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Hyper Facts iPhone App Review.

Knowledge is power, a wise man said. And what better way to gain more knowledge than to learn about your surroundings and your interests? Of course, there are various ways you can do this, but if you want to start locally and go global, then Hyper Facts can get you started.

Hyper Facts is a convenient and useful way to search for facts about famous people, works, topics, events or places right from your iPhone. In my opinion, the most useful feature was the interactive map that showed hyper facts around your location.

Learn more about where you are

Once you start the app, go to the Nearby tab and allow the app to use your current location. It will then display a Google Map and plot pins around your current location. The pins represent either a location, an event that took place at that location, a famous person that was born there, among some other bits and pieces of information I’m sure you didn’t know about. Hyper Facts calls all these bits of information “things.”

By tapping on any pin, you’ll get extra information about that thing. The app will also place it in a few categories, that you can then explore to find similar things. So for example, if you’re near a university, Hyper Facts will place a pin at that location and tapping on it will bring up a category of “Universities” that you can then explore.

In short, this interactive map is like a veritable time machine. It will show you what happened at your location throughout history and let you discover new things to do without straying too far from where you are. I’d like to think it can safely be used as a travel companion, beating some travel apps out there at their own game.

Search, search and search some more

Once you’re done exploring your surroundings, perhaps you’d like to know more about Bob Marley or San Francisco, the works of Charles Dickens or the Battle of Gettysburg. You can easily search for these things in the Things tab.

You’re bound to find a wealth of information. If you decide to filter your results by type (person, location, event, work), the app will only display specific results. But if you don’t filter at all, then Hyper Facts will just display everything for you.

There is an inherent problem with the search mechanism that I’d really like to see fixed in future versions of the app. Hyper Facts doesn’t search the article content, just the titles. So inputing Battle of Gettysburg in the search field will yield results only if you know what you’re filtering by. For me it makes sense that if I search for the Battle of Gettysburg and filter by location, the app should know that I’m looking for Gettysburg. Filtering by people might display results such as General Lee or President Lincoln.

A good example is the quote “Knowledge is power” by Francis Bacon. Searching for that quote won’t yield any results, although the article on Francis Bacon contains references to the quote. Knowledge is indeed power, and I’d like Hyper Facts to be more powerful in the future.

The app’s biggest selling point is…

…the web of information. You can start with any location, fact, person or thing and explore links to other similar things. Everything seems to be related in some way and that’s what makes Hyper Facts incredibly powerful. You will definitely learn things you never knew about starting from things you already know and working your way through the web.

It’s actually what Hyper Facts builds upon that makes it this powerful. The app draws information from DBpedia, a research project that aims to extract structured information from the information created as part of the Wikipedia project. It allows you to ask sophisticated queries against Wikipedia, and to link other information available on the world wide web to the data already available on Wikipedia.

You can literally spend hours navigating through the wealth of information that this app provides.


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Hyper Facts
Developer: A2rt
Category: Reference
Updated: January 6th, 2011
Price: $0.99

Our Rating

3 / 5

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iPhone Review Posted in App Reviews, Books & Education

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