Title: iPoe – the Interactive and Illustrated Edgar Allan Poe Collection by Play Creatividad
Platform: iOS 4.3 or later on iPhone and iPad
Mr. Edgar Allan Poe just celebrated his 204th birthday last month (Jan 19). Even though his writing is almost two centuries old, teen patrons still check out Poe’s macabre stories for required and leisure reading. There is something about Poe’s language that makes me want to either draw a picture or share the text out loud (“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary…”). Apparently, I’m not alone; I was thrilled to learn about the iPoe interactive app from a fellow techie earlier this month. Full of creepy illustrations, sounds, and interactive components, this five-star app digitizes Poe’s most famous tales for a modern audience.
The app trailer (click the image at left to view on YouTube) captures the essence of iPoe. The illustrations and sound effects bring Poe’s work to the next level, enriching the text rather than replacing it. Choose a story from an opening menu to enter Poe’s “chilling world.” Once you are in the text, you are encouraged to use headphones to fully experience the stories. Volume one includes “The Oval Portrait,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “Annabel Lee,” and “The Masque of the Red Death.” The developers also included a biography and sketchbook. Volume two features “Hop-Frog,” “The Black Cat,” “The Raven,” and another sketchbook.
The only downside to this app is the price. Sold as two volumes at $3.99 a piece, some Poe fans might be priced out. However, the content is really worth it. After all, what could be better than listening to the rhythmic beating of the Tell Tale Heart through an interactive app?
This app will appeal to those who already enjoy Poe, but I think iPoe is also a good pick for students experiencing Poe through the English Literature curriculum. The illustrations and interactive content will help some reluctant readers develop an appreciation for a classic American writer.