It’s Friday again, and that means it’s time for me to review the apps that we’ve been playing with this week. Read on to discover which app I’ve picked as my app of the week, and what else we’ve been looking at…
I’ve said before that one of the things I love about the app store is how individuals can produce and release their own app, and compete on a pretty level playing field with some of the big development houses. My app of the week this week is one such app. I was contacted a couple of months ago by a developer who wanted to tell me about an app he recently developed for his three year old daughter – * Puzzle Words HD. I downloaded it, and it has fast become a firm favourite with the geekson, which surprised me as I thought he might be too young for it. It’s a jigsaw puzzle app that also introduces the letters of the alphabet and the concept of spelling. Your child can choose from a selection of puzzles, each of which has six pieces, plus all the letters that make up the name of the object. As each letter is placed in the correct place the letter name is spoken, and when the puzzle is completed the letters are spelled out and then the word is spoken. The developer of the app is, I believe, Swedish, and so the letters and words are spoken with a slight Swedish accent. The only downside I have found in this app is that it doesn’t offer an option to have the letter phonics spoken, rather than the letter names, but on the whole I find this a great app, and it’s definitely become a firm favourite in this house.
Here’s the geekson in action with the app:
So that’s my app of the week – * Puzzle Words HD – Westfell Interactive (iPad only – £2.49). Yes there are cheaper puzzle apps out there, but the amount of play time the geekson has already got out of this one make it worth the money in my book.
Here’s a round-up of the other apps we’ve been checking out this week:
* Measurement HD – Emantras Inc (iPad only – £1.49). This app offers a selection of 5 different eduction games all geared towards teaching children different units of measurement – telling the time, weight, volume, length and time duration. It’s a nicely made app. although I think the geekdaughter is probably a little on the young side to understand the concepts, and due to that she hasn’t really played much with this app. The developer does say that it is best suited for ages 5-6. All narration is done with a US accent.
* Word Wall HD – Emantras Inc (iPad only – £1.49). This app is for young readers, designed to introduce letters, phonics, spelling and simple words. There’s a lot of content in this app, and again it’s a beautifully produced app with good quality animation. Again the geekdaughter is too young for this app, but I think in a year or so it will really come into its own. Again the developer suggests an age of 5-6 for the app and all narration is done with a US accent.
BigLittleBrother – Minnesota Historical Society Press (iPad only – £2.99). An interactive storybook about sibling rivalry turning in to brotherly love. This app uses fairly standard controls to navigate the story – swipe to turn the page, and poke to interact with the items. I must say I find the controls a little over-sensitive, and sometimes end up advancing the page when I was trying to tap. I’ve seen the geekdaughter have problems advancing the page as well. The app has a lot of different navigation options – I’ve so far found three different ways to see a list of the book pages and jump directly to one! It’s probably a good app if you want to talk about sibling rivalry, or about being a big brother with your kids, but I must say it’s another one that my kids have on the whole ignored. All narration is with a US accent.
* Ten Giggly Gorillas – Wasabi Productions (iPad only – £2.49). I have previously reviewed Lazy Larry Lizard, a lovely interactive book from a Australian developer, and this is his follow-up effort. It’s a variation on “ten green bottles”, where you are presented with a series of scenes of gorillas sitting in the tree, and each one jumps off one at a time when poked until finally none are left. Gorgeous animations mean that this is an app which has really entertained both the geekson and the geekdaughter, which is a pretty good age range I think. As well as the interactive story there is also a pairs matching game included, which plays nicely, although it doesn’t seem to cope well with the iPad being turned into landscape mode and you lose the bottom row of cards off the bottom of the screen.
Disclosure: An asterisk (*) denotes an app I for which I received a promo code and thus did not purchase myself. The links above incorporate my iTunes affiliate ID. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link it doesn’t cost you any more money, but you contribute a few pennies towards the upkeep of this site. All prices were correct at the time of writing.