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CBS Releases Official Star Trek PADD for iPad [UPDATED] July 11, 2011

by Staff , Filed under: Merchandise,Science/Technology,Web , trackback

Much has been said about how the Star Trek ‘PADD’ devices resemble Apple’s hot iPad tablet. Well now CBS has made that connection even closer with the release of the an official Star Trek PADD application for iPad. More details and screenshots of Star Trek PADD for iPad below. [UPDATED: Promo video added]


CBS Releases official Star Trek PADD for iPad

UPDATE: Official promo video

CBS has sent us a promo video for the Star Trek PADD app for iPad, check it out.

Original article…

press release


App Merges 24th Century Technology into 21st Century Mobile Device

SAN FRANCISCO – July 11, 2011 – CBS Interactive today announced the launch of the official STAR TREK PADD app, based on the iconic television franchise. The STAR TREK PADD (Personal Access Display Device) app provides fans with the ultimate mobile "Trekker" experience. The app features an authentic reproduction of the LCARS interface—the fictional computer operating system depicted in the STAR TREK television series—as well as a rich, interactive database of STAR TREK television series information, including images and an episode guide. The STAR TREK PADD app is now available for $4.99 in the App Store.

Developed in conjunction with CBS Mobile by app development studio ArcTouch, the STAR TREK PADD app transports fans back through the extensive 40-year history of the STAR TREK television franchise, including its amazing universe of characters, planets and technology spanning from STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES all the way to STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE. The app also includes a recognizable computer voice as well as familiar STAR TREK-related sounds.

"STAR TREK fans are passionately involved with all things STAR TREK. The STAR TREK PADD app lets die-hard fans and casual enthusiasts use the authentic LCARS interface to access the extensive official STAR TREK database, and easily connect with other Trekkers. We expect that the app will also introduce the show to a new generation of fans, leveraging 21st century technology to provide a glimpse into the 24th century," said Rob Gelick, Senior Vice President and General Manager, CBS Mobile.

The app includes the following features:

“Back when the PADD first appeared on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, none of us imagined that today we’d be able to hold the real thing in our hands. But the STAR TREK PADD app, running on your iPad, is an actual miniature, handheld, touch-sensitive, 24th-century-style computer screen,” said Michael Okuda, who was in charge of computer interface design for the Starships Enterprise and co-authored the STAR TREK Encyclopedia along with wife Denise.

“We’re honored CBS chose us to develop the official STAR TREK PADD app," said Eric Shapiro, CEO of ArcTouch. "We’re true STAR TREK fans and were intensely focused on making this app both useful and fun, while maintaining authenticity and reproducing the LCARS design faithfully.”

The STAR TREK PADD app is now available for $4.99 from the iTunes App Store  for the iPad in every one of the more than 120 international markets where the show’s five series are licensed.


TM & © 2011 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. STAR TREK and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc.


1. tony - July 11, 2011

wow cool

2. CaptainEric - July 11, 2011

AWESOME! I can’t wait to start using it!

3. The WallDoctor - July 11, 2011

No Android love?

4. Michael - July 11, 2011

The tease for this article is wrong. The PADD does NOT resemble the iPad. The reverse is true, the iPad resembles the PADD. Jobs and Co. got their inspiration from Star Trek not the other way around.

5. Elliot - July 11, 2011

Damn this looks awesome.

6. Jerry Modene - July 11, 2011

Too bad it won’t work on a regular PC… or would it?

7. Pointing out the Obvious - July 11, 2011

So this is why CBS pulled the first LCARS app off the Apple Store… how much do you want to bet the original app was better then this.

8. Andy Patterson - July 11, 2011

Hmm, I’ve spent a lot of money this summer. Only the 11th and I can tell it’s going to be a Iong month as far as stretching the dollar. Guess I’ll have to buy this huh?

9. jas_montreal - July 11, 2011

omg… thank you. Getting it now….

10. Trekkie Since 8 September 1966 - July 11, 2011

I can barely afford my shitty phone, let alone the continuing expense of an iPad’s service. I’ll just sit here and be jealous.

