American Revolution Interactive Timeline for iPad

App review by
Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Media
American Revolution Interactive Timeline for iPad App Poster Image
Tap, drag, and zoom with objects that bring history to life.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about objects and documents related to the time period of the American Revolution. They can explore the household items, clothing, and weapons people used as well as watch videos, read text, and zoom in on the objects to explore their details and significance. Though American Revolution Interactive Timeline for iPad could benefit from more videos and interactive features, it does offer an interesting window onto the past.

Ease of Play

Whether kids drag the slider across the dates at the bottom or simply drag the time line left and right, the app is easy to navigate; it's simple to drill down and learn more. 


There are a lot of guns here -- mostly because they're common artifacts for museums, but this might alarm some kids.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some artifacts relate to drinking and smoking, but in a pretty tame way.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that American History Interactive Timeline for iPad is a clickable, scrollable tool for exploring digital versions of historical objects. Kids can click, drag, and zoom in to explore detailed images, view explanatory text, or watch videos from historians and conservators involved with the American Revolution Center in Philadelphia. 

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What's it about?

AMERICAN REVOLUTION INTERACTIVE TIMELINE FOR IPAD is a digital collection of objects, artifacts, and manuscripts that explore the period of time of the American Revolution. Users can scroll left and right across a time line that ranges from 1750 to the present and that features images of people, places, events, and objects that tell the story of that era. Everything is clickable; users can click on any image to reveal text, more images, or video that describes the object and its significance.

Is it any good?

The range of objects on display in American Revolution Interactive Timeline for iPad is remarkable. From coins to household items to documents to weapons, these images bring the 18th century to life. The images are detailed enough that users can tap, drag, and zoom in to examine details and get a closer look than they'd ever have a chance to in a museum. It's especially compelling that the dates of the time line range before and beyond the dates of the Revolution itself. The images that reveal short video clips are especially good: There's a real emphasis here both on showing evidence and offering analysis of their significance. It would be even better if videos were easily visible on the time line or available as a full list somewhere. It also would be great if users could customize their experience, perhaps by annotating entries for later use or saving entries to a favorites list. As it is, the app is meant to be an extension of the new American Revolution Center museum in Philadelphia, scheduled to open in 2017, so it's likely the developers will continue to improve and expand its features in the years ahead. Overall, this is a solid tool that gives users up-close, detailed access to rare objects.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about various objects, such as the more detailed household and military ones. Based on their shapes, materials, and conditions, what do you think they are? What might they have been used for? 

  • Talk about why contemporary speakers and writers might refer to the American Revolution. What impact might the reference have on a modern-day audience?

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Social Studies: cultural understanding, events, timelines
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, thinking critically
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: July 5, 2012
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: History
  • Size: 291.00 MB
  • Publisher: BlueCadet LLC
  • Version: 1.2
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 4.3 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love American history

Themes & Topics

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