Category Archives: Reviews

Mimobot The Joker Flash Drive-Reviewed & Giveaway!!


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If you read my previous review of Mimobot’s Vintage Batman flash drive, you already know of my love affair I have with it and how well I was looking forward to the rest of the Batman line being released.  Well, the wait is over as Mimobot has released their 4 additional USB flash drives for their Batman line.  As soon as I finished writing my review of the Vintage Batman, I turned around and preordered a Joker, because hey, if I’m going to have Batman, I’ve got to have The Joker, right?  Right!  Plus, who better to protect my data then the Crowned Prince of Crime?

Image1The Joker comes with all the greatness that the Batman one did.  All the same specs and available options including capacity sizes from 2 gig up to 16 gig are available.  The design is great, making it a great compliment to anyone’s Batman collection.  Seriously this is one of the coolest flash drives you can buy out there right now if you ask my opinion.  (I have yet to find a Doctor Who related flash drive, still looking though).

So, with my love of all  things Mimobot realized, I’m proud to announce the first true, official, physical giveaway for Geekasms.  I am giving away 1 Mimobot The Joker Flash drive, in the 4 gig flavor.   To enter the contest and be in the drawing for this terrific flash drive, you have 3 options:

1. Leave a comment below.  Make sure I have your email address to ensure I can reach you if you are the winner

2. “Like” Geekasms.com on Facebook

3.  Tweet the following message:

Terrific  Giveaway! @Michael_Parsons and @geekasms_dotcom are giving away The Joker from @mimobot http://bit.ly/gbbmBK #geekasms

Some basic rules for this giveaway:

  • You must be 18 years or older
  • You must live in the continental US
  • You only need to enter once, but can enter as many times as you like
  • You must follow me  @Michael_Parsons if you plan on Tweeting the message.

I’ll draw one winner by random on March  14th.  I’ll be using random.org to generate the random winner.

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Contest ends 3/14/11. Geekasms reserves all rights in choosing a winner at random. If chosen and the winner doesn’t respond within a few days, a new winner will be chosen.

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Moms With Apps–A Must Have



Icon@2x2 Moms with Apps
Moms with Apps –  FREE
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If you were told that you could have access to a list of family-friendly iPhone apps that has been put together by over 200 developers, would you even hesitate to look at it? What if I told you that you could search through these apps, cataloged and categorized by their education value and by the appropriate age group? To be honest at this point, you’d probably start wondering what you needed my site for, (please keep coming back!) but seriously, doesn’t that sound like any parents dream come true? Especially when you’re out on the road travelling and all the typical “go to” apps to save your sanity just aren’t cutting it? Well, fortunately this isn’t a “what-if” scenario where I tease you and then leave you hanging. The people behind MomswithApps.com have put together an iPhone app, which does all that I listed above and more, and better yet, its FREE!

The origins of Moms with Apps come from Twitter and four moms who had developed family-friendly apps. The site and concept has grown since then, and they describe themselves as this:

Moms with Apps is a group of individual, independent, family-friendly developers who share best practices on making and marketing mobile apps. Most of our membership is comprised of parents who have launched their own apps on the App Store, have their own access to iTunes Connect, and have the time and inclination to share best practices with other developers at the founder’s level. We are not a traditional app review site.

I realize, that in the scheme of things, I might be taking some attention off ofmzl.dmivetfd.320x480-75 myself and this site by pointing out the Moms with Apps iPhone app, but the truth of the matter is, I originally imagined this site to be for fathers to come to, to either read about my ups and downs of fatherhood or to have some new iPhone app or tech items highlighted where I was able to find a use for it, as a parent. Yes, I have strayed away from that underlying purpose and goal from time to time, but my desire for that is still there, and I would be cheating anyone and everyone that comes to this site if I didn’t point you in the direction of this app.

Moms with Apps has a simple interface where you can search through the list of apps they have put together. Some have been highlighted here in the past; others have been new to me and will no doubt be new to some of you. Bottom line, if you have a child, any age, that enjoys playing with your phone, or you let them play with your phone to save your own sanity, this app is worth your time; not because it’s free, but because it’s priceless in the information it can give you as a parent on the go.

The App has the following features:

  • Over 600 apps from the top educational app developers
  • Organized educational subjects (e.g. Early Learning, Math, Science, Special Needs)
  • Recommended ages for every app and book
  • Create and maintain a wish list of your favorite apps
  • Discover and share great apps through social networking

Along with the superb features listed, and the general overall greatness of the app, I wanted to also point out how great the pages for the individual apps are. The pages include besides the general information of the app, includes links to take you to the App Store, you can share the app via email, Facebook, and Twitter, along with adding the app to your own personal “Wishlist”.

