The new app from Joe Zeff Design is a nice example of thinking out of the box. Above & Beyond: George Steinmetz is a photography-based application like we haven't seen since The Guardian Eyewitness app.
The application takes us right on to the picture world of George Steinmetz, a well known photographer that flies the world on a motorized paraglider. George's pictures have been featured in National Geographic, Geo magazine, etc.
Many lines have been written about the iPad's amazing display for photographs and this application only show us how those lines where right on spot.
What I really like about this application is to know that it was built using Woodwing's Digital Magazine solution. I've been working with Woodwing for six months now and I wasn't able to 'see it' on the Above & Beyond application. This alone can tell you something about the inspired design work that went on the making of George's app.
For each picture, within a set of pictures from literally around the world, we can hear an audio comment by George Steinmetz himself, we can also access the geographic data of where the picture was taken - with the added feature of being able to see the area where the picture was taken on Google Earth, we can scroll around a resized version of the picture (I would like to have bigger zoom here, or the possibility to zoom with the pinch gesture - something that is not included on Woodwing's 'arsenal' of solutions, but coming soon, as far as I know) and finally, we can also share the pictures, by email, with whomever we want to.
The navigation for this application is really simple, you have a grid based table of contents that can be access from every page of the content and you have the buttons for the previously described actions. That's it... And it works like a charm. Swipe from right to left to change pictures.
On the end of the application we are presented with a very nice biography of the author, George Steinmetz, and a clever interative info graphic on George's motorized paraglider.
As I've stated before, this application teaches us that, even if you're using the same publishing tools as so many publishers out there, you can still make a difference by thinking out of the box and pay real attention to what the content 'needs'. I think that Joe Zeff Design deserves a great share of congratulations here. Their previous app, The Final Hours of Portal 2, was also something worth checking and the studio looks like it's nailing some nice reviews out there.
To end, I would like to urge all TNM readers to go to the iTunes shop fast, since Above & Beyond: George Steinmetz is being sold at a special price introductory of $1.99 until May 15th.
Monteiro is digital art coordinator at Impresa Publishing,
and the publishes the newly launched website Digital Distribution.
Here is the promotional video from the Joe Zeff Design website: