Saturday, May 14, 2011

Astra Jigsaw Puzzles for iPad

I never thought I would have so much fun playing jigsaw puzzles.  The iPad is such a gold mine of new user interfaces that allows developers to reinvent how we use computer programs.  With the touch interface jigsaw puzzles are a natural fit for the iPad.

The odd part is it was not so rosy when I downloaded a few jigsaw apps over this past month.  Many of them were very disappointing because the user interface was stupid or the puzzle pieces were so large they were only designed for small children.  I tried one app were the puzzle pieces didn’t even fit right and left gaps in the puzzles!  So as amazing as Apple’s iPad is, some developers clearly are not taking their time to develop good apps.  Luckily Lena Pankratova, the author of AstraJigsaw knows how to write a good app.  Astra Jigsaw is a gem. 

What makes Astra Jigsaw standout are the options for how many pieces you want from as small as 40 to as large as 900 pieces per puzzle.  It is taking me hours to complete one puzzle which is exactly what I wanted.  The games are auto-saved so you will never lose your puzzle.  The other unique feature of Astra is the virtual board.  You can double tap puzzle pieces that will be moved to an alternate area.  Here you can stage your puzzle in groups to try and solve the jigsaw.  It’s easy to move pieces back and forth.  I also like how you can drag larger pieces off the board to help clear an open area. 

Astra comes with 9 puzzles for free with no advertising.  That’s awesome!  Then you can buy additional sets of photos by collection. Collections are Japan, Art, Europe Tour, France and UK, Italy and Spain, Landmarks, My Favorite Things, Tropical, USA and Xmas.  Most collections are $3.99 each.  It also offers a custom jigsaws but it requires you to buy three collections.

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