Lifesaver, McLaren’s Workshop, Ticket To Ride




Lifesaver will teach you how to perform CPR and other resuscitation methods by placing you into real-world situations using interactive movies. As actors convincingly create the experience of someone collapsing in a subway tunnel or a parking lot, the app will ask you to make quick choices and decisions about the scene while guiding you through step-by-step instructions for the actions needed.


This means using your iPhone/iPad to act out chest pumps or abdominal thrusts so that your device’s sensors can measure how well you push or keep up an appropriate rhythm. In the case of CPR, a meter on the screen will tell you if you are pumping too slow or too fast.

There are scenarios to for choking, cardiac arrest, and a condition too serious to identify. The lessons will take you through CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver, portable defibrillators, and options should you be uncomfortable performing mouth-to-mouth. Each is very convincing in the way actors portray being sick, panicked, or distraught and the cameras catch all the sights and sounds of the busy street enough that should you find yourself one day actually having to help someone, it will seem very familiar and should make all this information easier to recall.


It’s a brilliant app that, as a final touch, includes interviews with people who have been on both sides of a collapse and their honest accounts serve to really sell how much it’s worth to help someone in need, even in an increasingly unfriendly world were people might resent you for it.

Although produced with funding from the Resuscitation Council in the United Kingdom, and so some emergency information is for Britain only, the core lessons and techniques are universal and I highly recommend learning them.

McLaren’s Workshop



All artists should be so lucky as to have an app devoted to their life’s work as this one by the National Film Board of Canada for pioneering animator and Oscar-winning director Norman McLaren. He was the one who introduced the idea of animating actors like cartoon characters, of visualizing music with abstract movements, and of using film itself as an instrument to create synthesized music.


His mastery of different forms of expression made his early films an influencing reference for many filmmakers, which is why this free collection of 51 films and behind-the-scenes features is such a gift. The appeal of his work may be more suited towards art house audiences, but the themes are so whimsical and universal that anyone who follows their curiosity will be rewarded.


There are three movie-making tools included to add McLaren touches to your own projects; an animation suite for working with paper cut-outs, a touchscreen simulation for etching animations into film emulsion, and a sound workshop for creating synthesized displays of colour and music. The last two require a $2.99 fee, but are so well made that if you’re looking for new moviemaking toys to play with they’re worth the purchase.

Ticket To Ride



Board games are enjoying a resurgence in popularity as a social alternative to bar-hopping or clubbing to the point that there are now cafes that cater and build upon the interest. Ticket To Ride is one of the most popular titles of the trend, a game where players lay down matching coloured train sets in a bid to form the longest routes across the United States.

This mobile version, now finally out for Android too, let’s you play against the computer and with others online or by passing your device around with friends. Animated flourishes and music bring the board and cards to life while on-screen graphics make it easier to understand what your options are.


It’s complicated compared to most mobile games, but with both a video and in-game tutorial to help you understand the rules and concepts, it’s not as challenging as it seems. The focus is on drawing and playing cards, on linking coloured train pieces, and developing a strategy that hides your plans from other while blocking their own ambitions.

You may have to play the original cardboard version to really catch the addiction, but once you do this lower-priced app version will make it easier to master the game.


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