Apps

FiFA 2014 appApp Name: FiFA / FiFA for iPad

Developer: FiFA

Platform and Price: iOS (seperate versions for iPhone and iPad – requires iOS 6 or later) and Android – Free

App overview: As the World Cup kicks off today I thought it was appropriate that today I talk about the official companion app by FiFA. And what an amazing detailed companion app this is. It has all the information you need right there at your fingertips – full details of the draw, day by day match diary, player and team profiles, news, a live updating real-time match scores and commentary and the opportunity to vote for the “man of the match” for each match.

Our Verdict: If you’re at all interested in tracking the football over the next few weeks this app is essential.

Download link: FiFA on the iTunes App Store (affiliate link)FiFA for iPad on the iTunes App Store (affiliate link)FiFA on the Google Play Store

Disclosure: All information and prices are correct at time of publication, but please check before buying as things can change on the App Store. The download link within this post contains my affiliate code – any purchase made after clicking will be the same price to you but will also result in a small commission payment to me. All money made in this way goes towards the upkeep costs of this site. 


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TimehopApp Name: Timehop

Developer: Timehop

Platform and Price: iOS (iPhone only but will run on iPad in compatibility mode) and Android – Free

App overview: Timehop prepares a personalised “this day in history” for you every day by scanning your social media accounts for updates from previous years. It connects to your social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare to tell you what you were doing and where you were this day one, two, three or more years ago. You can even install a little piece of software on your desktop computer and share your stores photographs to be included in your time journey as well. Once you have your day in history you can share memories to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, or email, text or copy the link to share elsewhere.

What I like about it: I love being able to look back through my recent history and remember things I’ve done. As a parent I particularly like being able to see how my kids have changed each year.

What could be better: The app is still being actively developed, and therefore has changed quite a lot recently. All credit to the developers though, they are listening to their users, and have even backed out unpopular changes. There is also no way to be selective about the memories the app finds, so if you have some painful stuff in your past you will get reminded of it.

Our Verdict: A lovely way to rediscover your past, particularly past photos!

Download link: Timehop on the iTunes App Store (affiliate link), Timehop on the Google Play Store

Disclosure: All information and prices are correct at time of publication, but please check before buying as things can change on the App Store. The download link within this post contains my affiliate code – any purchase made after clicking will be the same price to you but will also result in a small commission payment to me. All money made in this way goes towards the upkeep costs of this site. 


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Mr CrabApp Name: Mr Crab

Developer: Illusion Labs

Platform and Price: iOS (Universal – requires iOS 7 and above, however I believe earlier versions will run on original iPad) – Free (with in-app purchases)

App overview: This is a really fun platform-style arcade game. You control a crab who has to make his way to the top of a spinning tower by jumping on platforms on the outside of the tower. The game has a very simple control mechanism – simply tap the screen to make the crab jump. It’s all about timing. On his journey up the tower the crab must collect little baby crabs, and defeat enemies by jumping on their heads

What I like about it: I love the relatively simple mechanic of this game – my son has been playing this for a while now, so an iPad-savvy three year old can play it, but his six and a half year old sister also likes playing, and it’s a game I enjoy too. So it’s a game that appeals to a wide range of ages. I also like the way the in-app purchases are implemented – they are there to help you unlock content quickly, and are not related to consumable items in game, so they’re not something that will encourage your kids to run up huge bills.

What could be better: The only downside I can think of with this app is that if you suffer with motion sickness you might not be able to play due to the constant rotation of the platforms. It doesn’t feel right calling this something that could be better, as it’s a fundamental design principle of the app and not going to change. Something to be aware of though

What parents need to know: This app contains in-app purchases, but they are not pushed at you, or essential for gameplay. The whole game is playable without paying any money. The in app purchases allow you to unlock additional levels of the game without having played all the previous levels, or to unlock additional characters to play. All in-app purchases are in the range of 69p to £1.49.

There are links to other apps by the same developer within the game.

The app is rated suitable for ages 4 and up in the App Store, and contains very minor cartoon violence. To get the bad guys out of the way you must jump onto their heads which makes them fall off the tower. If the crab runs in to a bad guy he doesn’t die, he just falls back down a couple of levels. This makes is easy to work your way back to where you were, and means younger children shouldn’t get too frustrated.

Our Verdict: A really fun game for all ages. Be warned – it’s addictive!

Download link: Mr. Crab on the iTunes App Store (affiliate link)

Disclosure: All information and prices are correct at time of publication, but please check before buying as things can change on the App Store. The download link within this post contains my affiliate code – any purchase made after clicking will be the same price to you but will also result in a small commission payment to me. All money made in this way goes towards the upkeep costs of this site. 


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Sago Mini MonstersApp Name: Sago Mini Monsters

Developer: Sago Sago

Platform and Price: iOS (Universal – requires iOS 5 and above, will run on original iPad) – £1.99 / Kindle Fire – £1.80

App overview: This is a fun app aimed at toddlers and pre-schoolers which allows your child to create their own monster and then interact with it. From the green gloop at the bottom of the screen the monster emerges. Then your child can colour it in however they like, and finally they can feed it, decorate it and even clean its teeth! They can also take photos of their monster which will go onto your device camera roll.

What I like about it: I love the fun style of this app. Sago Sago are an established kids app developer, and one of the developers where I tend to just recommend anything they’ve written. Good quality, bright colours, intuitive, easy to play, and it makes my son giggle.

