Video Demo & Review of Star Trek PADD app for iPad |
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Video Demo & Review of Star Trek PADD app for iPad July 13, 2011

by Joseph Dickerson , Filed under: History,Review,Trek Franchise,Web , trackback

On MondayCBS released their new Star Trek PADD device for iPad. The new product has got a lot of buzz in the media with people saying it is an obvious match, but what does the new application actually do and how well does it do it? Well you can find out in the video demo and review below.


Video Demo & Review of Star Trek PADD for iPad

By: CBS Interactive
Price: $4.99 (iTunes)

What it is: Comprehensive Star Trek database covering episodes, planets, ships, food and more along with official Star Trek social networking feeds.

Pros: Very comprehensive content with fun to use LCARS navigation and Star Trek sounds

Cons: Some gaps in the database, Twitter and Facebook are read only, pictures can not be enlarged (these things can be rectified in future updates)

Bottom Line: A fun application worth the $5



here is another demo video of Star Trek PADD for iPad from ArcTouch (who made the app for CBS).

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.

Joseph Dickerson is a writer, User Experience Architect (and Star Trek fan) focused on designing effective and innovative on-line and mobile applications. For more from Joseph visit or follow him on twitter: @josephdickerson.


1. charliebob - July 13, 2011

meh…seems like a waste of money. Plus I have android so … oh well.

2. pilotfred - July 13, 2011

wow that looks amazing

3. pilotfred - July 13, 2011

#1 yeah i have an android as well however you tend to find they come out on ipad and the rest of that family first and then andriod and hopefully ours will be better

4. njdss4 - July 13, 2011

Let’s hope it comes out for Android devices. Then it’ll be worth it.

5. VulcanFilmCritic - July 13, 2011

I heard there was a tricorder app for the Android, and it really gives you information on sunspot activity, magnetic fields, GPS, and gravitation.
Now that’s something I could use, not some toy.

6. I'm Dead Jim! - July 13, 2011

Worthless without JJ’s lens flare app!

7. Bearded Riker - July 13, 2011

I almost want to get an iPad just because of this app.

8. Hallbjorn - July 13, 2011

hoping it will come a iPod Touch version of this….

9. DC - July 13, 2011

I wonder if this app will ever be able to rival Memory Alpha after enough updates. Also, I hope it comes to the iPhone and iPod touch soon.

10. scifib5st - July 13, 2011

I have an android phone and have two different tricordo aps, and the commincator app that opens with a flick of the rist. They are nice. Looking at getting a tablet, not sure if it will be android or windows. I would by this for $5 when and if it comes to android.

11. scifib5st - July 13, 2011

They should also add the “Time Line” from the LV Experience as a time line!!!!!

12. AstroSmurf - July 13, 2011

It looks really nice but the barrage of sound effects is horrible. I would have gone with a “less is more” approach rather than having EVERY SINGLE ITEM make a sound. Plus the sounds are not even specific to the Enterprise computer. The app just uses all the sound effects from the modern shows without rhyme or reason. And after a couple of minutes it gets REALLY annoying, so much so I barely finished the demo videos.

13. Scott Macy - July 13, 2011

Once they add posting to Twitter and Facebook, add video, and fill out their picture database – this will be AWESOME!

14. Bryan - July 13, 2011

Graphics are out dated, Starfleet insignia should look more like the Voyager/DS9 insignia. The background noise, and the LCARS computer sounds, Transporter initialization sound, Hailing sound, and computer constantly saying “Accessing file” or “working” dont reflect a PADD from the show.

15. Andy Patterson - July 13, 2011


Have to admit my 4 yr. old scolded me as I was giving the app another look in the family room while he was trying to watch Popeye. ” Dad, can you turn that off? It annoys me.”

That says something.

16. Patrice - July 13, 2011

Ok, I will change my initial critique on the first posting of this app from a “blah” to “hmm”.

This app actually looks interesting and thanks for the video demo as opposed to the initial post. The demo actually does this product justice. I recommend that on the next upgrade of this app that the computer noises are minimized and Facebook/ Twitter interaction is maximized for posting as opposed to just reading.

I am actually considering buying this app with its flaws and all. Just please upgrade/ update soon.

17. Victor Hugo - July 13, 2011

15. Gosh, how did you punished that ungrateful brat? :OP

18. Bob Tompkins - July 13, 2011

Facebook is ‘read only’. How can they make the claim it helps put you in touch with other Trekkers? Turn off the app, try to remember the names while waiting for Facebook to fire up…..? Nawwwwwwww…..
It won’t enlarge pictures. On such a small screen?
Gaps in the database? Kind of contradicts the only major pro.
Three very significant bugs; I was not inclined to start with. Now it is an absolute in the negative.
My bet is I could jailbreak the iPad, find a superior rogue LCars app made by someone not in such a rush and be much happier.

