New iPhone apps worth downloading: Sound Uncovered, Card Swapp, Dino Land

Feb 19, 2013

Grab your iPad and learn a little something about sound through experimentation with Sound Uncovered. It takes you through lots of information and shows you how various auditory illusions work. We’ve also got Card Swapp, a QR code reader and generator useful for exchanging business information, and Dino Land, a game from National Geographic perfect for kids about creating a dinosaur theme park.

Sound Uncovered (iPad) (Free)

What’s it about? Sound Uncovered is described as an “interactive book,” the purpose of which is to teach users about sound and display a number of interesting auditory illusions.

What’s cool? Opening up Sound Uncovered on your iPad is a lot like stepping into a hands-on museum exhibit dedicated to the way the medium of sound works on the human ear and brain. It allows you to take part in a number of simple experiments by listening to different sounds, testing your hearing, and even recording audio of your own. The app is educational in nature, so expect to learn a thing or two about the nature of sound and how it all works, while having fun doing it.

Who’s it for? Sound Uncovered is great for teachers (particularly music teachers) with access to iPads, musicians, science enthusiasts, and anyone who wants to experience the true power of audio.

What’s it like? Developer Exploratorium’s Color Uncovered is another great interactive app that teaches through experiments with how we perceive color.

Card Swapp ($0.99)

What’s it about? QR code reader and generator Card Swapp is designed to make it easy for users to share contact information and business cards with one another, simply by scanning codes.

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What’s cool? A lot of data can be stored in QR codes, those square barcodes you sometimes see around the world. Card Swapp is an app designed not only to scan those codes and read the information saved within them – be it a webpage URL or contact data – but to create them as well. The idea is that you can save all your contact data, like your name, phone number and email address, into a code that others can scan with their smartphones. You can do the same with people you meet, scanning their codes to automatically save their contact data to the app. It’s like swapping business cards, but without tactile paper cards.

Who’s it for? If you do a lot of professional networking and could use an easier way of sharing business card information, try Card Swapp.

What’s it like? Bump is also a handy way of exchanging professional info, as is Mi Business Card. There’s also a free version of Card Swapp, but it does not include a contacts search or the option to export contacts to Gmail, Yahoo!, or Outlook.

Dino Land (Free)

What’s it about? Developed by Andover Games and published by National Geographic, Dino Land allows kids to raise and learn about dinosaurs in a prehistoric theme park.

What’s cool? Like other management simulator games, the idea behind free-to-play title Dino Land is that players need to run the various aspects of a park in order to make it successful and continually expand it. In this case, that means gathering dinosaurs, building their habitats, and maintaining the prehistoric theme park for visitors. Players can customize their parks by adding various buildings and shops, but the real appeal is in cross-breeding dinosaurs in order to unlock new and different species to populate them. The app is also filled with information about the various dinosaurs, so kids who play the game might also learn a few things.

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Who’s it for? Dino Land is specifically aimed at kids, so it’s best for young people who are fans of dinosaurs. And let’s face it, all kids love dinosaurs.

What’s it like? For another prehistoric management simulation game, try Jurassic Park Builder. If you’d rather take things to the space age, there’s Pixel People.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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