Best History Apps for Learning
Best History Apps
Sitting here thinking about what I did yesterday I’m drawing a blank. I can’t seem to remember anything. Then why do I remember that at some point Coca-Cola had actual cocaine in side of it? Or why do I remember that Final Fantasy was the literally the FINAL game that Squaresoft was to make as they were becoming bankrupt in the video game crash of the 80’s? Some history matters, while other history only seems to do good for filling up books. We can’t say which should be set in either pile. Is History ever really objective? Or is it written only by the winners? Approaching the subject we cannot say that American, or European, or Asiatic History is more or less important than the other. Nor can we say that Pop Culture History is less important than the History of Art or Music. History that matters are those events that matter to us and us alone. It is a very personal subject so let us not pretend to suggest you take an interest in Mobile Computing History or Anime and Manga History. At it’s core, history seems to have a better place in a topical index rather than a sequence of events transpiring one after the other. We want history in bitsized chunks throughout the day. We want enough time to read an article or two without hurting our eyes or running down our batteries. We want history that is curated especially for us. We want the Best History Apps out there.
We hear you.
But, see it’s not that easy. For one, History isn’t that popular of a category within the Android Ecosystem. Most of what we found dealt with very low quality offerings that can’t be faulted on the developer. There are developers that are awesome with their coding ability, but lack the same genius on their Graphic Design or their Writing. What we assembled here, used with a few workarounds are sure to help those who DO want to know a little more about this little blue ball we live on.
Hardcore History Podcast
Podcasts were popularized by the Apple Store. Today they’ve become a generic term like Kleenex, or Ketchup. What we have is a simple layout that gives you a few dozen podcasts with the option to see older entries as well as download them rather than streaming.
It begins with two main branches. You have History and then you have Common Sense. Perhaps it’s all interrelated as common sense is really just some type of observed history.
We chose the first show, number 56. It stood at about 3 hours though, just hearing the first few minutes made me want to stop writing and continue with it. The speaker is well enunciated and pleasant to listen to.
Under Common Sense we saw more and more shows. Most of them deal with abstract subjects but many are based in history.
“HARDCORE! I was never interested in history when was a kid. Now, I can’t get enough of it, thanks to Dan Carlin. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this app! I’d give it 10 stars if I could! Now I have something to talk about! The history of Kahn has been the most interesting. My partner and I listen to a chunk every morning as we get ready for work. Awesome app!! Just can’t say enough.”
Sapiens – Archaeology & History
This one is a bit technical. That means there are a lot of scientific terms thrown around that may be a little much for an causal reader. We’re not all casual readers though, some of us do hold degrees and have a very broad vocabulary or a deep background in science.
The layout is organized by tabs with Species, View, and Fossils.
Under one particular specimen we get to see the details with species, length of time in existence, kingdom, etc. There are even pictures of the skull samples.
The main problem really is just the ads. It may not appeal to those looking for general history. If so, keep reading.
“Nicely done, very informative.”
Why this app received bum reviews about only linking to a website to download the content doesn’t make sense. An app about complicated subjects is usually a launcher of sort most of the time anyway. This is because they couldn’t decide what to place in the app package and would rather you only read what you can use.
To help us out we see that it’s organized by several subjects. A bug we found though was, no matter what subject you choose you still have to manually search for them yourself. Once we did though we found a lot of useful items.
Under History, we see all the different subsections of History. Under those subsets we see even more specific topics. When we click on the titles we are given a warning that the file size might be bigger than our data allotment.
Using a download manager such as Android Download Manager from the Google Play Store we procured a copy of this free resource. More rooting around gave us so many other topics, even those that nothing to do with History.
There are even fiction offerings though I suspect they’re public domain titles with no copyright.
“Love this app Great app, problem free thus far. Love the large selection of books. Thanks!”
Wiki Encyclopedia Gold
Wikipedia is our go-to for many questions. Since anyone can edit them, they still don’t stand in court. It’s downfall is really the best feature of Wikipedia. Even if it suffers from some inaccuracies, it’s not completely static like published hardback books. Wikipedia is fluid and it evolves with our collective input. This is one great reason to use this app. It’s incredibly current as it accesses the Wikipedia database directly.
But why can’t I just go to the main site?
Aha, well because this app gives you the ability to download whole sections or articles for offline reading. It is also a great resource to use to zero in on specific topics within history. We looked for Computing History.
History of Video Games, African-American History, the Ottoman Empire…
And just for the heck of it, Mark Antony.
Under settings you can change the display or the way it loads.
“Great app,i had to uninstall my dictionary coz this one somehow takes care of everything”
This one right here is Jackpot for those that consider themselves History Buffs. We made two transactions. At first we downloaded the trial version. When we started it up we saw the little box that told us the first download of on device information was going to be around 100MB.
What’s the point of getting a trial if that is going to be the size of the data download? We went and bought the app instead. The full version is around 400MB so we bit the bullet and waited.
The amount of topics that were covered we mind boggling. From Assyria to Polish-Soviet War. The interface is pretty easy to navigate with a simple layout.
There are timeline illustrations that are pretty neat as well. You’re able to search with keywords and change the display.
As you can see.
“Amazing I recommend this app to everyone who likes history. Very promising. I am amazed how well written and complete it is. You have history from the beginning of the civilizations to the current time; general and isolated facts. Moreover, there’s a huge and fully written timeline which you can slide through. I would only criticise that the app needs to run more smoothly, ’cause sometimes it lags. And also that the date tool should not be over map or timeline as it is very helpful to watch changes over time.”
We understand that History is education. Many of us grew up in subsidized public school so we tend to look at education as something that is basically free, or it should be free if it isn’t. Free though doesn’t help the developers or writers that go about bringing content for others to learn. As many of us found, college classes can be quite expensive. It would seem that we are charged for the money we would have been paying for K-12 when we see our graduation bills.
It’s so often said that those who do not know History are doomed to repeat it. Whether or not this is true I do know that History is very important to us. History can be split into so many subsections that all one really has to do is decide on what they want to learn about. Be this Art, Music, Science, or Culture, everything has an element of History.