As a Star Trek fan, when I first saw the Apple iPad, I immediately thought of the PADD (Personal Access Display Device) which was used by Starfleet as a tablet computer. So I was delighted when I saw CBS had brought this to life with PADD for iPad. The iPad app emulates the Star Trek PADD interface has various Star Trek sound effects and computer voices that react to your touch.
How here’s the thing, while the app does have a built-in database of various Star Trek characters, ships and so on, it is not a complete collection. Rather than linking to data from a resource like Memory Alpha, the designers have used the StarTrek.com database for its information. This means, this PADD is more of a “nice to have” app than a reference tool. The designers try to make up for the problem by linking into Twitter and Facebook, which is ok, but not what I would imagine Trek fans would prefer.
It’s not possible to filter down characters by series, which surprised me, in fact there is almost no filters aside from the main sections. The designers note “The official Star Trek PADD app database does not include all information within the Star Trek Universe. We will continue to update the database as information becomes available.” Again a little surprising as all Star Trek Moves and series have long since ended, aside from the new movie, which we could forgive.
Despite all the above, it is worth having this app if you are a Star Trek fan. It looks very like the displays in Star Trek The Next Generation and you are bound to have some fun playing around with it, and while it has plenty of potential – don’t expect it to be your ‘go to’ Star Trek reference tool, because it’s nowhere near that.
[box]Star Trek PADD for iPad is 3.99 in Irish app store[/box]