I'm seeing a lot of excellent photo books for the iPad, which is logical given the great image quality and portability that the iPad provides. These apps are, I suppose, the evolution of the coffee table books of the past with the bonus of interactivity and updated content that no static book can provide.
I've recently looked at a new offering from Fotopedia called Fotopedia Japan. Unlike some of the previous Fotopedia offerings, this book is free because it is sponsored by Narita Airport in Tokyo. There are no annoying popup ads, just a credit page.
The app requires an Internet connection and includes beautiful photography, wallpapers and the ability to help you create a list of destinations if you decide to visit Japan. The photos include information about what is depicted, and maps to help you locate where each picture was taken.
Images can be shared via Twitter, Facebook or email. Photos are also grouped by subjects like castles and fall colors. The images are free of screen controls unless you tap on the screen to display them. That's the way photos should be displayed, and too many apps clutter the screen with buttons and icons.
For some reason the app kept telling me to connect to the Internet despite my having a strong connection, so there is a bug the developers need to squash. Restarting the app didn't help. Some other users have reported this same bug.
The only think that is missing from the app is audio. That's something a printed book can't do, but the iPad can do easily. Some Japanese music or sounds of the cities would be welcome, as long as I can turn it off if it becomes a distraction.
If you've been to Japan, this app will rekindle pleasant memories. If you haven't been, it should get you interested.
You can see some samples of the app in the gallery below. This app is universal and requires iOS 4 or greater.