This should be on every “Top App” list for parents owning an iPhone, flat out. If you think I’m wrong, feel free to call me a liar! 😉

Seriously though, if you weren’t aware of Moms with Apps prior to reading this, check out their app, check out their site, it has a world of information that you are bound to find useful for any and all parents owning an iPhone or iPad.



BOTTOM LINE

Moms With Apps is a terrific app for any and all parents.  The amount of information it offers is worth money, but amazingly enough this app is free.  Free!!  The price might be free, but the amount of information you can gain from this app is priceless.  (Please forgive me for the corniness of that line)

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Quibble Kids–A Great Match for You and Your Kids



mzi.pwybwfpj.175x175-75 Quibble Kids
Night & Day Studios –  $1.99
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What is Quibble Kids?  One way to put it would be, it’s the matching game for the 21st century.  Sure, practically anyone has some form of a matching game, either in actual physical board game form, where you’ve already lost half the pieces, or you might already have a matching game on your smart phone.  Either way, if you’re a parent, you probably have a matching game somewhere.  Problem with these? they don’t tend to hold the attention of this generation’s kids that long, its too repetitive with no real payoff.

Now what Night & Day Studios, the people behind the Peekaboo series of apps, have done is create a new type of matching game.  One with rotating cubes, themes, and scoring.  Adding a bit of depth and freshness to the concept.

Quibble Kids features:

  • 50 puzzle sets with over 200 images for the original picture match game
  • Intuitive interface for young kids to easily master
  • Fun music for each puzzle
  • Score keeping to chart your child’s progress
  • Access to additional puzzle packs for kids between the ages 2 and 12
  • Each additional puzzle pack is available for only 99 cents

qk4Something I really enjoy with Quibble Kids, beyond the fact that it keeps my son’s attention better then most apps lately, is that it challenges him.  Using the 3 dimensional cubes that you rotate, and having him match pictures that fall into a specific theme or category like bugs or houses rather then just matching the same picture helps his thinking and how he makes connections to things.  It fits perfectly into what I’ve wanted to find for him lately in terms of entertainment and keeping him challenged.

Right out the door Quibble Kids proved that it was going to be good entertainment for my 4 year old son, and be able to keep his attention.  When we first started the app, I had to show him how to play, help get him to realize how he was turning the cubes and how he was matching pictures that belong together rather then matching actual pictures.  So it wasn’t like other apps where I could start it and hand it to him, I actually had to play it with him a few times for him to understand, which, being able to do that and then hand it over and let him run with it, was nice and allowed me to have a since of pride in that he was able to take what we did together and do it himself.  Plus once he understood the concept and realized he got scored, it was on, and he was all about it!



BOTTOM LINE

Quibble Kids is a good for of entertainment and is able to keep kids engaged.  Having 50 different puzzle sets, along with options of expanding the game with in app purchases ensures that this is one of those special apps that they won’t get burnt out on quick.  Plus its one of those fun apps you can play with your kids!  Night & Day Studios has another home run on their hands.

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Bubble Guppies – Reviewed


Bubble Guppies TitleI never considered that I would ever write an actual review of a television show, or even post about one (if you ignore my occasional Doctor Who or the rare Smallville posts).  However, Bug’s latest favorite I feel really deserves the attention, because even for me, it’s an entertaining 30 minutes, so much so that we’re wearing out the DVR lately with watching them over and over again!  In the days where cartoons like Dora, Diego and Kai Lan have basically copied the same formula that proved successful for shows like Blue’s Clues, where the characters on the show “interact” with the viewers, occasionally sing some rather forgettable songs, and ask questions with a noticeable, sometimes creepy pause giving the viewer time to “answer”, there is finally a fresh face in the field, that gives a new feel to the educational cartoon aimed at preschoolers and younger.

Nickelodeon (Nick Jr) has managed to catch lightning in a bottle once again with their latest series, Bubble Guppies.  Just like their normal fair, Bubble Guppies come in half-hour episodes, but offers a fun, energetic half-hour that teaches kids about specific real-world topics such as colors, visiting a doctor, and the workings of a restaurant; while incorporating upbeat and catchy songs, humor, and really a sense of energy with the characters upbeat personalities.

