iPhone App Puts a Tyrannosaurus in Your Pocket | Science | Smithsonian
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iPhone App Puts a Tyrannosaurus in Your Pocket

What dinosaur fan hasn't imagined what it would be like to have a Tyrannosaurus as a pet? The dinosaur would not be easy to keep—providing enough space would be a problem, as would finding an adequate food supply—but a new iPhone app allows users to keep a Tyrannosaurus without the awkwardness of e...

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What dinosaur fan hasn't imagined what it would be like to have a Tyrannosaurus as a pet? The dinosaur would not be easy to keep—providing enough space would be a problem, as would finding an adequate food supply—but a new iPhone app allows users to keep a Tyrannosaurus without the awkwardness of explaining where the neighbor's dog has gone.

Called " Talking Rex the Dinosaur," the app is pretty simple. According to a review by TapScape, you can pet, feed, play fetch with and talk to the dinosaur. Unfortunately, that's about all you can do with it. While almost certainly more responsive to commands than a real dinosaur would be, the virtual Tyrannosaurus is not especially good company: "after a few moments," TapScape says, "you may find yourself longing for a little more out of your iCompanion as his range of interaction is extremely limited."

Being without an iPhone, I haven't been able to give "Rex" a test drive myself, but there is one thing that irks me: Rex's hands are wrong. They should be turned inwards so that the claws are facing each other—as if Rex were trying to hold a basketball—and not turned downward. It's a small nitpick, but I long for the day when people stop breaking the wrists of the dinosaurs they create.
About Brian Switek
Brian Switek

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, and natural history. He writes regularly for National Geographic's Phenomena blog as Laelaps.

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