Bill Eckberg submitted this review of the new Coin World iPad app. Thanks!
Coin World has been hyping its new free iPad app for a while. I looked for it several times after its announcement, and finally it appeared. I downloaded it and tried it. Three of the components are worthwhile, though two of those are quite limited.
When you launch it, a St. Gaudens $20 spins rapidly from the right side of your screen, uncovering the Coin World logo as it does so. Snappy looking, simple graphics, but no usefulness there. Then, a series of 6 buttons appears below: Articles, Locate a Dealer, Marketplace, Events, Coin Values, and Making the Grade.
Articles is the best part. It gives you access to the text and images from articles from at least recent issues. I didn't crosscheck to see if all articles were included, but some of the columns are. Articles from back issues are also available, but I didn't check to see how far back they go. A good thing about this is that the pictures can be enlarged by the usual iPad techniques of tapping and pinching. They don't enlarge very much, but this is still better than looking at the pictures in newsprint. If you already subscribe to Coin World, the added value is that breaking news appears on the iPad app before it appears in print or even in the electronic version of the magazine. If you subscribe to Coin World just to read the articles, you can get that free in the app.
Locate a Dealer gives you access to a US state map. You tap on a state, and a short list of dealers appears to the left. Inexplicably, dealer websites are NOT listed - just the (often incomplete) address and phone number. One hopes they aren't paying much for this advertising.
Marketplace is useful, though also limited in scope. It lists individual coins in categories. The listings are searchable, and as of this writing, there are 12,064 items listed. Many, but not all items are imaged. However, Collectors Corner Ezine gives access to about 4 times as many coins at this time. I presume that Coin World for iPad will eventually feature more comprehensive listings, but right now, that's it.
Events gives you a map similar to the one that helps you locate a dealer. Tap on a state, and up pops a list of upcoming shows. Each has an information button that gives you the information that appears in theCoin World classified listings. This is convenient, but the listings are quite limited. An upcoming local show in my area that always advertises was nowhere to be found.
Now we come to the annoying part. Coin Values and Making the Grade are not included with the free app. When you tap their icons, you get the option to buy. Coin Values Costs $4.99, and Making the Grade costs $9.99. The prices aren't exorbitant, but subscribers to Coin Values should get iPad access for no additional charge, and this is not offered. Also, there is no indication of how often your Coin Values subscription gets updated or for how long it is valid. Does it require renewal? If so, how often?
Making the Grade indicates that it "provides high quality images and detailed descriptions of each grade level of the top 50 most widely collected U.S. coins." The "top 50" are not identified, so you have to guess whether the coins YOU collect are included. There appears to be no way to get access to find out what these utilities are like without buying them. A search of the Apple App Store site found Coin World for the iPad, but neither of the two add-ons, so there was no way to get further information. Before shelling out $10 for a coin grading guide, I'd want to be sure it offered me more than the free PCGS Photograde HD that I already have. Without access to see what the utility is about, there is no way to guess what the added value might be.
The Coin World app is clearly intended as an advertising medium with enough news content added to encourage people to use it. At the present time, it is pretty limited as such, but it's probably worth keeping an eye on it for future developments. For now, this free app is worth the price, and that's about it.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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