A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Back in Time is an engaging book app that strives to present major events throughout history in an engaging way. A clock metaphor is used to show the time relation between these events -- if the universe started 24 hours ago, human evolution started 16 seconds ago. Users can move the hands on a clock back to a specific period of time, which is then displayed on a graphical timeline of history's major events. Tapping on one of the events brings the user to an information page, with several paragraphs of text about the event, several pictures that can be enlarged, an occasional video, and often an entertaining animation. The app reflects the violence in animal and human existence, but not in a gory or sensational way, and there are a few nude paintings. The app is captured well in this trailer. A similar app by the same name is available for the iPhone.
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Is it any good?
This app does an excellent job achieving its purpose -- to convey a sense of the content and scope of history in an accessible and engaging way. The clock and graphic timeline are really fun to use, and the animations and pictures enliven the text. Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring this app, which exudes a sense of scientific discovery and curiosity about the still unanswered questions. Of course, in the style of textbooks, this app does not include citations for its facts, so parents may want to discuss this with kids and use the app as a launching point for more research.
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For kids who love learning about history
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