Bubble Guppies charactersThe series offers a sharp, fresh look with its CG-animation and character designs.  Each character’s design is simple, but distinct, making it easy for a child to have his or her favorite character.  The wonderful cast of characters includes Bubble Guppies Gil, Molly, Nonny (my favorite), Deema, Oona, and Goby, you have Bubby Puppy, and their teacher Mr. Grouper, along with many additional characters that fill out their underwater world.

Some of the things I really enjoy is that with each episodes specific subject, you get to see some different approaches or views from the different characters, along with upbeat, catchy songs specific for that episode, and that really aren’t a drain to listen too.  Along with that, there are a few reoccurring songs for each episode, but even those are fairly quick and are still upbeat and catchy.  I’ve found myself singing these, or version of these songs to Bug for different reasons, even just to see her dance around.  This show has easily become something the two of us can have fun with; in fact I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Bug fall in love with a show quicker.  Plus I had my son this weekend and introduced him to the show while getting him to sit with his little sister, and after just one episode, he was already going around singing the theme song.

Bubble Guppies is definitely a great new show, and it’s one of those that you can sit and watch with your preschooler (or younger).  There are plenty of topics; real world topics, something I like, and fortunately (extremely fortunate if you ask me) the songs are catchy and upbeat, not even the theme song has started to wear on me yet (I’ll admit I’m humming it while writing this sentence even) and I’ve already lost count of how many times we’ve listened to it already.  And yes, we have to listen to it ever time!  The only downfall I can give the show right now is that there have only been 8 episodes to this point.  Hopefully new ones will be coming sooner rather than later.  Oh, and if you haven’t seen it, and want to check it out, I looked and they’re available on iTunes too!  Trust me, it worth checking out if you have a small one running around.

Oh and by the way; Bubble Guppies airs weekdays at 11am (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon



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10 Must Download Apps for New Verizon iPhone Parents


If you’re one of the tons of people that will be grabbing the new Verizon-ized iPhone, there’s a good chance you’re new to the vast world of iOS and her apps.  If you’re a parent, after you grab your choice of social media apps (check me out on Facebook and Twitter if you want) you might be interested in some of these must have apps.

In no way to I consider this a “Top” type list for apps for parents, but am highlighting a few that I feel deserve a look at.  If you come across one you think is worth mentioning, or have your own personal favorite, please leave your comment below so all the masses can check it out too.

1. Camera+

download-1One of the many perks of having, well, nearly any new phone these days is that it comes with a camera.  People love the ability to grab quick pictures of something cute their kids do, or a sweet pose as they nap.  Sure you have the native camera app, but Camera+ gives your camera a steroid injection with all the advantages and none of the nasty side affects.  Giving you a wide variety of filters, frames, and affects to apply to your pictures, along with sharing options to your social media pages and email, Camera+ is a bragging parents dream.


2. Screen Time

screen-time-app-for-dads-jpg_thumbDeveloped by a dad with 3 young boys, Screen Time is a time tracking app with the goal of encouraging kids to spend less time watching TV and playing video/computer games.  It allows you, as the parent, to set daily limits on the amount of time allotted for TV, while also providing kids the chance to earn more TV time as a reward.


3. Peekaboo Wild

peekaboo wildThe “sequel” to the original “sanity savior” for myself the first time I had my son in a waiting room with me.  Although you won’t go wrong with any of the Peekaboo apps from Night & Day Studios, Peekaboo Wild, with its upbeat music, wonderful artwork and selection of “wild” animals makes it my favorite of the 3, and has been a staple and a standard app on my iPhone since before my Bug was 1.  For infants and Toddlers, this app will save you headaches in the end!


4. Zoo Train

zoo trainZoo Train is one of these special apps that I feel not only set the standard for what all children’s apps should be, but also highlights a developer that will need to be watched for more greatness.  Zoon Train is relatively new, and already hits a homerun.  From bright, sharp, amazing graphics, to interactive and challenging tasks for toddlers on up to preschoolers, Zoo Train is one of those special apps, that can grow with your child and be one of those special apps that they’ll be asking to play.


5. Netflix

netflixThis one might be slightly more selective, but if you’re a Netflix subscriber, you need to have this app!  Not only does it allow to you manage your Instant Queue, but it allows you to stream TV and movies directly from your phone.  A great life saver if you’re stuck in traffic and have an impatient child in the back seat.  Its those times that I’m thankful to be hearing Kai Lan!


