10 History Apps Immerse You in the Past
By Aimee Hosler Dec 4, 2012
History is not dead -- it lives in the cutting-edge apps that allow you to access, explore and virtually relive important events, all through mobile devices. Technology can help history majors dig into the past -- and their studies -- through virtual libraries of historical facts and information, eye-catching maps and photos, and even trivia games. We have compiled a list of some of our favorite apps for history majors, chosen for their educational value, unique concepts and ease of use. Some are designed to help you ace your next exam, while others simply tap into your love of learning. These apps are likely to impress students and lifelong learners alike.
- Timeline Eons. When is a historical timeline truly out of this world? When it is thousands of times longer than the Earth's circumference. According to creator Maani, this scrollable timeline covers natural and human history, including major events or trends in natural, U.S. and world history; art and architecture; science and technology; and sports. The app features important dates, interesting facts and eye-catching graphics. It runs on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
- The Civil War Today. Experience the Civil War as never before with this History Channel app. Read diary entries or newspaper headlines and articles from each day of this bloody conflict. Examine battle maps and browse high-resolution, original images. Other features include a "This Day in Civil War History" feed, surprising facts and figures, and a quiz that lets you put your historical knowledge to the test. Created for the iPad.
- Historypin. History is all around you, and this sleek app can help bring it to light. Historypin connects you to historical photos taken near your current location and even lets you view them layered over your current, modern view. You can also upload your own photos -- new or old -- to share with fellow Historypin users. Historypin is a neat way to connect with fellow history students, especially for those attending an online college. Designed for Android.
- Wolfram Alpha. According to the official website, Wolfram Alpha apps provide extensive knowledge in a plethora of subjects. History majors may particularly be interested in the U.S. States and U.S. Presidents reference apps, which provide historical, demographic and geographical information via an easy-to-use interface. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, NOOK, Kindle Fire and Android devices.
- Presidents vs. Aliens. Who says play-based learning ends with kindergarten? Presidents vs. Aliens is a fun way to master your presidential history through virtual flash cards and trivia, no matter what your age. Get to know the nation's leaders -- including nicknames, historical facts and quotes -- and then fling graphical representations of them at the aliens to knock those aliens down. The more successful you are, the more games and information you unlock. Use with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
- Today in History. Considering the span of human history, every day is inevitably the anniversary of some of the world's most memorable events. Today in History tells you what those events are. This user-friendly application documents over 100,000 historical events and even allows you to add some of your own to share with friends, making it perfect for trivia and history buffs. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
- United States History - f. Consider this app your virtual library of some of the nation's most significant historical documents, including the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Federalist Papers, Anti-Federalist Papers and Articles of Confederation. United States History - f also includes a complete list of U.S. presidents, the U.S. Flag Code and a collection of random U.S. facts. For the Android platform.
- World History Trial. The full version of this Wikipedia-linked app introduces you to some of mankind's most fascinating history, from the earliest civilizations to the present day. This particular version features in-depth information about the 17th and 18th centuries, including events, discoveries and revolutions that changed the course of history. Built for Android devices.
- History: Maps of the World. On some days, history majors might feel as though they are swimming in maps. History: Maps of the World condenses these documents into a pocket-sized library of high-resolution graphics that users can access anywhere, anytime -- with or without a network connection. The app includes a variety of views, a zoom option and a keyword search. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices.
- World Newspapers. You can learn a lot about the world through headlines. This app brings more than 6,000 news publications from around the globe to your fingertips and optimizes them for viewing on your mobile device. Browse major publications and videos from more than 105 countries and then download them for offline viewing to find out what global events are making history. You can even translate foreign language content. Designed for Android devices.
This is just a sample of digital tools that delve into the past. You may also find local apps specific to your area. You may even be inspired to build your own app, whether you're focused on global, national or community history.