COSMOS Magazine – Science on the iPad.

I haven’t written an app review since leaving my last job, but after downloading COSMOS Magazine on my iPad the other day, I felt compelled share my thoughts with you.

For several years now I have enjoyed reading the print copy as often as I could. I’m a lazy subscriber (which means I never actually got around to to signing up – sorry guys); but when the iPad was released in 2010 I knew it would only be a matter of time before I let the moths out of my wallet. Today I did and frankly, the result is awesome.

The meticulously researched and well-written articles from the print edition are still there and have been enhanced with audio and video content that was previously available only online. Surprises exist on almost every page no matter which way you rotate the tablet device, beginning with a rather disconcerting wink from the half man, half ape on the cover.

COSMOS Magazine provides a visual feast for their readers with hotspots on many of the pictures and illustrations, as well as slideshows to further stimulate your optic nerve. Although much of the photography has been sourced from image libraries, the selection is excellent and the photos themselves are incredibly detailed. The growling grass frog’s antimicrobial slime practically dribbles from the corner of the iPad as the South American hummingbird pauses mid-flight to take a sip of nectar. The skin of the Rancophorus nigropalmatus is bound to give you warts and I’m not quite sure I want to touch the venomous spines on the puss caterpillar’s fluff as I swipe my fingers across the screen to turn the page 😉

The ‘Events’ page features a monthly roundup of scientific exhibitions from the Royal Institution of Australia. Tap on the link and the event is automatically added to your calendar. There is also an interactive ‘Trivia’ page for the true geek. Do you know what the gap between people’s front teeth is called, or what shape the carbon molecule buckminsterfullerene resembles?

The live newsfeed from the COSMOS website allows the reader to access the latest stories, comment on the content and subscribe to the eNewsletter. You can share practically every page on FaceBook, Twitter and email; and bookmark articles for future reference.

Volcanoes erupt in the background as future humans evolve right before your very eyes. Even the advertising has been enhanced for the iPad, yet they haven’t gone overboard with the animations.

From the exceptional illustrations by Lucy Glover to the neat little features such as the ability to follow Editor-in-Chief Wilson da Silva’s twitter stream from the Forward on page 3, COSMOS is a marvelous mobile magazine and a fantastic read for all ages.

Please note: Although I am friends with two of the founders of COSMOS Media, this is not an advertisement for their magazine and I am not affiliated with the company in any way.  I am a subscriber of the iPad version of COSMOS Magazine and the views expressed here are my own.