Since it's almost National Parks Week in the US(April 21-29), we're seeing some iOS apps offered for free that normally have a cost to them. I've already mentioned the Chimani series of National Parks guides, and now I want to call your attention to Fotopedia National Parks, a universal iOS app that contains almost 3000 superb images taken by renowned photographer Quang-Tuan Luong.
This app is not a detailed guide to the National Parks, but rather the equivalent of a coffee table book filled with dazzling photographs.
All 58 US parks are covered. The photographer spent 10 years collecting the photos, traveling more than 100,000 miles. The originals were shot with a large format camera, and the images support the retina display on the iPhone and the new iPad.
The app features slideshows, the ability to share the images or use them as wallpapers. You can also use a simple trip planner to highlight places you'd like to visit. You can view the locations the images were taken on a map, which features smart tags and some basic interactivity.
A couple of notes. First, using the app requires an Internet connection. The images aren't built into the app and need to be downloaded. I think that's a good thing, as I don't want my iPad filled with 3,000 images that sap storage for other things, but be advised the app won't do much without that connectivity. My other issue is with the design of the app. I used it quite awhile before I realized there were photos from all the National Parks. When you first come in, you only see three highlighted parks at the top of the screen. You need to click on the search icon to see what's available, and it's not very intuitive.
This app used to be US $0.99 and now it's going to be free indefinitely. Free is good, and I think the app is certainly worth a download. If you're like me you'll be inspired by the natural vistas and start planning that trip to take some photos of your own. By the way, during National Park Week admission to all 58 parks is free.
There are some screen shots in the gallery below.