It is no secret that I love pretty much everything Lonely Planet publishes. I have written about Lonely Planet’s Encounter Guides on both Flying With Fish and KLM’s Blog, written about their iPhone language translation iPhone Apps and iPhone City Guide Apps … so when Lonely Planet asked me if I was interested in checking out their new travel eBooks of course I answered “YUP!”
So … this week’s iPad App of the Week is Lonely Planet Discover eBooks.
Lonely Planet’s guides are fantastic. The content in every single Lonely Planet guide I have owned and read is captivating, interesting and in fact … actually useful on the road … and the Discover eBooks (which also works on the iPhone) are no different.
Lonely Planet’s Discover eBooks take the idea of a travel guide and ads a series of never elements and dimensions to what travelers are used to. In a travel guide you move from page to page, generally in a linear order. With Lonely Planet’s Discover eBooks users find themselves in midst of an interactive experience.
Starting at the first pages of the Discover eBooks users can touch the table of contents and leap to a section. Once in a section users can navigate through maps in a way unimaginable in a printed book. I found myself viewing the maps in the Ireland Discover eBook for more than an hour, exploring places I had never been in a format I had never experienced in a travel guide.
While reading the Discover eBooks users can use hyper links to leap from the Discover eBook to outside web pages (I have the iPad 3g, so I was able to do this while actually sitting outside, no where near wifi).
International roaming fees can be very expensive, and with that in mind, I found I was able to use every facet of the Discover eBook (except the external optional hyperlinks) while completely disconnected from the internet in Airplane Safe Mode. Being able to move through maps and content total free of online connections makes the Discover eBooks an ideal travel companion.
Reading the Discover eBook while traveling and find yourself off the beaten path … just drop in a bookmark and go exploring. The page you stopped on will be waiting for you, right where you left it when you get back to your iPad.
Currently the Lonely Planet Discover eBooks are limited to Ireland, Great Britain, France, Italy and Spain … but more are on the way.
The Lonely Planet Discover eBooks are priced similarly to their print counterparts at US$14.99 each.
Below are 13 screen shots of Lonely Planet’s Discover eBook for Ireland from my iPad … I wish I was only in Ireland to go exploring with it at the moment!