Tag Archives: iphone app

Moms With Apps–A Must Have



Icon@2x2 Moms with Apps
Moms with Apps –  FREE
facebook204 twitter54

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)

rating_18_thumb21_thumb rating_18_thumb1_thumb rating_18_thumb2_thumb rating_18_thumb3_thumb rating_18_thumb3_thumb

Leave a comment

Filed under iPhone Apps, Reviews

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

Leave a comment

Filed under iPhone Apps, Reviews

Matching for Toddlers – PhotoMatchTots



982043_150727 PhotoMatchTots 

Weily Apps –  $.99

facebook20 twitter5 mail5

Image913 

iPhone Kids AppiPod Touch Kids App

The concept is universal, it might be known as matching, or concentration, memory, regardless of what its call, it’s the same.  Encouraging kids to pay attention and remember images on cards, flipping them, and seeing if they can match them up.  Its gotten to the point that this is even a part of Nick Jr around commercial breaks.  Matching is a game I’ve played with both my older kids, including getting my son Toy Story 3 matching game for Christmas.

What the people at Weily Apps has done, has taken this concept (because it would be pretty hard to play this in a doctor’s office, grocery story, or in the car) and applied a little out of box thinking to take advantage of being on the iPhone.  You have the option to play the typical game using cards predetermined by the app, or you have the option to make cards using photos you have on your phone.  Matching is typically geared towards preschoolers, maybe slightly younger, but PhotoMatchTots is geared towards even younger kids, and allowing the option to select your own photos is something that I think benefits the younger kids, as it can be a photo that they already can associate with and remember.  Look at it as training wheels for your toddler and they work on their cognitive ability.

Features in My PhotoMatchTots 1.1 are
– 2 levels of play: 6 or 12 cards
– Fun sounds
– Continually mix it up by changing your game with your personal photos
– Large card size to accommodate young hands

mzl.ykuviwcc.320x480-75 mzl.cjurwaej.320x480-75


BOTTOM LINE

“PhotoMatchTots- children’s memory puzzle game” doesn’t win any awards for flashy design, but its not meant to.  Its flashy in its simplicity, not only of style but of execution, of a common game for young kids.  The ability to customize the cards I feel will help broaden the appeal to slightly younger kids then most memory games, as you can add that level of familiarity.  At the price tag it carries (.99) its worth grabbing for that extra little bit of entertainment you might need in those trouble times!

rating_18_thumb21 rating_18_thumb1 rating_18_thumb2 rating_22_thumb rating_13

1 Comment

Filed under Reviews

Sing your ABCs – ABC Song Piano



original ABC Song Piano  

Kiboomu Publishing –  $.99

facebook twittermail

Image9 

iPhone Kids AppiPad Kids AppiPod Touch Kids App

What’s one of the first songs people enjoy teaching their toddlers?  What’s one of the first songs that people will show up that their child knows, to other people?  At least for me and my boy, it was the ABCs.  Now, Bug is getting to the age where the fun and excitement can be repeated, and the ladies at Kiboomu have helped capture the joy and fun in their latest app in their Song Piano series: ABC Song Piano.

Just like with their previous apps “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Piano” and “Old MacDonald Piano” you go and press the piano button, and your little one can sit and enjoy the music and animation, but also have the option of interacting and pressing the piano keys themselves.

With ABC Song Piano, children can do the following:
♫ learn the alphabet
♫ follow the lighted keys or match the colorful music notes to the piano keys
♫ watch the piano keys light up one by one with the song
♫ press the start button and sing along
♫ add animal sounds to the song
♫ hear the song played on a banjo, xylophone, harp, flute, bells and more!
♫ record your child singing and playing the piano!
♫ sing and read karaoke style lyrics in English, French & Spanish

Just like their previous iterations, Kiboomu has show that they know how to develop apps that not only educate but entertain toddlers and preschoolers.  So if you’re looking for a new app to help keep you kids quiet and entertained, or if you’re child is starting to learn their ABCs and getting excited about it, then this app is for you!  As always with Kiboomu, I highly recommend this app.

Below is a video of Bug watching and listening to the app the very first time I played it for her.  If that’s not a 20 month old captivated, I don’t know what is!

