News & Trends: AppWatch
Application: Jack Kerouac's "On the Road"
Produced by: Penguin Books Amplified Editions
Price: $16.99, with an introductory sale price of $12.99 until July 2
Description/Features: Looking for something liberating to read while you're 'on the road' (but not while you're driving!)? Jack Kerouac's legendary "On the Road" is now available in a super-amped-up app version in the iTunes store. The app, published by Penguin Books Amplified Editions, features a laundry list of add-ons to the story, likely to appeal to Kerouac and "beat" fans alike: old family photos, exclusive audio clips of Kerouac, interactive maps of his cross-country road trips with historical photographs and notes, pages from journals Kerouac kept while on the road, tidbits about how he met other notable authors, Kerouac's published articles, and more.
Application: "The Truly Great Noodle"
Produced by: Grids Interactive
Price: $3.99, with an introductory price of $0.99 through July 3
Description/Features: Noodles and apps … It sounds like a dinner one would avoid eating as a child, but it's really referencing a new book app about one crazy-long (never-ending, in fact) noodle. Grids Interactive, an independent digital publisher of original interactive storybook apps, is taking its chances with its first digital book for the iPad, "The Truly Great Noodle," now available for purchase on iTunes for $3.99.
The app includes interactive touch-screen animation, highlighted word associations and originally composed music. Parents can choose classic storybook narration or record their own voices for playback.
The "Noodle" may be truly great, and Grids is not so bad itself: The company will donate a portion of the profits from its new app (and any subsequent apps) to the Kids Against Hunger charity.
Application: "When I Grow Up"
Produced by: HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $3.99, with a $2.99 introductory price
Description/Features: Maybe the author of "When I Grow Up"—comedian, singer/songwriter, parody personality "Weird Al" Yankovic—wanted to become a children's book author with a new interactive book app, in which case, he was successful (though he's just plain-old Al Yankovic on the book's cover). HarperCollins launched in mid June the "When I Grow Up" app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The book is quite heavy on animation, as well as interactive features (using touch, tile and swipe) and games (for example, tilting your iPad to start two snails off on a race, and swiping your finger across the screen to move a razor to shave tarantulas).
Readers can read the text themselves or opt to have it read it to them in Weird Al's voice. They also can enter their own names into the story to become a part of the story.