app

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. 


{ 0 comments }

DipdapApp 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 you don’t have to have seen the programme to enjoy the app – we’ve never watched it but that hasn’t stopped the geekson really enjoying this app. Dipdap is a little animated character who makes his way through a number of different scenarios. Each of these opens with a short animation to set the scene, and then it becomes clear that an object is missing, and the child is prompted to draw it (you can elect to have lines for them to trace over or leave it completely freehand). Once drawing is complete, the animation continues to show the end of the little scenario, and your child can see their drawing as part of that. There is the ability to playback the animation and to share with family and friends.

What I like about it: This is cute and humorous app – it makes the geekson giggle when he plays it! The kids love watching their pictures come to life as Dipdap interacts with them.

What could be better: I’d like the option to switch off the sharing button. The ability to share your childs work with family and friends is one of the options at the end of each scenario. Sharing is done through an online Dipdap gallery. To share your work you need to enter an email address in a text box – that email will then receive notification and a link when the work is uploaded. I haven’t managed to get this to work yet.

What parents need to know: Aside from the sharing this app has some parental controls that are accessed by completing a sum which should be difficult enough to keep kids out. In the settings you can enable or disable music, sounds and guide-lines for drawing. Parents should also be aware there is an instructional video on how to use the app accessible on the home page.

Our Verdict: It’s fun, and makes my son giggle. It is also an app that my kids come back to time and time again – another firm favourite!

Download link: Dipdap on the iTunes App Store (affiliate link) - Dipdap on the Google Play StoreDipdap 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 was provided with a free copy of Dipdap for review purposes.


{ 0 comments }

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 and restaurant.

What we like about it: What we like most about this app is the open-ended nature of the play. The app doesn’t prescribe what your child should do in any of the scenarios – your child is free to explore and play as they wish. The quality of the app is excellent – lovely animations and artwork. We particularly like the cooking that your child can do in teh restaurant kitchen – there are many raw ingredients to be found, and simply dragging them on top of each other combines them to make new dishes.

What could be better: Honestly it’s hard to find anything that could be better. If I was to be super picky I’d say I’d like to see more details added. The cooking within the restaurant is great, but then in other scenarios you can have the characters drink a cup of coffee, but I couldn’t then figure out how to refill the cup, despite the presence of a coffee machine.

What parents need to know: This app is recommended in the App Store as best for ages 5 and under. There are no in-app purchases or adverts, with the exception of a small ad on the home screen for another Toca Boca app (this can be switched off in the app settings if required). There is a parents area within the app; to gain access you need to enter a year of birth to confirm you are a grown up. Even if kids manage to gain access to this area they couldn’t do any damage – they would just find some more information about the app, in particular guidance for parents on how to play with your child in the app.

Our Verdict: This is another winner from Toca Boca.

Download link: Toca Town 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. I was provided with a free copy of Toca Town for review purposes.


{ 0 comments }

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: Disney

Platform and Price: iOS (iPad only) £5.49

App overview: This app does what it says on the tin – it’s karaoke versions of the 9 main songs from Frozen. You can watch the videos of each song with lyrics on screen and a little bouncing snowflake that highlights each word in time. You can switch the original vocals off and on as required, and can also record yourself singing along. These recordings can even be exported to iTunes to share with family and friends.

What we like about it: We are huge Frozen fans (you can read my review here) and we love singing along with the songs. The geekdaughter has already recorded herself a lot! It’s produced with the usual Disney attention to detail and quality, and is easy to navigate and use.

What could be better: The price is on the high side. I justified the purchase by comparing it to the cost of the soundtrack album, but I still think £5.49 is expensive for this kind of app and I’d rather see it at the £3-£4 level. That said, I’m pretty sure we’ll get our money’s worth out of it!

What parents need to know: The app will require access to the iPad microphone for recording purposes. There is a dedicated grown up area within the app which you have to enter your date of birth to access. This area contains external links to Disney’s social media sites and other Disney Frozen products on the App Store. There are no adverts or in-app purchases.

Our Verdict: We love it!

Download link: Disney Karaoke: Frozen 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.


{ 2 comments }

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 […]

Read the full article →

Family App Review: Wonders of Life

March 5, 2014

I talk a lot about the educational benefits of the iPad to young kids, and I have seen my own children learn so much from it. However, when I’ve been asked to recommend educational apps for older kids I have up until now struggled to find anything. So when the makers of the Wonders of […]

Read the full article →

Kids App Review: CBeebies Playtime gets a major update

February 26, 2014

Last summer I was invited to the CBeebies studios in Manchester where the geekdaughter and I had an early look at the CBeebies Playtime app before it was released. A couple of weeks ago I was granted early access to the latest update to the app, which adds one brand new mini game, and re-brands […]

Read the full article →

App Review: Sago Mini Forest Flyer (iOS)

December 13, 2013

Have you heard of Sago Sago toys yet? If not, you’re about to! They are a Canadian app developer who specialise in making apps for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Oh, and they were recently bought by Toca Boca (who I may have mentioned here once or twice before…!). My first experience with Sago Sago was when […]

Read the full article →

Two New Toca Boca Apps – Toca Mini and Toca Hair Salon Me #review

November 29, 2013

It’s a bold claim when a company emails you describing themselves as “The World’s Leading Digital Toy Developer”, but when that company is Swedish app developer Toca Boca, it’s completely justified. After all, this is a company that has recently celebrated 50 million worldwide downloads of its apps, all of which appear to be universally […]

Read the full article →

App Review – Write to Read

October 2, 2013

I was contacted a while ago and asked if I would like to review an educational app called Write to Read. This app has been developed in Denmark, and builds on research that has shown that it is easier to learn to write than it is to learn to read. The app focusses on teaching […]

Read the full article →

App Review: Toca Cars

September 18, 2013

I may have mentioned once or twice before that the geek family are huge fans of Toca Boca apps on iOS (and now slowly coming to Android as well). They are one of a small handful of kids app developers who I will happily buy anything they produce. Imagine our excitement when we heard that […]

Read the full article →

Dear kids app developers – remember the other 7%

August 31, 2013

In June Apple held a World Wide Developers Conference, or WWDC. A number of new products were announced at this conference, accompanied by loads of information about Apple’s current line up. One slide that particularly caught my attention was the one showing what percentage of Apple users were using the latest version of iOS – […]

Read the full article →

CBeebies Playtime App Launches (Review)

August 15, 2013

Yesterday the geekdaughter and I took a little trip to Media City in Manchester to visit the CBeebies offices. We’d had an intriguing invitation to see a “new product”, which we were told was under embargo. I had assumed it would be a new show of some kind, but no, when we got there we […]

Read the full article →

Way of Life – the app that will help you keep your resolutions?

January 17, 2013

Well, we’re now half way through January. How are you getting on with your New Year resolutions? Still managing to stick to them? Given up already? I haven’t made resolutions this year, but I have set myself a few things to focus on. Now it’s all very well to say you’re focussing on something, but […]

Read the full article →