 


BOTTOM LINE

“ABC Song Piano” is an exceptional colorful and creative musical, educational, and entertaining app that will bring out your child’s excitement about learning the alphabet along with bringing out your children’s interests and talents of music.

rating_18 rating_18 rating_18 rating_18 rating_22

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Camera+ Returns to the App Store with a Vengeance!


download (1)After a few months of being taken off the App Store, the people from TapTapTap have released Camera+ 2.0.  Below are all the updates and additions with this version.  The big question now is, how will it compete with Instagram and other apps as they have grown in popularity more while Camera+ has been off the radar.

What’s new
1. removed “SLR” screen for a simpler user interface
2. reworked much of the user interface so that it’s more unified and much more intuitive
3. improved the usability of zoomed photos in the Lightbox
4. improved usability of Touch Focus/Touch Exposure
5. significantly sped-up startup time
6. increased menu size and included it on both camera screen and Lightbox
7. added shooting preferences panel
8. improved operation of stabilizer
9. added timer shooting mode
10. added burst shooting mode
11. added white balance lock
12. Touch Exposure now works on iPhone 4 and 4th generation iPod touch front facing camera
13. improved most effects
14. improved most borders
15. improved most scene modes
16. added Cyanotype effect
17. added Tailfins effect
18. added Depth of Field effect
19. added in-app purchasing of effects, with the first being the “I ♥ Analog” effects pack
20. added Diana effect (in I ♥ Analog pack)
21. added Silver Gelatin effect (in I ♥ Analog pack)
22. added Helios effect (in I ♥ Analog pack)
23. added Contessa effect (in I ♥ Analog pack)
24. added Nostalgia effect (in I ♥ Analog pack)
25. added Expired effect (in I ♥ Analog pack)
26. added XPRO C-41 effect (in I ♥ Analog pack)
27. added Pinhole effect (in I ♥ Analog pack)
28. added Chromogenic effect (in I ♥ Analog pack)
29. grouped borders into Simple and Styled sets
30. added Light Mat and Dark Mat borders
31. added Round White and Round Black borders
32. added Offset border
33. renamed Grit border to Light Grit and added Dark Grid border
34. added Viewfinder border
35. added Old-Timey border
36. added Film border
37. added Sprockets border
38. added Darken scene mode
39. added Cloudy scene mode
40. added Shade scene mode
41. added Fluorescent scene mode
42. added 3×2 crop
43. added rotation of photos
44. added flipping of photos
45. added sliders to effects for adjusting effect amount
46. added exporting geolocation and metadata when saving to the Camera Roll
47. added a function to save and leave photos in Lightbox
48. added a function to commit all edits in photos
49. added a function to copy photos with edits committed
50. added a function to copy photos without edits
51. added a function to undo all edits in photos
52. added a function to remove geolocation in photos
53. added photo info panel which shows photo metadata, editing recipe, and map with photo geolocation
Major bugs fixed
• fixed a bug in which the keyboard wouldn’t appear when posting to Twitter
• fixed a potential crash when posting multiple photos to Facebook
• fixed a bug where no previews were shown for photos taken with Camera+ and later imported into iPhoto or Aperture
• pasting photos now preserves the photo’s metadata
And many, many, many minor enhancements and bug fixes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Geekasms

Old MacDonald Had an App, EE-I-EE-I-O: Old MacDonald Piano


Title: Old MacDonald Piano  Price: $1.99    Developer: Kiboomu Publishing

image Anyone that follows this site knows that when it comes to iPhone apps, I tend to concentrate more on apps geared towards younger kids, and I test every single app I write about with my Bug (my 16 month old daughter).  Through all my reviews to this point, there have been very few that I’ve truly gushed about and praised about more then Kiboomu’s first app: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Piano.  Well, the people behind Kiboomu have gone against the old adage and proven that lightning can, and does strike twice, with their equally great and enjoyable Old MacDonald Piano!

Just like with their first one, Kiboomu has taken a favorite and classic children’s song, and put a fresh, entertaining, and equally educational spin on it.  Old MacDonald comes with the four modes that users of Twinkle Twinkle have become familiar with; Play Sing Along, Learn The Song, Karaoke Mode, and Freestyle Mode.  What, in my opinion, sets Old MacDonald above Twinkle Twinkle are the entertaining images that accompany the song as it plays, along with, what we’ll call the “commentary” from the farmer himself.

Created by a preschool teacher and pianist, this interactive app encourages children to take a more active role in learning.  It’s also a really fun way to introduce children to playing piano and the fun of music.  Research has shown that piano lessons have helped children in school, with concentration and coordination.  Beyond the simple aspects of entertainment value, this app can open the door for many more possibilities with your child down the road.

