February 22, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Michael Jackson burned his hair while filming a PEPSI commercial on January 27, 1984. I know this because I was born the same day and have been quick to inform people that a historic event took place on the same day Michael Jackson burned his hair (see what I did there?).
I also know because the Associated Press has a new app full of such tidbits called Today in History (99 cents USD). Today offers a daily puzzle, celebrity birthday reminder, and a timeline of historic events that have taken place on a given day. Launching Today on February 21 will bring up short tidbits about historic events such as the assassination of Malcolm X, the stroke that led to President John Quincy Adams’ death, and the dedication of the Washington Monument.
Unfortunately, there’s a glaring omission from these tidbits: they don’t link to full articles. One would think that a news source with as much history as the AP would tap into that wealth of information and provide longer articles for people interested by certain subjects. The absence of an option to expand on historic events is greatly disappointing, especially since Wikipedia’s mobile site has a similar feature.
Today in History does provide the possibility for expansion in the Birthdays tabs. Users can even click the Calendar button to pick any date of the year and see what celebs share their birthday. Clicking on a celebrity’s name will bring up a Google search page of that person, opening users up to Wikipedia entries, Google Image results, IMDB pages, and official websites. Even with a great daily puzzle, the absence of a similar feature for articles makes purchasing Today in History a questionable move.