Timeline Civil War – Explore and Learn

Total Score:  29

History is a part of American culture and no event is more central to the early history of our country than the Civil War.  States were called upon to take sides – even at times, families.  This iPad app, Timeline American Civil War helps tell that story in a compelling way through audio, video, images and maps.


Price Rating = 5     $5.99. There is an absolute treasure trove of information in this app.  The only way to define this is media rich.  An interactive map locates over 400 key battles and on the timeline there are audio and video clips and 500 images and over 1200 written entries. Compared to others in the genre, it could be under priced.  It is well worth the investment.

Ease of Use Rating = 5     It is easy to move through the timeline or to flip over to the maps.

  Readability Rating = 4.5     Most of the app has large readable fonts. Some of images or articles are a medium sized font and cannot be increased by pinching and zooming.  On the other hand, some documents, like the Emancipation Proclamation can be enlarged.

Will You Use It Rating = 5       If you are a Civil War hobbyist and looking for an organized account of all activities, I think this is a must-have app.  If you are someone who just want to learn more about the war, then again, I think this app provides you with extensive opportunities to learn about the war.

 Downsides Rating = 0     I did not identify any downsides.  Everything worked smoothly.  This app contains a lot of material and the size does come in just under 1GB. That’s not a downside, just something to know.

  Consumer Review Rating = 4.5     This is a new app and not a lot of people have reviewed it so far.  Those who did gave very positive ratings.

  Why Do You Need This App Rating = 5     Learning is a life-long adventure, and this app helps continue that process.

This app would be enjoyed as a stand-alone product or as a resource when watching a Civil War movie or reading a book.

How does it work?

  1. When you open the app you have choices to enter the timeline, explore the map or see something that happened in this day in history.  This is just the beginning of your journey.
  2. You have a number of ways to navigate.   You can view the timeline with options to see the content for each day of the year or consolidate that content into each week, month, six months or year.  You can also consolidate it further by seeing two years at a time.
  3. On the timeline you’ll find articles as well as video and audio clips.  You can bookmark specific documents for ease in finding them later.
  4. When in the timeline, you can swipe left and right to move from one article to another.  When you have finished reading an article, you can tap outside the article to leave it.  Or pinch to reduce it’s size.
  5. You can search by category – all battles, key battles, major battles, campaigns, causes, etc. Or you can put in your own search terms. For instance, you can put in the name of your state and find out all the activity within or connected to your state.  Or search for all the naval tactics critical to the war.
  6. Some of the items on the timeline have map symbols on the top right corner.  These images either take you to the map view or provide specialized maps.
  7. The map view offers you locations of Confederate and Union victories (as well as inconclusive ones), seceded and non-seceded states and territories.
  8. In the map view, you can select the content by years in a similar manner as you can the timeline.
  9. You can find information about how to move around the app or you can watch the introductory video through the help screen on the HOME page.

Commentaries from experts in the field include, Professors Ira Berlin (University of Maryland and, Jane Shultz (Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis), as well as Dr. Wayne Hsieh (Assistant Professor of History, United States Naval Academy) and Dr. Adam Smith (UCL).

This is a truly remarkable collection of information about the American Civil War and you can explore for hours or take it slowly and learn a little bit every day.

Devices: This app is compatible with the iPad. It requires iOS 5.0 or later. Developed by Ballista Media, Ltd.

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