Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Cool and/or nerdy apps

Since I recently bought an iPad, and also own an iPhone (no apple did not sponsor this post) I thought I would mention a few apps that I think are pretty cool - but keep in mind that I am a giant nerd (and have never proclaimed otherwise). As such you may not find them as interesting as I do if you aren't as similarly nerdy. 

Star walk even works in daytime!
Star walk - hold the iPad up to the sky and it will tell you what constellations you're looking at! This app is extremely well made, and very fun to use. It is very pretty - everyone I show makes this noise: "ooooooooh" - but this app also is very clever and makes me feel like a back up career in astronomy is possible yet!

Pocketshrink - this one is specifically for iPhone. The point is that you can use these apps to diagnose yourself with 3 different disorders: ADHD, Panic disorder, and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). I generally think using the internet or an app to diagnose yourself is a bit dodgy - however I actually know some of the people involved in developing it, so have reason to think it's fairly legit (Hint: if you're using your iPhone to check if you have NPD, and also at the same time using it as a mirror, you probably do have it hehe).

Ted - "riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world". Ted talks involve a huge variety of speakers on a wide range of topics, and are well worth watching if you want to be challenged, entertained, or amazed (or all of those). I was excited to find out Ted also comes in app form, so you can take it wherever you go and watch when you have a spare few minutes.

Wikipanion - Although I constantly warn the students I teach to never cite Wikipedia as a reference, I do actually use it a lot to start my search on a topic. Wikipanion makes this very easy when trying to search from my iPad. It is very easy to navigate, and quite intuitive. Much better than trying to search the website from the iPad or my phone. See also Howstuffworks - This app includes over 40 000 articles, and 12 000 videos, as well as quizzes. Informative and also amusing.

Brain Pro - The anatomy of the brain is simply amazing, and this is a great app to explore this. You can view the brain from different angles, at different depths, and using different brain slices. You can make little pins pop up on all the different brain areas (just like when I was in neuroanatomy in uni) and each pin will give you information about what that brain area does. There are also quizzes (that aren't easy I'll tell you that much!), not to mention that it's just really pretty. Awesome.
[pic via]

Some of these apps I've mentioned are free, and a couple are on the slightly pricey side, but I do think they are worth getting. As you can probably tell, I did go a bit app crazy, and my credit card definitely noticed! At least the ones I've mentioned are somewhat educational!

What are some cool and/or nerdy apps you think are worth checking out?


  1. I think undergraduates just don't understand how to use Wikipedia! I find it helps if you explain that it's a great place to start but DO NOT REFERENCE anything from it, as I could attack the page and fill it with rubbish.

    You're making me want an iPad... :(

  2. The constellation app sounds so awesome. i still don't have an iphone or an ipad, or a smart phone, but someday..oh someday.

  3. Oh I really want an iPad!!! They are SO cheap over here and I just want one even though I don't need it as I have a macbook air which has been a saviour on our road trip :D - But now I REALLY want the ipad!


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