The iTopPeople iPhone app a Who’s Who of VIPs

Feb 17, 2010
Education

It’s doubtful you’ll ever enter into a conversation that begins, “I bet you can’t name 40 influential people in history and provide a quick rundown of what makes them important,” but that doesn’t make the free  iPhone app any less interesting. iTopPeople most probably appeals to someone interested in history. As it is right now, the iPhone […]

It’s doubtful you’ll ever enter into a conversation that begins, “I bet you can’t name 40 influential people in history and provide a quick rundown of what makes them important,” but that doesn’t make the free  iPhone app any less interesting.

iTopPeople most probably appeals to someone interested in history. As it is right now, the iPhone app is a collection of 40 very important people in world history. From Aristotle to Bill Gates, the list of names covers quite a bit of ground. Along with each name comes a brief biography, a selection of their finest quotes, and a timeline of their life’s achievements. The bios are interesting, especially if you weren’t exactly sure what it is Socrates was famous for, but the quotes might be my favorite part.

In addition to the base list, the iPhone app contains a pie chart that shows exactly what fields the iTopPeople were involved in. For instance, 25 percent of the iTopPeople are scientists, while 12.5 percent were philosophers. Another button on the iPhone app tells you what from what country they hail. There are also additional video and text timelines showing the order in which the iTopPeople came into history.

The video timeline is fun to watch once, perhaps, but the text timeline, just like the timeline in the bio, isn’t very well suited for the iPhone screen. It’s zoomed out considerably so you can see more of it, but you’ll have to zoom in to read any part of it, and then zoom out again to see where you’re going as you scroll along. If it could be re-designed to fit the screen better, it would make a fine addition to the iPhone app.

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While I did enjoy this initial history lesson, the developers of iTopPeople are soliciting additional people for the next version of the iPhone app. They’ve promised to add 20 names to the field. While I like the idea of getting users involved, it seems like risky business to dilute the likes of great philosophers with pop culture icons. For now, at least, iTopPeople warrants a look for anyone interested in a history of great thinkers.

The developer of this application is an Appolicious advertiser. This editorial review was written independent of all advertising considerations.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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