11. Maj. Lee "TIBERIUS" Skywalker, Battlestar Serenity - July 11, 2011

So does this app allow you to run the LCARS interface over the existing OS, like a shell? Or is the LCARS only good for searching Trek-related content within the app? If it’s both then AWESOME, if it’s just the second then….meh, not worth the money IMO.

12. Patrice - July 11, 2011

I agree @ 11.
Unfortunately I think it is the latter. Something tells me that the big wigs over at Apple wouldn’t allow this app to run its OS. The system is tightly closed as it is.

I agree, blah. But if some of us are hungry/ starving for anything Trek related while we wait for the 2012, 2013…2014 movie, we’ll might buy anything. (hey I bought the communicator app and well…it’s cute, I guess..sort of..ok not really.) Blah

But if they can configure this app to run the entire OS, I am on it.

13. Izmunuti - July 11, 2011

@10: You have the option of purchasing a wi-fi only iPad, as I did. Therefore you will not incur a “continuing expense.”

If you choose a 3G model, it is $100 more, and you can choose month-to-month service – turn it on or off for the month, depending on your needs.

14. SoonerDave - July 11, 2011

Agree completely w/ 11 @ 12, the key would be to make LCARS an “alternative UI” for the iPad, not some silly trivia lookup program.

If it is true the Apple wouldn’t let them put something like an alternate UI on top of their precious, cloistered OS, I’m sure the Android community would embrace LCARS as an alternate UI on phones and Android-based tablets…

15. T'Cal - July 11, 2011

I may need to buy an iPad now. where’s my cell phone that looks EXACTLY like a TOS communicator?? I want it now, damn you!

Hey, Maj. Lee “TIBERIUS” Skywalker, Battlestar Serenity. That is the greatest name ever

Captain Malcom “Husker” Solo, USS Torchwood

16. Chronos - July 11, 2011

Suddenly, I need an iPad!

Next step: LCARS iPad interface. Not just an app.

17. Nelson - July 11, 2011

This app would be great if it includes all the info you can get at the Memory Alpha site. I’ll get this app and see for myself!

18. allister gourlay - July 11, 2011

just got it here in the UK store £2.99 – it is pretty cool and great fun!

19. Will_H - July 11, 2011

$4.99 for it…yeah not so sure. Maybe when I’m doing better financially. Don’t get me wrong, looks cool, but not quite $5 cool to me.

20. Chelsea - July 11, 2011

Have they said anything about it being on the iPod Touch?

21. Shunnabunich - July 11, 2011

It’s just a regular app — you open it from the home screen, do your thing, then press the home button to quit — so it wouldn’t even make sense to expect it to somehow take over the rest of the OS. If you want to customize the look of iOS, you jailbreak, simple as that. There are already LCARS themes out there on Cydia. Granted, they all suck goat balls because the LCARS UI works very differently than SpringBoard and nobody’s written a wholesale LCARS-style SpringBoard replacement shell (a la PogoPlank), but the themes are out there.

22. Chief Deviant - July 11, 2011

@ #7… Yep, this is why the pulled the functional web browsing, twitter reading, youtube watching, flicker following, news reading, non-licensed LCARS app.



23. Rick Moyer - July 11, 2011

oh yeah, going to get this.

24. Ken Mullen - July 11, 2011

I was expecting a bit more from the app. Whilst it’s a fantastic encyclopaedia, I find it could have been so much better if entries had video clips or 3d models to play with. Also some entries have only a paragraph again which could have been enhanced with additional content.

25. Allen Williams - July 11, 2011

This should be a silverlight app for windows. Then it would work on a windows 8 tablet when they eventually come out.

26. Rico - July 11, 2011

So buying this right now!

27. Lt. Thomas - July 11, 2011

WebOS needed!

28. Ian Pond - July 11, 2011

Best $5 I’ve spent on an app in a while! Love it!

29. Andy Patterson - July 11, 2011

Just got it.

First of all I know this is an enormous undertaking to do. As it was downloading it boggled my mind just thinking about the amount of material to cover and amount of work and research put in for such a thing.

