This has been a good month for Star Trek fans. Last week Netflix finally made available many Star Trek episodes online, and today CBS Interactive announced the offical Star Trek PADD (Personal Access Display Device) app for iPad. Just what all geeks need, something else to keep us on the couch…
Unlike previous Star Trek PADD (and Tricorder) apps that didn’t have CBS approval, this one is blessed by Starfleet Command. According to the App Store description:
The PADD provides access to the official Star Trek™ database from StarTrek.com of aliens, ships, places, technologies, and episode guide. The app includes a true reproduction of LCARS, the computer interface commonly used in Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets during the 24th century, and includes familiar computer sound effects and voice, making it enjoyable to everyone.
The app costs $4.99 and links to the Star Trek Facebook and Twitter feeds. I just downloaded a copy, the sound effects and graphics are right off the USS Enterprise. Majel Barret’s voice announces your actions, and the PADD bleeps and twerps just like the real thing.
Unfortunately the database organization needs some work, the various sections on Episodes, Aliens (etc.) are all long alphabetical lists of items rather than offering groupings organized by Show, Season, or Species. I don’t see a way to list all TNG shows in broadcast order, or view all Klingon ships at once. You need to use the Search function to narrow down choices. CBS says the database content will be upgraded over time, however, so hopefully the app will get more useful with future iterations.
Make it so!