6. omBooks

ombooksInteractive books are a big market in the App Store, but if you’re looking for the cream of the crop, with some of the most classic of all children’s book, look no further then Oceanhouse Media.  The have the market cornered with Dr. Seuss, The Berenstain Bears, Little Critter and more.  Fun to sit there and read with your child, or simply give it to them and let them watch the book read to them, omBook is another one of those must haves.


7. Mom Maps

mom-mapsMom Maps can help you as a parent, find fun, kid-friendly location.  A user-created directory of all child friendly places and points of interest in your location.  Currently the database contains 26,000 locations from 27 metro areas, and is constantly being updated.  When you’re on the go, what’s better then to have a kid-friendly travel guide?


8. Chore Bank

chore-bankChore Bank is the best way to keep track of your child’s allowance, completion of chores, and spending money. It is your own personal ‘Bank of Dad’.  I’ve just now started playing with it, but felt it was worth putting on this list because it fits perfectly with what I was looking for in terms of chores for the kids, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that would be interested in it.


9. ABC Song Piano

abc pianoTeaching your child the ABCs is as much a staple of parenthood as changing diapers.  So what better way, then to incorporate the ABC song in with an interactive piano/music app?  I started enjoying Kiboomu’s apps when they released their first app, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Piano, and have since grown to respect the women behind Kiboomu, along with considering them friends within the parenting and blogging community.  With new apps on the horizon, why not start off with singing your ABCs?


10. Angry Birds Seasons

angry-birds-valentinesOf course, all parents need something for themselves to help maintain sanity, and what better then the ever growing and ever popular Angry Birds?  However, everyone knows about Angry Birds, but not all are aware of what you could call its sequel, Angry Birds Seasons.  What started off as just a Halloween specific app, soon added a Holiday Season level, and is getting ready to be updated with a Valentine’s Day level.  It’s a nice extra spin on the Angry Birds, and who can deny a pig dressed as Cupid?

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Managing Children’s Screen time: There’s An App For That!


screen-time-app-for-dads.jpgIn an increasing digital age, our children are becoming digitally dependent.  Something that can easily slip our minds, but shouldn’t be ignored is the amount of time our children spend watching TV or playing computer games.  That’s where “Screen Time” comes in and saves the day!  More

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Zoo Train – Amazing App for Toddlers


zoo-train1.jpgThis is by far, my number one app for the first half of the year, and I don’t see it really getting dethroned anytime soon.  If you’re looking for an app to entertain your toddler or preschooler, this is the one to get!  Check out the full review below:

Apps For Kids: A Big ChooChoo For Zoo Train!

Just the name itself, “Zoo Train” tells you it’s going to be a hit with your kids.  What child doesn’t like animals and/or trains?  And, the art work, which is bright, sharp and colorful, is definitely an attention grabber.  It’s easily one of the more attractive apps I’ve seen in a long while.  More

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Its Peekaboo Time Again with Peekaboo Forest



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Peekaboo Forest

Night & Day Studios, Inc  -  $1.99                        facebook20 twitter5 mail5

 

Image9iPhone Kids AppiPad Kids AppiPod Touch Kids App

The fine folks at Night & Day Studios have released their third app in their Peekaboo line of apps for toddlers and preschoolers.  This time, their latest, Peekaboo Forest, features the stunning art of Charley Harper, which separates it from previous Peekaboo iterations, and sets it atop its own pedestal.  Peekaboo Forest doesn’t just take the same equation that equaled success for Peekaboo Barn and Peekaboo Wild, but they evolved it all around.

In the previous apps you had animals hiding behind barn doors or grass, making noise, then appearing once your child touched the screen.  Now you have teases like a leaf moving or a tail wagging, before the animal makes its appearance, the its name being announced, making this interactive app, much more like an actual game of peekaboo.  Not only that, but this version builds upon a foundation wrapped around the seasons, where after every 3-4 animals, you have a littler intermission with music and announcing the next season.  Not only is this a way of teaching the seasons, but it helps break up the repetitive pattern of getting animals appear.  Bug enjoys this part of the game, and dancing with the music just as much as she does seeing the animals, making this addition a great and welcomed one.

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However I do feel inclined to point out, the pace and feel of Peekaboo Forest is much more low key then with Peekaboo Barn and Peekaboo Wild.  If I was to suggest to a parent, especially one younger then Bug who is at 21 months, I would suggest starting off with Peekaboo Barn or Wild before moving on to Peekaboo Forest.  Bug loved is (as can be seen by the video below) but I can see where this one might not captivate younger kids like Peekaboo Barn did for her last year.