What could be better: I don’t think there’s anything that could be made better about this app, but I would like to offer a word of warning – watch out for your camera roll. Once your little one discovers they can take pictures of their monsters it might well fill up quite quickly!

What parents need to know: Sago Sago, as I’ve mentioned before, are an excellent developer of kids apps, and there is nothing for parents to be concerned about at all in this app. There are no in-app purchases, adverts, social media connections or anything else I’d be wary of. When you first install the app on the first screen you will see a “for parents” section and a little promo graphic for another Sago Sago game – both of these can be switched off in your devices Settings app. The “for parents” section is protected against accidental access by your child by requiring you to complete a simple task to access it (swipe the screen in  a specific direction with a certain number of fingers). Contained in this area is some information for parents from the developer with suggestions on how to play and what to talk to your child about whilst playing.

Our Verdict: Another fun app from Sago Sago which will keep your toddler or preschooler amused.

Download link: Sago Mini Monsters on the iTunes App Store (affiliate link) - Sago Mini Monsters on the Amazon App Store (affiliate link)

Disclosure: All information and prices are correct at time of publication, but please check before buying as things can change on the App Store. The download link within this post contains my affiliate code – any purchase made after clicking will be the same price to you but will also result in a small commission payment to me. All money made in this way goes towards the upkeep costs of this site. I received a free copy of Sago Mini Monsters for review purposes.


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App Talk episode 8: keepy: kids, art, photos, love #AudioMo

June 8, 2014

listen to ‘App Talk episode 8: keepy: kids, art, photos, love #AudioMo’ on Audioboo App Name: keepy Developer: Keepy Inc Platform and Price: iOS (iPhone app but will run on iPad in compatibility mode - requires iOS v7 and above) / Kindle Fire / Android – Free (with optional monthly subscription) App overview: This app provides a way for parents to save […]

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App Talk episode 7: Cars in Sandbox: Construction #AudioMo

June 7, 2014

listen to ‘App Talk episode 7: Cars in Sandbox: Construction #AudioMo’ on Audioboo App Name: Cars in Sandbox: Construction Developer: Thematica Platform and Price: iOS (Universal – requires iOS v4.3 and above, will run on original iPad) – £1.99 / Kindle Fire – 59p / Android – £1.69 App overview: This app mimics playing with construction toys in a […]

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App Talk episode 6: Dipdap #AudioMo

June 6, 2014

listen to ‘App Talk episode 6: Dipdap #AudioMo’ on Audioboo App Name: Dipdap Developer: Cube Interactive Platform and Price: iOS (Universal) / Kindle Fire / Android – £1.99 App overview: Dipdap is a fun little drawing app aimed at kids aged between about 2 and 6 years old. It’s based on the CBeebies programme of the same name, although […]

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App Talk episode 5: Loomin’ #AudioMo

June 5, 2014

listen to ‘App Talk episode 5: Loomin’ #AudioMo’ on Audioboo App Name: Loomin’ Developer: Doug Penny Platform and Price: iOS (Universal) Currently free for a limited time, normal price £1.49 App overview: Loomin’ gives safe access to Rainbom Loom instructional videos on YouTube. It holds a curated list of over 100 instructional videos, sorted by difficulty. The developer says […]

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App Talk episode 4: Farmville 2: Country Escape #AudioMo

June 4, 2014

listen to ‘App Talk episode 4: Farmville 2: Country Escape #AudioMo’ on Audioboo App Name: FarmVille 2: Country Escape Developer: Zynga Platform and Price: iOS (Universal) and Android, free but with in app purchases ranging from 69p to £69.99 App overview: FarmVille 2 is the sequel to FarmVille, but where the original was written first for Facebook and then adapted […]

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App Talk episode 3: Toca Town #AudioMo

June 3, 2014

listen to ‘App Talk episode 3: Toca Town #AudioMo’ on Audioboo App Name: Toca Town Developer: Toca Boca Platform and Price: iOS (Universal) £1.99 App overview: Toca Town is a virtual town for your child to explore. You can interact with any of the 21 different characters in any of 6 different locations – park, shop, police station, house, apartment […]

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App Talk episode 2: Family Sharing – new feature coming in iOS 8 #AudioMo

June 2, 2014

listen to ‘App Talk episode 2: Family Sharing – new feature coming in iOS 8 #AudioMo’ on Audioboo Apple’s WWDC kicked off today and in the Keynote address was a very interesting announcement for parents – a new Family Sharing feature is coming in iOS 8. In this episode I explain what this feature means […]

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App Talk episode 1: Disney Karaoke: Frozen #AudioMo

June 1, 2014

listen to ‘App Talk episode 1: Disney Karaoke: Frozen #AudioMo’ on Audioboo Welcome to App Talk – an experiment that I am trying during June. I’ll be releasing a podcast episode every day throughout the month, and each podcast will contain a review of one of my favourite apps. App Name: Disney Karaoke: Frozen Developer: […]

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Kids App Review: Toca Pet Doctor

April 7, 2014

There is always much excitement in our house when a new Toca Boca app is released, and at the end of Febuary Toca Pet Doctor (affiliate link) arrived on the scene. If you (or your child) has already played Toca Doctor they will find Toca Pet Doctor plays in a very similar way, although it […]

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10 Apps for Pre-Schoolers with UK English Voices

March 14, 2014

I received an email last week asking me to recommend a few apps for pre-schoolers that used UK English accents, and I thought that would be a great thing to cover in a blog post. It can be hard to pick apps with a UK accent out amongst the large selection of great apps for […]

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