Australian developer mogeneration announces iPad app

Medical encyclopaedia approved by Apple

Apple has approved mogeneration's “Carter’s Encyclopaedia of Health and Medicine”, with the developer claiming it is the first Australian-designed iPad app to be announced.

Mogeneration teamed up with Medwords, a company that specialises in medical writing and editing, to produce a 1800-page medical encyclopaedia containing 12,000 entries and over a million words. The app will be available in Australia for an introductory price of $12.99. The price will rise to $29.99 a few months after the app's release in late April.

Keith Ahern, CEO of mogeneration, said that the app will soon be available for the iPhone as well. “We had been working on the iPhone version for about a few weeks then we fast tracked the iPad version and completed it with an additional two weeks work,” he said.

The app is written by medical academic Dr. Warwick Carter and does not require an Internet connection to access entries, as the data is held entirely on the device.

The Sydney-based developer says that the app is designed to mimic an authentic hardback book, with bookmarks and page creases. However, it also incorporates full text search, diagrams, browsing history and adjustable font size.

Ahern said that Medwords put complete trust in mogeneration to deliver an outstanding product for the iPad and iPhone. “For Carter’s Encyclopaedia of Health and Medicine we took the data which was in MS Word and built something called an ingestor which converted all the text and images and relationships into a SQL database for fast searching and display,” said Ahern. “We then assembled an app using our mobile publishing framework, Oompf.”

The app will be available from the iPad App Store instead of the iBooks store, which specialises in novels and text-heavy books that don’t have interactive content. “The ePub format used by iBooks has very limited graphical layout support and almost no interactive capabilities — for example we could not do the interactive human body that we have in the app. We also needed more control over the bookmarks and history functions,” he said.

Mogeneration is producing an iPad version of its Food Advisor Australia iPhone app as well as several others. “There is incredible interest in iPad from media companies, print publishers, healthcare, education and field workers,” said Ahern.

Ahern believes that the iPad will revolutionise the way we think about computers and how we consume media. “There is an amazing sense of relief coming from the general public about the simplicity of the iPad. Many people will be getting them for kids and grandparents; I expect to see a lot of Windows PCs in dumpsters as a result,” he said.

A video walkthrough of Carter’s Encyclopaedia of Health and Medicine is available on YouTube.

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