Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Poetry Now app

No 12 in a series of reviews of iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad apps useful for English literature and language learning and teaching.

We start our final term of the academic year today, and it's going to be a very busy one for us, and for this blog, with a lot crammed into a shorter summer stretch than is normal.

First up is a quick review of an app that may help all those Leaving Cert candidates preparing for the exams in just over a month's time. One of the best poetry textbooks around is Niall McMonagle's Poetry Now, and for the first time this is available as an iPhone app, made by RavenSense. It is also available as an iPad app, and is likely to be more effective in this format, but this review only deals with the iPhone version.

It seems that pretty well the whole text is available on the app. It appears in landscape view, and each poet's poems are available, with a glossary, commentary, biography, notes and exam questions. You can also access the poems in their own list. It will be handy for candidates to carry around the poems on their devices. The only downside is that the text renders exactly as on the paper page, and is not enabled for mobile view (as, for instance, this blog is). However, it is good to see a publisher starting to use this powerful technology, and we look forward to further developments.

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