LCARS Interface (update)

I’m rarely able to provide updates on an app, but this is one I follow and felt I should update my views on it. You can view the previous reviews here (just weather here). You don’t need to be interested in Star Trek to enjoy this app, although that will be the main reason you might consider using it. It mimics the design of the computer interface from the TV show (Next Gen to present excluding the recent movies). IT provides several tools within this interface. I won’t duplicate the other review only touch on things change or not in the previous review.

LCARS - clock

LCARS – clock

One of the tools provided is a clock with timer or a destruct sequence. You don’t see that everyday, but the “destruct” is just a countdown. It isn’t fancy but if you need a clock in the Modern interface, you get it and the basic functions for its use. On each page at the bottom you’ll get the StarDate and the time will persist there though it won’t persist for 12hr or 24hr unless you change it in the settings (you can quickly switch the clock format on the clock page only). Also along the bottom is the alert status, so if you have an emergency (“Giving her all she’s got”) you can quickly go to Red Alert. The left column is how you easily switch the different tools provided. The “12-3190” is just filler so it isn’t a blank button, looks more authentic and could always be filled with a new tool later.

LCARS - warp core

LCARS – warp core

One of the terrific abilities added is that you can make it appear like a board you might use on a starship. Shown above is the Warp Core view, for those engineering types. There is little interaction besides buttons lighting up when you touch them, although be care you don’t eject the warp core itself! The Sys Alloc button just provides a little visual treat for how the systems might be operating on a starship, though even less interaction here. The Simulator is a game which I am terrible at, but it doesn’t mean its a terrible game. Certainly options available to add other modes in this section either to simulate stations or other games. This app is packed with things!

LCARS - weather

LCARS – weather

One part that was updated just a bit is the weather. It now can show a 5 day forecast (previously it was 7) which I think fits nicer. I don’t think the weather graphics really fit in (though not sure what LCARS weather would look like exactly) or are that nice, but certainly gets the job done for a quick look at the weather. Oh and to be more “scientific” the button choice for weather is “Atmosphere”.

LCARS - calculator

LCARS – calculator

The calculator has also seen an improvement. It provides a lot more functions than it did previously. I don’t use a calculator for much except simpler math (no sines, cosines, etc) but this can help for those that need that functionality. I do wish that the top graphic area was either used like a paper feed to show all the calculations done or perhaps for graphing. I would think that might be something people would like here, but it is a fine calculator even so.

LCARS - log editor

LCARS – log editor

The text editor has also seen a few improvements. It is not just a text editor anymore. You can still do text and it provides basic options similar to Notepad. However, you can also choose to create an audio or video log. Switching between modes was easy, just name your file, and start your recording. It automatically lists your logs in the window. I found the video recording painless, though you cannot see yourself which I guess doesn’t really matter. I’m not used to using my webcam, but if you are, it should seem pretty natural. Recordings play quickly and the quality is good (of course depends on the source). The video section didn’t show the filename right away like it did in audio, but when I closed LCARS and opened it again, the filename was showing. Nice feature though you cannot share from within the app. Files are stored in the correct Library (video or audio) by default, you cannot change it.

LCARS - playlist

LCARS – playlist

I didn’t show the playlist window before but nothing major has changed in the media area. I cannot fully test the playlist function since I run into an error. In discussions with the developer it appears to be isolated to me (since no one else has reported it) so you should have it work as expected. It is a good media player if you have playlists already made and admittedly I couldn’t try it out fully as I usually just shuffle my whole 10,000+ songs (which you cannot do here easily).  One disappointment for the media is you can’t play music while in another portion of the app (but that may be a programming limitation) as it does play in the background when the media player is the choice selected in the app.

Summary

It is still a very nicely made representation of the LCARS interface but made useful on a touch interface (or on your desktop). For me the sounds get old, but you can choose to have them off though they do tend to lend a more realistic feeling to the interface. It has a good set of tools and I like the addition of the audio and video log ability. Anything not mentioned in this update, please see the previous review as most of it is the same. There are some areas I didn’t touch on here. Download it, give it a try.

As much as I like what this app is doing, truly would be best to make the Start Screen into one big LCARS interface, but that is a lot of work. It doesn’t negate the great work this developer has to bring this app to the masses.

Rating

3panesrating

Category: Entertainment

Download size:  16.3 MB

Publisher: Davstar Apps

Price: $2.99

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About

51-yr-old father of 3, work in telemarketing, like computers and technology

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Posted in Apps, Entertainment, Windows 8

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