A Look at Life: Life for iPad

Last week I took an exclusive look at the Maxim HD app for iPad. It was put together well and very easy to look at, lots of eye-candy. The app was nice too. This week, however, I want to talk exclusively about another app that offers eye-candy of a slightly different sort. This week I want to talk about Life for iPad. Next week we’ll go back to the standard Free on iTunes format.

Life Magazine has always been about photos. The articles were great, but it was, and still is, the photos that captures our attention and makes us see the world as it really is, and how others would have it to be.

It was Life photographers that took our grandparents and great-grandparents into the battlefield trenches of World War II, got them closer to Eisenhower and Elvis, who took our parents into the jungles, mountains, and rice fields of Korea and Viet Nam, and took us into the burning deserts around Kuwait, ancient cities of Iraq, and the stark mountains of Afghanistan.

Life photographs are not merely pictures, they are mirrors reflecting us at our best and worst, they are windows into out past, bridges to our present, and links to our future.

Life Magazine now has an iPad app: Life for iPad. Get it. It’s free, but it shouldn’t be. It is so full of photos that you literally can’t see them all, but you’ll want to. They are all just that good.

Life for iPad

Life for iPad

There are eight major sections in Life for iPad; Editor’s Pick, News, Celebrities, Most Popular, Animals, Sports, and Travel. The eighth section, Explorer, lets you pick from a number of pinpoints on a global map, which will then show you photos related to that area. The other sections catalog photos into subject oriented albums; Pets in Disguise for instance, or Princess Diana and Her Sons, or The Beatles, or JFK, and so on.

Life Explorer View

Touch a pin and let the exploration begin

Select an album, sit back and see some of the best photos of the most interesting subjects available anywhere. Each photo is captioned, which you can choose to display or ignore. You can also elect to let the app run a slideshow of the album.

The app accesses Life’s online photo database, so you get the latest pix as well as archival shots you won’t find anywhere else. You can then send photos off to friends and family for viewing.

Life's Photo Albums

Albums aplenty

The biggest and best feature of the Life for iPad app is likely its most hidden: Search. Type in a word, ‘gorilla’ for example, the Life photo database is queried and you are presented with several albums, each containing photos that contain or reference gorillas. This literally means you have access to the thousands of photos in Life’s database, available anytime and anywhere. And it’s free!

JFK in Life

JFK photo with caption. Note the slideshow (lower) and export (upper) icons on the right

With photography, keeping it simple is best, and that ideology was likely the basis for Life for iPad, but then, it doesn’t have to be complicated to do what it needs to. It just has to show photos, and it does that with class and style. The app does require Internet access to work, which may be why the app gets sluggish and unresponsive. There are also times when the ‘Back’ button refuse to work.The only other thing that would be nice to have is the ability to use the photos as a iPad background image. You can do this, but it’s a convoluted process involving emailing to yourself.

No iPad should be without this app. Get Life for iPad and see what you’ve been missing.

That’s a wrap. More freebies available below with direct links.