As the warmth of summer wanes and the cooler days of fall and winter set in, the thought of tossing a log into the fireplace and snuggling up on the couch (all toasty and warm) becomes very appealing. But not everyone has a fireplace, nor has the time or desire to gather wood and prepare for one the old fashioned way — and that’s where the beauty of today’s technology comes in handy. The new Fireplace HD+ (iPhone and iPad) Entertainment app (by Rory Buckley) provides 2 types of virtual fireplaces to please both the traditionalist and the modernist. Along with the great fireplace imagery, the developer added a nice listening experience with 4 preset song options and a Radio option that expands the listening pleasure even more with 5 different types of music. You can even “extinguish” your fire (and sounds) with a handy sleep timer.
Believe me, I love seeing and hearing a real fire crackling away in the fireplace, but I can also appreciate the atmosphere of a virtual fireplace as well. The 2 Fireplace HD+ image options in this app are: Traditional, which comes complete with soft glowing logs and embers in the firebox, or Modern, which features a more robust and consuming flame at the edge of a sleek black ledge. Personally, I prefer the calm of the traditional flame image much better than the Modern fireplace image because the roaring flames made me feel a little tense. All options can be accessed through a flame icon (upper left), which reveals your 5 navigational options: Fireplace Settings, Background Audio, App Information, Sleep Timer, and Email App Support.
I think it’s pretty clever to include 4 preset songs to make the viewing experience even better. Obviously, roaring fires conjure of images of the holidays, so Fireplace HD+ takes full advantage and includes a piano version of the 12 Days of Christmas, O Christmas Tree, Silent Night, and 1 other for a change of pace — Flowers and Chocolate (I guess for the romantics). And if that’s not enough to satisfy you, you can switch over to the Radio (if you have an iPad) to enjoy Jazz, Oldies, Classical, Relaxation, and Christmas stations. I think there is a really nice variety of music, but the 1 thing I noticed with this iPad application is that you have to be a little patient and wait a second for each music selection change to load. A few times I got an audio file error and had to turn the device off and restart again. It also got a little wonky going between Radio and preset music where it got “stuck” — but not a deal breaker. I think this app is worth the little extra effort.
I tested out the timer component, which allows you to use this app as a relaxation and sleep aid. This portion worked just fine for me. I tested the 10 Minutes option 3 times, and like clockwork it went off at just the right preset time. In addition to the 10 Minutes option, you’ll find a 30 Minutes and 60 Minutes option as well. When the timer goes off (no noise) the audio and video display cease, allowing you to drift into your sweet slumber undisturbed. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about the house burning down. Overall, I think Fireplace HD+ offers a great iPad virtual fireplace experience to please all — even all those non-tech lovers.
Download Fireplace HD+ – Virtual Fireplace for iPad or iPhone App Now