Passover on the iPad
by: Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2013-03-22
Whatever the Jewish festival, these days there's bound to be a smartphone or tablet app for it - and Passover is no exception.
This year's latest addition to the crop of Pesach-friendly fare is the Passover Haggadah for iPad from Ribui, which launched in the UK earlier this month ahead of this year's Seder nights and festival.
And although it's not the first time that the Haggadah has been given the interactive treatment, this latest offering takes the story a step further, adding interactive contact to further enhance the whole Seder experience.
As well as allowing users to adapt the service to suit their own tastes - including the ability to leave out some of the more long-winded bits - the app also comes complete with some impressive audio and visual content, including beautifully sung versions of some of Pesach's best-known songs, as well as commentaries and sermons on other aspects of the service and the importance of the celebration.
There's also selected video content, with Aish's impressive Passover Rhapsody - retelling the story of the exodus from Egypt in puppet form to the tune of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody - while Google Exodus hints at how the story might have been told through the network of social media.
While it's hard to fault the additional content, the app is not as user-friendly as it might have been, thus making for a slightly disappointing experience. When we tried it we found the pages of the virtual haggadah hard to turn at first, with few clear instructions given as to how to do it (to the extent that the app kept returning us back to the introductory page, over and over again, before we finally figured out what to do).
And although the layout - once you get to grips with it - and the audio content is excellent, more videos would surely have been for an even better experience since the ones featured are so good - it becomes increasingly disappointing to flip through the virtual pages and discover that all the visual content is finished before the meal has even been served.
For the most part, this is a decent attempt to add a new dimension to the Seder - but with a little more attention to detail it could have been even better.