iphone

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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keepy app logoApp 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 and share photos, schoolwork, art and memories. If you have more than one child you can set them up and assign each memory (or “keepy”) to the correct child. You can also record a commentary to go with each keepy. The app allows you to share each keepy either privately with family members who are set up on the website, or to a wider audience via Facebook and/or Twitter. If you have a DropBox account you can connect keepy to it and it will automatically save a backup copy of each keepy to there for you.

The app allows you to upload 31 keepys per month free of charge. If you have a more prolific child than that and wish to upload more there are two subscription levels. For £1.99 per month you can upload up to 101 keepys, and for £2.99 per month you can have unlimited uploads.

The app also allows you to print off copies of your keepys in a variety of formats via Zazzle and Shutterfly.

What I like about it: I think this is a great app, and saves the problem of storing all your children’s artwork. I particularly like the crop function when you have taken a photo of a piece of art – it allows you to select the corners of the picture and removes any “skew” you have from taking the picture at an angle. I love the backup to DropBox – it’s important that you can get your data out of a service like this easily, and with DropBox connectivity you can. I also like the pricing – I think the free level will be fine for a lot of people, and the large upload limits are not overly expensive.

What could be better: It’s nothing to do with the app but I wish I remembered to use it more!

Our Verdict: An essential app for parents (and it’s great for non-parents too!)

Download link: keepy on the iTunes App Store (affiliate link) - keepy on the Google Play Store – keepy 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 complimentary unlimited uploads to keepy for review purposes.


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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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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 […]

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App Review: Endless Reader (iOS)

December 7, 2013

The problem with the vast number of blogs, Facebook posts and tweets that I read about apps is that sometimes I forget where I heard about a particular app first, which is a shame as I always like to credit my sources. But in this case I simply can’t remember how I heard about Endless […]

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How to prevent your kids running up huge App Store bills on your iPhone or iPad

October 9, 2013

There are an increasing number of stories hitting the news where a child has run up a large bill on the App Store without their parents’ knowledge. A couple of weeks ago I read this story about 6 year old twins racking up a £1,000 bill. Scary stuff. I see a lot of parents not […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Toca Builders Review

June 20, 2013

There are very few app developers who I will buy anything they release without hesitation, and the Swedish company Toca Boca are top of my list. If you check out my app recommendations for pre-schoolers you will see I include anything by Toca Boca. Unquestioningly. They have produced a great range of high quality, well […]

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Five apps that encourage unplugged play

April 10, 2013

Kids love mobile technology don’t they? I don’t think I’ve ever met a child that didn’t want to get their hands on my iPad, and what’s more impressive is that these devices are so intuitive to use that kids get the hang of how to operate them really quickly. And that’s when the conflicts begin […]

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Google Reader Alternatives for iOS Users

March 15, 2013

On Wednesday Google announced on their official blog that they would be shutting down Google Reader on July 1st 2013. For those of you who have never heard of it Google Reader provides a way to read all your favourite content in one single place, and it’s frequently used by those of us who like […]

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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 […]

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