BOTTOM LINE

Peekaboo Forrest is a fun, education and interactive game that you’d expect from Night & Day Studios, and features the stunning vivid art of Charley Harper.  It is a unique take on the peekaboo app concept and is an universally entertaining app fr any preschooler.  If younger then around 2, I’d suggest Peekaboo Barn or Peekaboo Wild prior then trying out Peekaboo Forest, but don’t question the greatness that this app offers!

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Vintage Batman MIMOBOT–Reviewed


Mimoco_blackBG_webIn today’s world of everything being electronic and digital, its common practice to assume everyone has a computer, or has access to a computer by a family member or the public library.  This assumption is no where more prevalent then in today’s school system and the homework the kids bring home.  It is not a stretch of the imagination to have homework brought home multiple times a month that require a computer to complete it; could be writing a paper, or using the internet for research.  Gone are the days of having floppy disks to keep all your school research and papers on to take with you, today, if you don’t have a thumb drive, you’re almost looked at like you have a disease, or you get a look of sympathy as if you’re out of touch.  (The look I enjoy giving)

Its no secret that the market is inundated with USB flash drives.  You can practically get one anywhere (short of the quarter machines in men’s bathrooms).  So, why do I have a review about a flash drive?  Well because in the scheme of things, especially with kids, the concern isn’t the transfer speeds or performance it offers (slightly slower then some, but still works great) or so much the capacity (that concern comes with their iPhones and iPods) but if it looks cool.  The neater looking, the more unique, the better, and the better chance they won’t misplace it or forget it, meaning all those hours of research and writing won’t have to all be redone the night before its due!

The people at Mimoco  have created not only unique and functional flash drives, but they’ve practically created a line of collectable figures, that can function as USB flash drives.  I mean these things even stand up on your desk!  Unless you actually know what it is, its hard to tell its even a flash drive of any kind.

Mimoco offers their own original designs, but also offer licensed products including DC Comics, Hello Kitty, Star Wars and Halo.  I myself have the pleasure of getting the Vintage Batman MIMOBOT.   The grey and black-clad Vintage Batman MIMOBOT is styled after the icon’s first ever appearance in Detective Comics #27 from May 1939!  I mean how cool is that?  I have a flash drive styled after Batman’s first appearance.  On top of this thing coming with such a cool and unique visual style, it also have a few small extras included and comes pre-loaded with exclusive Batman MIMOBOT wallpapers, screensavers, and avatars, as all the MIMOBOTs do.  The Batman MIMOBOT comes in flavors of 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB.  ( I myself have the 2GB model)

Mimoco BatmanIn February Mimoco will be including Robin, Catwoman and The Joker to their Batman line. More MIMOBOT series based on additional DC Comics’ characters, including Green Lantern (want it), Superman and The Flash (WILL have it), will follow in the near future.

Mimoco might seem a little more expensive then generic flash drives, but you can’t argue with just how unique and cool they are.  I was originally writing this up as a parent, wanting to point out how such a unique flash drive could be useful, not only for your child to use, but to be responsible and to keep up with such a small item.  Like I said above, give them something they’ll really like to where they’ll make sure they keep track of it, and you won’t have to stay up with them and redo a month’s project in a single night.  Strangely enough though, the parent in me turn fan boy over the Vintage Batman I received, and that’s not even mentioning some of the other cool flash drives they have.  If you’re a parent, collector, or just a fan of one of their particular licensed lines, Mimoco’s Designer flash drives are just too good to pass up.

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Some More Great Reviews on Some Great Apps for Toddlers


Underwear is Funny! My Underwear App For Toddlers And Preschoolers!

my-underwear-app-icon.jpgBoth my 20 month old toddler and 4 year old have been fighting over this app, My Underwear, since I got it the other day.  That’s how good it is!

The colorful and whimsical artwork of Todd Parr, a children’s book author and illustrator,  is featured throughout the (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad) app. It brings happiness and laughter to my children, and joy to my ears and pocketbook. MORE…



Teach Children To Read With Bob Books #1–Reading Magic App!

bob-books-1-reading-magic-2Discover the wonderful world of reading with Bob Books!

Every parent’s goal is to help their child learn in an enjoyable and entertaining way that not only benefits their child, but them as well. And, Bob Books #1 – Reading Magic does just that!  MORE……

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