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*****APPLE'S 10 BEST APPS Of OF 2016*****

The Tempest from Heuristic Shakespeare is the first in a collection of thirty-seven separate apps. Each app is a tool for demystifying one of Shakespeare’s plays and making it more accessible to a modern audience. Sir Ian McKellen and Professor Sir Jonathan Bate take us on journey of discovery using the world-famous Arden Shakespeare texts and their extensive essays and notes. The apps function is to provide an essential aid to understanding and enjoying the plays in the theatre or on the screen.

The Heuristic Shakespeare collection was created for you, whether you are studying Shakespeare for the first time, preparing for an exam, a Shakespearean scholar, or just keen to have a better understanding of his work.

Shakespeare wrote his plays to be seen and heard, not read. Heuristic Shakespeare apps put you face to face with the characters at the heart of each play. It makes his language and references easily accessible and helps you to understand each play from the inside out.

Each app has three discreet levels of complexity so you can access the information that best suits your needs.

Our first app, The Tempest, features a cast of professional Shakespearean actors performing the play in a one-to-one relationship with you, the app user. It also contains the following:

The full text of The Tempest as published in the First Folio.

A full digital version of Arden Shakespeare The Tempest.

The ability to switch between three different levels of notes depending on the level of reader’s needs.

A full breakdown and explanation of every character and all of their lines across every scene.

A linked historical time line of Shakespeare's life, his plays, his theatres, and contemporary context to put it all into perspective.

Video explanations and discussions by both Sir Ian McKellen and Professor Sir Jonathan Bate on characters, themes, and the meaning of the play.

A full “play at a glance” with illustrations and summaries to explain the play’s plot with key quotes and events.

A history of all the major productions of The Tempest from the 17th century to the present day.

The option to make notes, copy and highlight text that can be collected, correlated and exported for later use.

The option to search the play’s full text and essays.

(With all scene videos downloaded the app will take up approximately 2 Gb of space on your iPad.)

What's New

Version 1.0.8

Compatibility fix.

Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
20 Ratings
20 Ratings

Editors' Notes

We had to look it up too—but “heuristic” simply means you can learn something for yourself. In other words, it’s the perfect descriptor for this insanely robust educational app, which makes understanding The Tempest an absolute breeze. Our 2016 iPad App of the Year has it all: definitions of tricky words and phrases, scholarly input, maps, animation and—best of all—video readings from world-class actors like Sir Ian McKellen. There’s plenty to learn for even the most devoted fans, and we think first-time readers will gain a rich understanding of one of Shakespeare’s all-time bests.

Avzyuba ,


I had a little trouble with downloading the videos, but now that's sorted and I'm so enjoying this app! It's far and away the best Shakespeare app out there. The text has surely never been so accessible, and who better to read it to you than Sir Ian McKellen and a band of professional actors? I really hope that more plays will be released like this. There are simply too many fantastic features to discuss here; pay the fiver and get it immediately. It's stunning. (A small warning: the videos will take up a lot of memory space.)

Kaiyo176 ,


A wonderfully helpful, interesting and fun way to study The Tempest. In portrait view you can listen to and see great actors reading the play as you follow the text. You can tap on words to read the notes. Well worth the small price. Thank you.


236.9 MB
Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© Heuristic Shakespeare 2016


  • Family Sharing

    Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.

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