19. Captain Hackett - July 13, 2011

– No. 9 DC

It would be much cooler if the Memory Alpha create and develop an app for IPAD, Android and Blackberry! :)

20. Browncoat1984 - July 13, 2011

What would be cool is if it allowed you to stream the Star Trek episodes that are available for streaming from star, or if you have a netflix account, those that are streamable from netflix.

21. Jean-Denis Haas - July 13, 2011

Unless I missed it, I don’t see a way to categorize the episode listing. Right now it lists every episode across all shows alphabetically. It would be much better to chop it up into separate shows and then separate seasons.

22. Chris - July 13, 2011

@14, I’m with you. I found the random library of sounds when you press the same button annoying, especially because I don’t recall a PADD saying anything back to its user.

The interface is uncessicarily confusing and cluttered with nonsense animations. I would have opted for a much-more minimal interface than what we saw with the end result. I really wish Okuda was directly involved with the app, he would have done it justice.

The graphics are low quality, and in some cases pixelated. It feels like some of this was lifted from the interactive encyclopedia and technical manual that came out from Simon and Schuster a long time ago.

Sadly, I was disappointed in this app, especially for the price. I’ve found more value reading Memory Alpha.

23. Toonloon - July 13, 2011

“No lense flare.” That made me laugh.


24. NCC-73515 - July 13, 2011

What happens when you touch the Klingon part?

25. starfleetmom - July 13, 2011

If you don’t like the sound effects you can mute your iPADD. Jeez.
The database is pretty comprehensive.
You CAN tweet and update Facebook from within the app, but functionality is limited.

26. Jerry Modene - July 13, 2011

#7, I suspect that was their intention.

Me, I’m still hopelessly rooted in the 20th century with my PC – no Ipad, no smartphone (I’m still looking for one that makes phone calls), no nothing.

27. Aqua - July 13, 2011

Works well, I have it but probably won’t use it much. Now if it would access the streaming star trek episodes available on the main website I would use this a lot.

28. Chingatchkook - July 13, 2011

I would rather have a new TV series than another app. Just sayin’.

29. Joseph Dickerson - July 13, 2011

Thanks for the comments – it was fun making this video for and while I like it I definitely think that this is a 1st Gen app that WILL get better. Some obvious improvements:

– More photos (and the ability to zoom in/see them bigger)
– A fleshed out cast list (way too many actors have NO details at all)
– A way to filter by series in the episode guide
– More and better Facebook and Twitter integration (that lets you update from the app)
– Blueprints!
– Video clips!
– Integrated volume and SFX controls

I still think it’s a good deal at $5 and will be an even better one if they make some of the improvements I mention above.

30. Phil - July 13, 2011

Nah, I don’t see myself buying an Apple product, and this won’t make me change my mind.

And is it really necessary to be taking shots at JJ on every single f***ing thread that’s posted here? If someone talked to me like that all the time they’d have been picking their dental work up off the floor a long time ago.

31. Patrice - July 13, 2011

Ok, ok, I bought it.
Sue me.

32. GG - July 13, 2011

Total FAIL. It’s just one big Star Trek “Advertisement”. It doesn’t take advantage of the technology and the fact that Next Generation tech has become a reality. In other words, you can’t do anything useful or practical with it, like use it as your desktop, launch and navigate the internet, launch apps, etc. It’s just a billboard. FAIL. I can do way more on my Windows Mobile 6.5 LCARS themed phone.

33. DAK23 - July 13, 2011

@5 – That’s true. I have that tricorder app, and it’s terrific. It’s not just some toy, but has all sorts of good features.

34. mj - July 13, 2011

I have an idea, how about a tablet ST PADD skin. I would go for that

35. TrekMadeMeWonder - July 13, 2011

WOW! A new “App” that has an encylopedia of ALL now “NON-EXISTENT” Star Trek history.


Why would I want such irrelevant data now that Star Trek 09 has ERASED this history.

Because I hold out hope that the Producers ot the next Star Trek movie will have the BALLS to fix Star Trek’s broken timeline/universe..

36. Andy Patterson - July 13, 2011


I didn’t. I’m thrilled he loves Popeye. Really am. And we just discovered two days ago…..The Six Million Dollar Man together. He’s hooked. I’m delighted. It’s like reliving my childhood all over again through my child’s eyes.

And now I’ll say one of very few things I know in Portugese to you….O que voce esta facendo? I know how to say “where are you going to?” but not write it. (I have a friend from Recife and another from Sao Paulo…where ’bouts do you live?)

37. Akbrit - July 13, 2011

Hmpf. Looks exactly like the Star Trek Encycolpedia for Windows that came out a few years ago, but updated for the end of Voyager and Enterprise. Even has the same cheesey sounds and Majel Roddenberry’s quotes. I bet Star and Wikipedia has all the same information + videos.

