App: Tarot! v2.0.4
Developer: The Fool's Dog
Tarot! is an interesting application to read spreads and study cards of the Tarot utilizing the classic 1910 Rider-Waite-Smith deck. The Fool's Dog offers a wealth of different themed decks for Tarot in the same style and format as this application; however, I much prefer the Rider-Waite-Smith version as there is a romantic history involved in its origin and creation. This particular deck derives its name from the author, Arthur Edward Waite, the illustrations from Pamela "Pixie" Colman Smith and the original publisher, W. Rider & Son. As a prominent member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Waite eventually left the Order and enlisted fellow member Pamela Colman Smith to be artist elect for his revised version of the Tarot. As this version was the first of its kind to offer pictorial depictions of the meanings of all the cards, numerous alternate versions with varying themes have spawned borrowing the strong symbolism of which this deck was imbued. Vast oceans of books and publications have been written about the history of the Order, and this deck in particular, to gain insight of what the Tarot is all about. For all intents and purposes, I shall simply recommend researching the subjects on your own accord without delving too deep here into the limited confines of this review.
The RWS deck is comprised of two parts in 78 cards, which both compliment each other in many different ways; the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana, which also includes four Court cards for each respective suite. The card illustrations in Tarot! have been revised and cleaned up digitally to enhance the visual impact of the art, which is appreciated considering just how important the symbolism is at a glance. On the back of each virtual card resides a divinatory meaning, which can list definitions from the two included books; the Concise Tarot Reader by Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone, and the original guide to the deck, The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A. E. Waite. You may also include user defined meanings and notes per card; great for study purposes and to help one learn the cards a bit easier. You may choose what the cards display in settings such as short or full meanings and how the definitions are ordered, along with font size, too. There are two card back types from different printings, thirty reading cloths and you can decide how from where the cards are drawn and if face up or not.
The main menu offers great options; New Reading, Draw a Card, Today's Card, Explore, Journal, and Feedback for starters. The New Reading selection offers 17 card layouts and a convenient free form layout option to design a spread as you so choose, which is where most Tarot apps fall short. Draw a Card allows you to pull just one card at a time for those quick sessions to gain insight on something or simply to amuse yourself momentarily. Today's Card will select a card for each day of the week, which can also be obtained through the handy included widget. Explore will let you peruse the entire deck as you see fit to check out the cards or reference them at a glance with easy access. The Journal stores all of your associated readings to date plus Today's Card as you draw them, along with the ability to delete any or all entries as desired. Feedback is encouraged by the developer as they love to hear from their customers with bug reports, suggestions and even stories of relevant interest. The production values of Tarot! are well thought out and the design is very efficient and self-explanatory as you go along, giving it an enjoyable feeling generally.
One you select a layout, you are then presented with shuffling and card cutting options, along with a question or issue you may type in for future reference as the readings can be saved or shared via social networking. Once you draw the cards and reveal them, you are presented with a summary screen with the ability to review all meanings separately or together at a glance. This is where the app stops holding your hand as the individual card meanings have little to do with the other relative cards in the spread, which basically dictates scenarios and additional meanings to ponder. The included books will only go so far in teaching how cards interact with each other within a layout, so external studying and experience in this field will yield the best results of a reading overall. If you are interested in Tarot, the inherent history, art work or are an experienced reader looking for a convenient method to read and explore the deck; this app is for you. For the asking price, I cannot recommend it enough, even if just for mild entertainment or to satisfy any curiosities you may have regarding the Tarot.
- The RWS deck comes alive with great functionality.
- Extremely clean card art enhanced from the RWS deck.
- An abundance of useful options and settings to customize.
- The ability to design your own layouts is a very unique feature.
- No ability to save your own custom layouts.
- An option for a dark UI for night mode would be nice.
Device/OS used: Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 2012 / KitKat v4.4.4, Lollipop v5.1.1
Purchase at Google Play
Mobilism: Tarot! v2.0.4