But sure are a lot of “image not available” tags on things that seem like easy no brainer images to me (I’m guessing there’s lots of legalities here to deal with too)

Also cross referencing and collating subjects? Mention of Gary Seven as as a ‘character’ but under ‘actors’ no mention of Robert Lansing. Little things like that.

30. Irishtrekkie - July 11, 2011

this i will wait for this to be on a Meego tablet

31. LordOfTheArchons - July 11, 2011


Well, the next time you think about going to McDonalds or any other fast food restaraunt, starve and spend your $5 on this instead.

32. Keeg - July 11, 2011

About. Bloody. Time.

I’ve tried 3rd party lcars-esque apps, with limited enjoyment (of the the tricorder apps for iphone was actually pretty cool, showed GPS coordinates, used the magnetic sensor, and a broken decibel meter).

I’m hoping this one will at least have the kajunpakt that the others lacked, so long as its relatively accurate (not holding my breath here… i saw klingon aspects in the promo, which is so not cool unless you can use an entire klingon theme)

Downloading now.

33. Freedom4All - July 11, 2011

Need a version that works on Android and has the option of other species’ graphical interface such as Cardassian, Romulan, Klingon, Vulcan, etc.

34. captain spock - July 11, 2011

listen to the voice at the end it sounds like George takei don’t it or I’m imagining it

35. Moxy - July 11, 2011

Reading #29’s view on this app, I can learn more about ST on Memory Alpha than I could on this app.

36. I. Montoya - July 11, 2011

Damn I was hoping it’d work on the iPhone too. :'(

37. CaptainScratch - July 11, 2011

Leave to CBS to steal other peoples ideas,Viacom leading the IP protection bill to censor the internet and to stop YouTube and P2P sites.Yet they steal peoples copywrite designs and ideas.Go figure.

38. Battle-scarred Sciatica - July 11, 2011



“Sector 001………..mostly harmless”


39. Anthony Thompson - July 11, 2011

Please remember that the first ‘pad’ was seen in “2001”, not Star Trek!

40. Aqua - July 11, 2011

#15 that was actually sold in 2007 in Europe.

41. Bob Tompkins - July 11, 2011

If it actually converted the operating interface of the iPad to an LCars interface, I might be interested just for ****s and giggles. It’s just the bundling of official information into an app; not that useful actually.
Lots of glitz no substance.

42. Corinthian7 - July 11, 2011

# 7

I deleted the original app,, this seems better.

43. I'm Dead Jim! - July 11, 2011

Gotta have an iPad now!

44. CaptainScratch - July 11, 2011

Im talking about the apps.I designed a Star trek apps several months ago for the ipad.It even has a copywrite.I posted it on Facebook and theres a design of it on DeviantArt anyone can go and look at.Its not the first time the TV and Motion Picture industries steals other people Ideas and copyrights to use as their own.But watch out if you download their movie or post a clip on YouTube.They dont like that at all and force YouTube to delete the upload,and harass people IP servers.Dont get me started about Warner Brothers,I could write several pages on their illegal internet activities.

45. atatcommander - July 11, 2011

I want an Ipad now, :( oh well

46. Michael - July 11, 2011

@39 not quite. 2001 was out in 1968. IIRC the first Trek tablet was in the first production episode, Corbomite Maneuver which was 1966. Granted they never showed the surface but it was an electronic paperless tablet with stylus. 2001 was just flatter but the same idea and we did get to see that (better budget).

47. Michael - July 11, 2011

I’m pretty sure that the electronic tablet in TOS was never mentioned by name nor was the one being used in 2001. They were just there. It wasn’t until STNG in 1987 that it got a name – PADD. I may be forgetting something in the films but I don’t remember it being called anything until season 1 of next gen.

48. NuKirk - July 11, 2011

HAHAHHA the Apple Mac App Store also has a ‘Time+’ app that’s a clock/alarm app that is modeled quite accurately after the LCARS interface, too. Also there’s an iPad RSS reader on the App Store that is modeled after the LCARS interface.

