There’s a (Celtic) App for That

Originally published June 2015.
Updated October 2019.

There’s a (Celtic) App for That

Something a little different this month. A little look at some of the mobile applications for smart phones and tablets that are related to Celtic culture and history.

Book of Kells

All 680 surviving pages of the manuscript as well as other special features and content. It is intended to replace previous electronic reproductions of the manuscript which had been released on DVD-ROM and CD-ROM. The app features the entire manuscript in high resolution, with 21 pages viewable at up to 6 times their actual size and categories of decorative themes that users can browse through including letters, animals, and other symbols. For iPad

Celtic Tutor

(Screen shot at right) Makes it easy and fun to learn Celtic tunes. With “Celtic Tutor you start by looping just 1 or 2 bars at a slow tempo, so even if you do not read music you will be able to work out the fingerings on your instrument by ear – and by following the notes in the app you’ll by amazed at how quickly you will learn to read music!” Android

Irish & Celtic Music Podcast

Each week, you’ll receive an hour-long award-winning Celtic radio show featuring some of the best independent Irish & Celtic music, iOS.

Celtic Music Radio

You can now listen to Celtic Music Radio via their app on iPhone, or iPad. Android app coming soon.

Colm Cille

From the 6th to the 8th century the federation of monasteries initiated by Colm Cille or Columba was responsible for a flowering of creativity and craftsmanship which has left us with magnificent works of art such as the Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels. In this virtual museum (see right) you will find examples of illuminated manuscripts, stone crosses and treasure objects displayed within a series of exhibition rooms or galleries dedicated to each art form. Visitors here can interact with these precious art works in a manner not possible within a real museum. iPhone & iPad.

A History of Ireland in 100 Objects

By the Royal Irish Academy. the story of Ireland, told through photos, film and audio of the key objects in Irish history. Starting in 5,000 BC with the Mesolithic Fish Trap, you can trace the course of Irish history through to 2013 and a decommissioned IRA gun. Along the way, you can explore the significance of the Spanish Armada, the path of the Irish in America, the horrors of Bloody Sunday or the homesickness of Irish goldminers in Australia. iOS & Android.

Seamus Heaney: Five Fables

Discover a classic of medieval literature in Seamus Heaney’s sparkling translation of five of the fables written by Robert Henryson, a 15th-century Scottish poet, one of the greatest of the late medieval Scots makars. Chosen specially by Seamus Heaney, narration by the legendary comedian Billy Connolly brings a combination of high and popular art to the gorgeous animations originally broadcast on the BBC. iOS

Celtic Myth Podshow App

A companion app to the Celtic Myth Podshow. Instant access to the latest episode. Includes the shownotes to read inside the app, downloadable wallpaper for each episode to use in your iPhone and some extra audio contact on selected episodes. iOS & Android

Bagpipe Player
An app for iOS to help beginning and professional pipers learn new tunes.

There’s lots of other apps out there that I don’t have time to mention here. There are lots fo travel app so if you are planning a trip be sure to look for travel apps or apps from specific museums that can help enhance your visit. The Clonmacnoise Smartphone App combines a 3D reconstruction of the famous archaeological site with the GPS, compass and touch screen functionality of the iPhone and iPad, allowing users to navigate their way around the physical site through the sights and sounds of the distant past, all recreated digitally and in 3D on the app. Here’s a video preview of this App on Youtube.