38. Victor Hugo - July 14, 2011

36. Howdy Andy, i´m from Sao Paulo, where i´m working as an illustrator for an e-learning company. It´s a practical working city.

Recife, on the other hand, it´s a beach city, perfect spot for vacation if you´re single. Since i´m married, it means i´ll never be returning there again. :P

39. Nelson - July 14, 2011

I’ve played with the App on my iPad 2 and it works quite well, does what it says it does.

I knew with it’s self contained nature, it could not possibly have every fact or detail the Memory Alpha site does. The Memory Alpha site is the one to match.

But having said that, the CBS team did a pretty nice job, you’re not only paying for the design and execution of the LCARS interface and functionality with all the sounds and look and feel in the app, but the time and effort they made to compile all the information for the app. If I understand what CBS did, they didn’t use Okuda’s Encyclopedia or Memory Alpha’s database, or copy or quote anything from the Star Trek Companion Books for each series. They must have used their own research, which may have had information from the sources I mentioned above to create their own entries.

What I miss is the ability to search for a series and look up episodes via the series. I like the way Memory Alpha does that.

As mentioned, not all entries are complete and there are photos missing.

The ability to enlarge images would be great, and not all the images are very good.

It would be nice to have the ability to mute out the background engine sounds or selectively mute certain sounds. Like only have the sounds when you touch a button.

What would have probably given the app the ability to have more data is if the app linked to a website with all the data there. But while I have not checked this, the app is fully self contained and does not require access to the web. Which is a nice thing if you don’t have access to wifi or 3G.

I’m sure the makes of this app will improve it as time goes on. They had to release something and this isn’t too bad for the first try.

40. Victor - July 14, 2011

The sound effects would drive me NUTS…I hope it can be turned off

Now when this is available for the DROID..I may get it

41. sander - July 14, 2011

Looks a bit like the old TNG tech manual cdrom……
i a touch version instead of mouse

42. Andy Patterson - July 14, 2011


“Since i´m married, it means i´ll never be returning there again”

Ha. My friend speaks highly of his Recife.

How was my accent and pronunciation by the way?

43. Victor Hugo - July 14, 2011

42: Howdy! So, portuguese is tricky because it´s a flamboyant language.

“O que voce esta facendo” it´s good, just replace the “C” for a “Z”.

it means “what are you doing”.

For a perfect example of the portuguese language, look up for MP3s of the portuguese group “Madredeus”. The singer Teresa Salgueiro has a most angelical voice.

44. Vultan - July 14, 2011


Mr. Hugo, I see by your deviant art profile you’re an illustrator (as am I). You might want to check out It’s free to join and the community there is growing, nationally (USA) and internationally, and they also publish an art magazine to go along with their website.

I’m not spamming you or anything, just thought you might want to check it out—artist to artist.

45. Victor Hugo - July 14, 2011

44. Thank you for your kind attention, i just bookmarked the site, and as soon as i get a moment alone i´ll sign up. During the day it´s my boss looking over my shoulder, and at night, it´s my wife who demands attention, Maybe i should get an I-PAD too!

Ah, i just checked your portfolio, it´s an amazing work, beautiful and careful painting, specially the dinosaurs!

I salute you!

46. Vultan - July 14, 2011



47. Michael Harrison - July 14, 2011

Pretty, but it appears to be the suck overall.

48. The TOS Purist aka The Purolator - July 14, 2011

I’m surprised the animation/”motion” of the thing is so herky-jerky…I figured it would be much more smooth and fluid. I’m no TNG fan, but even if I was I don’t think I’d be that interested in it.

49. Brion Rector - July 15, 2011

Anyone had issues with the sound not working ?

50. Towaway - July 15, 2011

Make up your mind….is the app comprehensive or are there holes in the details?! A bit of a contradictory review.

51. MJ - July 17, 2011

Looks like NextGen early 90’s graphics — dated looking in my opinion. The Okuda stuff was nice in its day, but it is no longer current.

52. James R. Kirk - July 17, 2011

I wonder how much of a battery drain this app is. A bunch of function-less beeps and flashes, surrounding the actual user interface.

53. girl6 - July 19, 2011

I’ll wait for the TOS PADD app, thank you very much.

54. Mortos Der Soul Stealer - August 4, 2011

That is pretty cool. I hope they come out with a version for the iPod Touch soon. I can’t afford an iPad. My favorite app by far is my TOS communicator app. It is tremendously cool!

55. Yaya - August 30, 2011

Sorry, but this looks like crap and pointless. It was probably the reason why so many more functional, useful and less vulgar LCARS apps and utilities were/are being pulled from the app store by CBS as I type this now. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.