That being said, that promo featured the WORST rendition of the TOS theme I HAVE EVER HEARD! :S

And was the announcer that guy who did the voice for the Federation commercial on Nimbus 3 in Star Trek V? LOL

That all being said, I hope JJ and crew team up with Paramount to release a similar app for the computer interface from the 2009 film… I’m sorry but that was cool. Not LCARS, but cool all the same.

49. Jonboc - July 11, 2011

Too bad the entire 24th century LCARS navigation system leaves me cold. Never liked it. But, for those that do, this app should be a lot of fun, it looks like they’ve nailed the look.

50. DestinyCaptain - July 11, 2011

Can we have a TOS version with it’s graphical interface and another for the TOS films?

51. Patrice - July 11, 2011

What a cheesy video!
Who do they think we are? The video is a parody in and of itself. Really???

52. Captain Karl - July 11, 2011

Sorry, this isn’t worth the $5. First thing you find when you finally finish downloading and installing (this is a huge app at over 100MB) is that it is a very noisy app. They have the sounds of the ship background noise running throughout the entire thing. It could have done well with out this distraction so don’t use headphones when running it. Second, as you browse through all the categories, you’ll be shocked to see a ton of “image not available” graphics in place of the picture for many, if not a vast majority of entries. Sometimes, when you click on an entry, there are pictures for it, so why not include it in the initial listing? When there is an image available, it is low quality, small sized screen captures of which you cannot zoom in or enlarge. Also, at the app store, there is a nice graphic of the Enterprise D schematic, under SS2 but I have yet to find it within the app. Unfortunately, I wasted $5 downloading this poor, noisy app that doesn’t even have blueprints or schematics of all ships, doesn’t have a image available in the listing for the NX-01 (you have to click the entry to see pictures of it) and it is quite noisy and distracting. What they have done is cobble together graphics and sounds of the computer voice from the PC version that came out over a decade ago as the Star Trek Encyclopedia (I believe that is what it was called, it was so very long ago). Please save yourself the $5 and wait until it is a complete app. They should have offered it as a free lite version and if people liked what they saw, they could have upgraded to the full version, but I have the sneaking suspicion that if they did this, not too many people would have plunked down the cash to buy the full version.

53. Miles R. Seppelt - July 11, 2011

Now that is geeky cool!

54. Sebastian S. - July 11, 2011

Too bad we don’t have Galaxy class starships to match. ;-)
The future IS here; as least with hand-held gadgets it is…

55. cleverclogs - July 11, 2011

Need some Windows love here CBS. WINDOWS. Please.

56. trekboi - July 11, 2011

Pure Joy Geekgasm!

57. harley3k - July 11, 2011

Funny seeing a “mouse pointer” in the promo video.
I’m pretty sure my iPad doesn’t have a mouse pointer.
They must’ve cropped it from the iOS simulator on a Mac.

58. Phobos - July 12, 2011

I have to have this. Time to shop for an iPad.
Looks like fun.

59. Hat Rick - July 12, 2011

This is fantastic. Life imitating art!

60. Steve T in NY - July 12, 2011

I cant understand why when the android OS outsells the Iphone/Ipad by almost three to one, why companies continue to produce apps for the iphone/ipad only. HELLO CBS!! most of us actually dont run and buy overpriced, underperforming phones/tablets.. So why dont you get with the times and produce these apps for Android as well??

61. Sebastian S. - July 12, 2011


Good point! And as a total 2001 geek, I should’ve remembered that. ;-D

But from what I remember (and I could be mistaken) the ones in 2001 seemed to be simply video display devices, since at other times in the movie we see Bowman and Poole using more conventional style paper and pencil style checklists. I don’t remember them using the electronic pads for anything else in the film.

At any rate, it’s a good excuse to go back and re-watch 2001…. ;-)

62. Spider1981 - July 12, 2011

@Steve T in NY

Comparing Android OS to iPad is not a valid comparison. Comparing the iPad to tablets running the Android OS is valid, and in doing so, we see that 20+ million iPads have been sold vs. very meager numbers of competing tablets. While I’d bet an Android OS version is coming, there is your answer.

