iPhone app version 1.1 - now with search, image viewer and Twitter!

Version 1.1 of the Skeptical Science iPhone app has just been released (download for free from http://itunes.com/apps/skepticalscience). Shine Technologies have been very busy, adding a number of new features. I'm fairly new to this whole software release business but if this is what you get moving from 1.0 to 1.1, I can't wait to see what happens in version 2.0. Here are some of the new features on offer:

Tweet skeptic arguments directly to Twitter

When you're looking at a skeptic argument, there is now a Twitter logo in the top left corner (the look of this page has also been improved, now featuring the penguin background). If you want to let others know about what you've just read in the app, you can tweet directly from your iPhone. Just press the Twitter logo to be taken to a Twitter page. The Twitter message automatically includes a link to the relevant page on the Skeptical Science website:


Search feature

The opening screen shows the top 3 skeptic categories (not happening, not us, not bad). Now there's also a search button. This takes you to a search form where you can search directly for any topic:

    Skeptical Science iPhone app: search for skeptic arguments

Image Viewer

One limitation of the iPhone is that the many graphs and figures are shrunk down and displayed very small. Often, it's hard to make out specific details. However, now if you press any graph, it opens in an Image Viewer. Here, you can rotate and expand the image to get a closer look. This is one of my favourite new features - I'm still in that iPhone honeymoon period where I think it's cool that you can enlarge the screen by dragging two fingers apart.

Skeptical Science iPhone app: image viewer

Auto-Tweet when reporting an argument

Another new addition is an Auto-Tweet feature. If you go to My Reports, you'll notice an Auto-Tweet toggle at the bottom of the screen. If you turn Auto-Tweet on (default is off), then whenever you report hearing a skeptic argument, it automatically sends a tweet to your Twitter account. I'm interested in hearing what you think of this new feature.

Other iPhone app news

Android App being developed! We have received many requests for an Android version of the app. I'm pleased to announce that Shine Technologies have begun development of a Skeptical Science Android app. There is no release date yet but I will let everyone know as soon as I do.

Mobile version of website: For those who don't use an iPhone or Android phone, I'm also working on a mobile version of the website. This will be a fairly simple set-up - probably just the list of skeptic arguments in a simplified, single column design.

Sneak preview of iPhone reporting results: Version 1.1 still doesn't display any results from the Report feature (apart from your own reports). However, if you're interested in seeing which arguments people have been reporting from the iPhone, you can get a sneak preview of the iPhone results via the iPhone results page.

Chicago Tribune article: There have been a few recent media articles about Skeptical Science and the iPhone app. Chicago Tribune interviewed me and ran an article Sorting through the conflicting claims on global warming that includes a few quotes. Unfortunately they inaccurately refer to me as a physicist - it seems there's still some "solar physicist" hangover from the Guardian article. They've also published Questions and answers on climate change that is definitely worth a read.

Discovery Channel interview: Kieran Mulvaney at the Discovery Channel is running a series of articles on Climate Myths beginning with Climate Myths and Questions, Part I. They've also published an interview with me (online text, not video). Before you read the interview, let me lay out a disclaimer - this is one of my first media interviews. It looks like they transcribed my words verbatim which is a good demonstration of how rambling and grammatically incorrect the spoken word is (well, at least mine). For the record, the very first media interview I did (for an Australian radio station) was even more of a rambling, stuttering affair so at least I'm improving. :-)

If anyone has any questions or requests regarding the Skeptical Science app, please either email me or post a comment here. If you're keen to see a new feature in the app, your best chance is to post a comment and have others also start nagging for it. I suspect all the nagging from Android users was a factor in Shine Tech starting on an Android app.

Posted by John Cook on Tuesday, 9 March, 2010

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