Despite a plethora of fun and colorful interactive elements and engaging animations, Incredible Numbers isn't a dumbed-down app for the digital generation. Rather, Professor Ian Stewart uses the iPad's boundless teaching tools to take the mystery out of some of mathematics' most difficult concepts, including factorials, Fibonacci numbers, and heptadecagons. An attractive menu of eight circles—plus a bonus section dedicated to brainteasers—guides you to your chosen lesson, but the simple one-word headings hardly prepare you for the wealth of information inside.
The Science Museum in London is a fantastic place to visit if you're interested in the history of technology, but if you’re in the States or elsewhere, the chances of seeing the exhibits contained therein may be rather remote. That’s precisely why Journeys of Invention from Touch Press is such a great resource, as it allows you to learn about and interact with objects that are on display in that museum, plus others stored in its repository that aren’t even viewable by members of the public. Journeys of Invention features 81 objects — like the Apollo 10 command module, or a 17th-century microscope — along with 14 compiled journeys that link them through a logical progression.
The periodic table: Every element known to man, organized and presented in an elegant, but arguably dry and boring way. Looking at numbers and letters aligned in a table doesn't really convey what each of those elements does, or what its respective function is. Of course, you could read about them, but The Elements in Action from Touch Press goes much further, letting you see every element — sans the ones that are extremely radioactive, or have an absurdly short half-life — via well-presented videos.
Just as Disney has long made drawings come to life with its many classic animated films, the Disney Animated app makes what could have been a solid, static book feel exuberant and entertaining as an interactive experience, full of behind-the-scenes footage and touch-based activities. The iPad app explores the long history of Disney's in-house animation efforts, breaking down the process step by step while explaining its many aspects using more than just words.