwidth to view.  Unfortunately, there’s no way to update the app and use it offline, all the videos and pictures seemed to be taken from another source.

If you have a general need for science knowledge this is a good app to mess around with.  My search results for “biology” only yielded about 20 results so if you’re looking for a more sturdy study tool, I’d stick to google or the internet.

Rating: 3/5

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