Earth Primer – Bringing Your iPad To Life

5.0 Overall Score
Usability: 5/5
Design: 5/5
Duration: 4.5/5

Combines scientific depth and friendly approach | Outstanding interactive models

Leaves you wanting more | Could use a little more explanation on some topics


The Earth is composed of a unique collection of elements, circumstances, and situations to create living breathing ecosystems that support wide varieties of life. Earth Primer is a new educational app all about the Earth. It begins at the core, and ends at the varied temperate regions across the globe, while covering everything in between. There are so many intricacies at play to make the Earth what it is, and Earth Primer goes over them in a unique way. The app combines scientific depth with a friendly approach to make it enjoyable to go through.
The highlight of Earth Primer is that many sections in the app are accompanied by interactive models. Earth Primer adopts the philosophy that the best learning is through doing, and has crafted fined tuned touch centric models. It’s a whole new way to learn about the Earth as you get to form volcanoes, sculpt mountains, draw in rain, drag in the wind, and so much more. Each technique reinforces the words on a given page to bring life to the text like never before. When you’re reading about “Rain Shadows” for example, you can lower the mountains to see how the region changes based on the height of the mountains. Every few seconds in the model resembles thousands of years to let you see the movement of Earth take shape before your eyes.

The app is designed for ages 9-11, but has a much wider appeal. The text is simplified for each page, so you’re not swimming in details, and instead can absorb the couple of paragraphs included. Anyone can learn from this app since you’re just a touch away from seeing the concepts in motion. There is also deluxe photography to depict real world examples of the various regions that are discussed. Earth Primer simply delivers an enjoyable way to read through relatively complex topics to give life to the words in the way Earth gives life to us. The models are extremely ornate, and vivid, and it’s great to see how the rain can soften rocky peaks, form runoffs that carve the hills, and create different climate regions. You get a time lapse style demonstration of the movements of the Earth, and there are five distinct chapters to give you quite an understanding of how the Earth works. Older audiences will see most of the content as a refresher course, but it also points to getting such an accessible way to learn about the Earth.
Once you get through the five included chapters, it’s on to the sandbox. You’re then given a fully interactive 3D model of a landscape that you can shape to your heart’s content. There are 20 different tools that you unlock while reading that can be combined in the sandbox. You can shape the scene, and then change the temperature, sea level, wind, and ground layers, and watch how it reacts. There are pre designed scenes, as well as random creations to begin with, and you can see how each variation you perform has such a direct impact on the overall scene. It’s a fun tool that reinforces the concept of the chapters, and further emphasizes the intelligence of the models, the smooth touch controls, and the connection to the real world.

Earth Primer ($9.99, iPad) is one of the most deluxe, and memorable educational apps available that is an absolute must if you, or anyone you know wants to learn about the Earth.

$9.99, iPad


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