The shrinking of the once-massive Aral Sea as demonstrated by Fragile Earth.
A page, completed by AppWatch's author, from Wreck This App
Wreck This App
Produced by: Perigee/Penguin
Platform: iOS and Android
Description & Features: Based on author/illustrator Keri Smith's interactive sketchbook "Wreck This Journal: To Create is to Destroy," Wreck This App embraces its companion p-book's color-outside-the-lines attitude by encouraging users to employ an arsenal of Photoshop-esque drawing tools to engage in tasks such as "Write One Word Over and Over," "Fill This Space with Circles" and "This Space is Dedicated to Internal Monologue." (Thankfully the app eschews some of the p-book's directives, such as "Poke holes in this page using a pencil.")
Five years after publication, "Wreck This Journal" has seen a steady uptick in sales and is being sold at Walmart and Target for the first time. (Three months into 2012, sales of "Wreck This Journal" were up 600 percent at Barnes & Noble from the same time last year and had already surpassed total 2011 sales at the retailer.) The book is being co-promoted at B&N with this app, which incorporates the visual and tactile qualities of touch-screen computing into the DIY/punk aesthetic of the book. Users can share their work via email, Facebook and Flickr. A nice feature of the app is that, as with the p-book, your progress is saved as you pick it up and put it down, but users can also start any page anew with the "erase page" feature.
Produced by: HarperCollins UK, Collins Geo and Aimer Media
Description & Features: Not tied to a specific title, this app is a project of HarperCollins' Collins Geo, which is best known for "The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World" but also offers data solutions to the likes of National Geographic, the United Nations and the defense sector. Fragile Earth employs stunning photography and satellite images to depict a world in flux. The interface allows users to swipe multiple layers across the screen to illustrate, for instance, how irrigation projects have all but dried up the once-massive Aral Sea (juxtaposing images from 1973, 1986, 2001 and 2009) or the effects of last year's earthquake and tsunami on Japan.