I reviewed a very cool iOS app called Pocket Zoo just about this time last year and thought quite highly of it; Pocket Zoo subsequently made it into the pages of Wired magazine as a “must have” app, so I wasn’t alone. The one downside I saw to the app during my initial review was its lack of HD support; it looked great on an iPhone or iPod Touch, but not so hot on an iPad. Pocket Zoo Developer Tiny Hearts was in touch a few weeks ago to let me know that the HD version of the app is now live and in the iTunes App Store. Even better, they’re once again offering a themed giveaway to GeekDad readers. This time around the swag is a one-of-a-kind, handmade Panda iPad/iPad 2 case from Etsy seller HoobyGroovy.
If you want the complete scoop on Pocket Zoo HD, the review from last year still stands. In terms of functionality, the app remains pretty much the same: a collection of live feed animal cams from various zoos around the world (along with photos, videos, sound bytes and factoids), all accessed through a colorful zoo interface. I can say from personal experience that it’s like candy to kids and a lot of adults I know are hooked on it too. There are plenty of websites where you can get your animal cam fix, but Pocket Zoo HD has cameras from SeaWorld San Diego, the Toronto Zoo, Kolmarden Zoo, the Toledo Zoo and others (over 30 cameras in all), all in one easy to access app. You can even filter so that only cameras that are currently live are displayed, saving cycling through cams that are offline. If you happen to see something particularly interesting going down on one of the cams, one button snaps a photo and saves it to your photo album, sends it as an e-mail or tweets it.
On an iPad, the app looks great, with the initial map screen offering eye candy that continues with high resolution photos and funky wallpapers. And if the feed you’re watching supports it, streaming video can now be maximized to take advantage of the iPad’s real estate. Pocket Zoo HD is currently $3.99 in the App Store, while the original is $1.99. It’s worth mentioning again that Tiny Hearts is also a “1% for the Planet” member, meaning one percent of PocketZoo sales go to animal conservation.
About that contest. If you want to snag yourself that HoobyGroovy Panda iPad case, here’s what you have to do: review Pocket Zoo HD on the App Store and send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail must include shipping address and ‘review nickname’ ). One winner will be chosen at random and we’ll let you know when that happens. Good luck!
A quick contest update. As of 5pm EST on August 4th, there is no winner as yet. So if you were holding off on shooting for this funky Panda case because you figured the Internet odds were firmly stacked against you, plunk down a review and shoot off that e-mail now! Tiny Hearts will pick a winner on August 8th.