Over the Islands of Africa

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Over the Islands of Africa is a documentary series detailing a journey through Zanzibar, Mauritius, Madagascar, Cape Verde and Sao Tomé, discovering the people, the country and best of all, the culture. The apps follow five different photographers, using land, sea and the air to document the countries. Each app, with one for each country, starts with a video, which is the actual documentary, and then there is a photo book which details the filming.

You can’t fault the apps for the content, with the videos, photographs and information providing a great experience. It’s wonderful to watch and learn, and to experience a different culture. In the past, we’ve had Michael Palin’s TV shows, as he travels around the world, with a book to accompany it. Now, we’ve got it all in one, with the app having the same high quality content and interesting information that you would expect from Palin himself. Each book is well done, with a nice video to watch detailing the culture, such as the unique food that is eaten. Each one is worth watching, as they are interesting, although the constant voice translation can make it seem like you’re watching a foreign film. It’s not too bad, especially as once the video gets going the video itself will keep you attention. It’s good because the videos aren’t too long, just about the right length to contain enough information and still be interesting at the end.

Navigation is really easy, as you can simply swipe to change page, and pinch to zoom into a photo, just like we’re all used to. It’s also got some nice additional menus, enabling you to change to another page quickly and easily. With everything in mind, it’s easy enough that anybody can do it. It’s lovely to see a proper interactive book created, not just scanned images. For ease of use, it would be nice if each of the apps was combined into one, but it’s not a major issue.

Each app is also quite large, at around 500mb. However, you can always delete them and re-download them later if it’s a problem. This is however better than having a smaller app and poorer quality video or pictures.

The price might seem expensive at first, but it’s fantastic value once you take everything into consideration. The apps are a joy to use, and you get a video and a fantastic photo book in each one. A comparable book or DVD would cost a lot more, so you’re getting great value for money. Since the content is worth it, each app is worth the outlay. Best of all, you get something to keep, as it’s worth revisiting the apps every so often just to see the photographs again.

Overall, a fantastic series of apps. They might seem expensive at first, but considering you’re getting a great documentary and photo book in each one, it’s not bad value. It’s easy to get lost marvelling at the great photographs, and they are a joy to read and watch. Without a doubt, these apps are the best way to experience the African countries, especially the culture.

Rating: 5/5


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