63. Geekette70 - July 12, 2011

Meh, big deal. I don’t remember the name of the app, but I had an LCARS interface on my PC back in 1996, back in the AOL days. It was a very forward thinking push technology app that would pull headlines from the daily news and post it as your screen saver in LCARS format. It also had a pretty nifty ST database (nothing along the lines of wikipedia, to be sure, but definitely ahead of it’s time back in the day.)

By the way, it was FREE. Of course, the internet is way more sophisticated these days and with copyright monitoring being much more prevalent it’s difficult to find this kind of software. I suppose my point is, it’s been 15 years and any LCARS app should be blowing our minds at this juncture. (And no Android? Total deal breaker!)

64. Geekette70 - July 12, 2011

Just remembered the app from ’96…it was PointCast. Man, that was a long time ago!

65. Ruue - July 12, 2011

In other words:
You expect a complete Star Trek Enzyclopedia for 5 bucks?!???
Yeah sure, dream on….
If i had an ipad i would surely but this one.

66. Chris Hinchley - July 12, 2011

It’s getting rather lame reviews in the Apps Store. I’ll pass for now!

67. Reign1701A - July 12, 2011

Does it include information on the movies or the JJ Abrams universe?

68. Captain Karl - July 12, 2011

@67 there is a blurb about jj in the staff category

69. Captain Karl - July 12, 2011

@65 not really, but i do expect there to be photos for every entry instead of the image not available for five bucks ;)

70. StarTrekkie - July 14, 2011

I think the graphics in here are nice and it’s definitely the most authentic and rich lcars interface I’ve yet to see. Webkit seems to built in ok with twitter with controls on the top.But it’s lacking in a few things.

1. Way too noisy, I can handle the ship rumble, but not all the bleeps and bloops.

2. You can only browse the episode guide alphabetically. This is nonsensical to me. As an episode guide browser alone, this app would be worth it for 4.99, but you can’t even browse by series or season!

3. The back button will randomly work, but often doesn’t and simply goes back to the main screen. So if you go to Cast > Tim Russ, but then want to go back to where you were in the cast list, (in the R section) you have to go back to the main screen then scroll down to the R’s again. The back button and the home button seem to do the same thing more often than not.

4. The screensaver came on while I was in the middle of watching a video that had been posted to Youtube on the facebook page!

5. Minor nitpick. I’m not sure what the metal rim surrounding the base buttons is supposed to be. A true padd is purely a screen, so adding in fake metal chrome isn’t necessary.

Overall: The app looks stunning, but it’s functionality is a mess. Only browse the database alphabetically, broken functionality and noisy. I hope that there is a budget at CBS for continued development of this app and it isn’t just neglected. There’s a strong start here, but the app feels very much like a beta release. It’s begging for more work.

71. Boris - July 17, 2011

Is there a point to reviewing a five-dollar app? Clearly it can’t contain anything of interest.

Get the new Kindle edition of the Star Trek Encyclopedia instead. I’ve noticed a few typos, so it’s not a perfect replacement of the paper edition, and there is no interface which would take you straight to the desired entry (the pages have to be flipped manually to the correct place), but at least I can run a full-text search on the Encyclopedia now.

72. Jon Spencer - July 17, 2011

#4 is right! It’s a star trek idea!

73. Boris - July 18, 2011

72 – Are you certain? What documentation can you provide to that effect?

Even if someone was initially inspired by what they saw on the show, it takes a lot of _hard work_ to design a usable user interface, and such work cannot be credited to Star Trek, which was mainly concerned with things _looking_ right. Why isn’t everyone utterly astonished by this five-dollar app? Why the negative reviews? Because it’s not enough that it looks like the real thing, it has to be useful as well.

If Data has to press two buttons onscreen to accomplish a task instead of one, nobody cares. If a frequently used button isn’t exposed among the default buttons, nobody cares. If a lot of buttons are labeled 3069, 4077, 40272, it doesn’t matter. Mike Okuda did think LCARS through to a large extent, but at the end of the day, it’s a TV show. This is not, and invoking Star Trek whenever an iPad shows up isn’t fair in my opinion. I’d like to thank Apple for designing a very useful device, but for me, Star Trek doesn’t really enter into it. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.