HISTORY Here (by A&E Television Networks Mobile) is an iPhone Travel app that helps you discover historical points of interest all around you, as well as throughout the whole United States. According the the developer’s iTunes description, you’ll discover “Thousands of exclusive points of interest, written by history experts at HISTORY CHANNEL.” Find local monuments, battlefields, architecture, famous homes, restaurants, hotels and more. You’ll be surprised by what you discover in your own “backyard.” I was.
Discover historical points of interest through descriptive summaries, photos, videos and map views found within this Travel app. To get access to all this history, use either your current GPS location or type in a specific city and state or zip code. Red flags will populate all the known historical spots. HISTORY Here also gives an approximate distance from your entered city to each historical location. Sites can be viewed on 2 types of maps in this Travel app: a navigational map and a satellite view map. On the navigational map you’ll see marked roadways and city names. And on the satellite map, it’s a realistic view high above the marked land mass, which is kind of nice because you can see all the bodies of water and land colors. I’m a bit of a geek so I like this aspect. You can quickly check out any of these locations by tapping on the red flag to retrieve the historic summary or view information in a scrollable list format.
Descriptive summaries are brief with interesting facts or tidbits relating to a site’s historical importance. The History Here iPhone app covers plenty of well known historical points of interest across the US, but also includes many lesser known historical sites. I found historical points of interest for rural areas and small cities all across America. I discovered a small hotel in St. Petersburg Beach (Florida) where Babe Ruth (the famous baseball player) used to stay when there for spring training. Apparently, he was also a bit of a joker. I was actually surprised to find out that a “local” college, Florida Southern College Campus, has “12 academic buildings, built between 1938 and 1958,” that “make up the largest single site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture.” If you’re enthusiastic about architecture, then you realize the significance.
These summary descriptions often contain photos, contact information, and a website to explore. However, the amount of missing photos to go with the descriptions was a let done. And unfortunately, when visiting websites there’s no way to pinch in or zoom out to resize the website for the iPhone. However, you can still read the information, it’s just more difficult.
I’m a history lover and was interested in this app when I saw it featured in the iTunes New & Noteworthy. However, after reviewing it I was a little disappointed in the lack of sophistication offered. I figured that the HISTORY Here app would dazzle me with a superior user experience and be packed with information, photos and locations all across the US, but that wasn’t the case. New historical sites are being added to the app all the time, and A&E Television Networks Mobile does welcome and encourage your suggestions.
Overall, History Here is a good app to help you discover your local and lesser known historical sites. I also think it’s good to use on road trips for those spur-of-the-moment site seeing excursions. And with a little more refining, the History Here iPhone application would definitely be another one of my goto sightseeing app.
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