Our Choice is a new iPad and iPhone app from Al Gore that serves as a groundbreaking interactive book to inform and provide information about global warming. Having used a variety of books, magazines, and digital reader apps on the iPad, I have to say first and foremost, the functionality and usability in the Our Choice app is top notch. Earth Day just passed, which would have been a perfect time to release this app.
The Our Choice book ($13.77 on Amazon) has been out for about 2 years now. Today with the help of touch based digital publishing, the Our Choice app, brings its content to life in a way that both informs and engages. Presentation is key!
The content in the Our Choice app is broken down into 18 chapters viewable using native touch gestures. There is an introduction video, a tutorial video, an introduction chapter, as well as a closing credits section. There is also an opening cover with a live 3D globe showing your current location on Earth. Navigation is a breeze. You see a list of dots representing the chapters and a list of thumbnails on the bottom for pages in each chapter. Swipe on the top to change chapters or swipe on the bottom to flip pages within a chapter. To quickly jump around chapters just slide your finger on the dotted lines.
The interactive sections of the Our Choice app are what make it very a joy to consume. As you are reading the text of the book, you will run across pictures, videos, and infographics. Tap them once and they zoom in right away. Pinch to close them out and continue reading. In case of informational charts, you can drag your finger along the bars of data and see additional interactive data.
As for the content in the app, there are chapters about sources of energy (solar, wind, geothermal, crops, sequestration, nuclear, forests, soil) and other chapters surrounding the sources of problems including population, the super grid, politics, and most importantly the lack of information. Vice president Al Gore narrates much of the content in the Our Choice app, supplemented with actual news clips and photos from around the globe. The photos and videos in the chapters do a great job of painting a clear and vivid picture of the issues at hand. For each picture, you can tap and view them on a world map, which makes them hit home even more.
The Our Choice app is Published by Rodale, and produced by Melcher Media, and powered by Push Pop Press. Alliance for Climate Protection will get 100% of the earnings from the Our Choice application sales. The goal of the app is to inspire leaders to take action and think about solving the world’s climate crisis.
Overall, Our Choice is a marvelous digital magazine with amazingly convenient and entertaining presentation backed by a solid voice and aimed at a good cause. I really hope to see more book publishers following this app as an example of how to create content for the iPad. I was pleasantly surprised and simultaneously awakened to some of the issues surrounding global warming by reading this app. I really do wish that it was made free however (even if for just a day) so that more and more people could read it and be made aware of the situation. It’s price is pretty much the only reason keeping me from giving this app a 5 star rating.
: Push Pop Press was acquired by Facebook on Tuesday August 2nd 2011.
Here is a video demo of the Our Choice app on the iPad
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