With this play-a-song iPhone app, children can do the following:
♫ follow the lighted keys or match the colorful music notes to the piano keys
♫ watch the piano keys light up one by one with the song
♫ press the start button and sing along
♫ add animal sounds to the song
♫ hear the song played on a banjo, xylophone, harp, flute, bells and more!
♫ record your child singing and playing the piano!
♫ sing and read karaoke style lyrics in English, French & Spanish

imageThis app is seriously one of my favorites that have been released this year and is definitely a must have for any parent of a toddler or preschooler.  The beauty of Kiboomu’s apps, and what I think will set them apart from other developers down the road, is that their apps have so many interactive levels, that the use of the app can grow and expand as your child grows.

Don’t believe me?  Head on over to Kiboomu Kids to learn more about their great apps and don’t forget to check them out on Facebook and Twitter

Old MacDonald Piano is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later.

3 Comments

Filed under Reviews

Learn to count with the fishies: SPLISH SPLASH INN


Title: Splish Splash Inn  Price: $0.99    Developer: Shortstack

ssiSo far on this site, I’ve pointed out apps I felt that were good to entertain and educate toddlers and infants, and until now I haven’t felt like there was an app geared toward older kids that stood out enough to post on; until now that is.  This changed once I found this counting app, with a gorgeous look to it!  With art provided by Divya Srinivasan, a regular contributor to the New Yorker, Splish Splash Inn helps entertain toddlers and preschoolers alike with an engaging interface, helping to teach the ability to count, up to 10.

As a kid who grew up with Sesame Street, and considering The Count as a personal hero, and realizing that until the weather turns cold, its hard to get my kids to sit and watch TV, I really do enjoy watching as my son counts with this app as he opens the door to each room. (And I of course always do The Count ‘s laugh in my head as he counts)

The app, in concept is simple, but in practice outshines all others.  Splish Splash Inn is self paced, as your child can select when and which door he/she wants to click next, only to enter the selected room and watch as they count a set number of a specific sea animal, not only helping with counting skills, but also throwing in a little marine biology in the mix (those sneaky Shortstack folks!)

Splish Splash Inn is the first app from Carolyn Merriman’s new company, Shortstack. She previously was a media producer for Night & Day Studios, where she produced Peekaboo Barn and Peekaboo Wild, which were toddler hits and two of my favorite apps, clearly documented here on Geekasms.com previously.start page

Carolyn Merriman draws on her background in child development, education and interactive media to create unique educational apps for younger kids. Merriman previously worked as an educator in the non-profit sector, promoting the healthy development of children 0-6. In recent years, she’s applied her skills to the world of interactive media. While working with Night & Day Studios, she produced Peekaboo Barn and Peekaboo Wild, two top-selling kids’ apps featured in The New York Times, USA Today and Wired. Merriman founded Shortstack with the focus of creating developmentally appropriate, high quality apps for young children. Splish Splash Inn is Shortstack’s first release with additional releases planned for 2010 and 2011.

Splish Splash Inn is intended for children 4 and under, and is well worth the $1.99 in The Apps Store.  It is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

hotel_v2 jellyfish

AppStoreBadgeSM

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Camera+ gets stable without a tripod with version 1.2.1


With one of the few apps that I follow and keep tight tabs on personally because I love it, I thought I’d keep my readers updated, as this app has made a few of my lists, and will be included in another upcoming list soon.  Announced today, the people at tap tap tap announced a stability update of Camera+ with already mentioning version 1.3 and new features!!  Whoohoo!!   Below is the an exert of tap tap tap’s announcement on their blog:

For this release, we’ve gone into bug-fix mode in order to make Camera+ as stable and reliable as it can possibly be. Here are the release notes for version 1.2.1 (app store link):

  •  greatly improved usability of our exclusive Touch Exposure and Touch Focus features so that you can now move around the controls once you lift your fingers, hopefully resulting in far fewer cases of pretzel-finger
  •  fixed a bug where the camera shutter button would stop functioning (again)
  •  fixed a bug where the whole app basically wasn’t working if you were using the app on a certain beta version of a certain OS (special thanks to the several people who 1-starred us for not being completely on the bleeding edge while we develop… it’s payback time and you owe us stars… staaarrrsssss!)
  •  fixed a bug where double flash & flip controls would appear in the camera screen

Click the link above if you would like to read the rest of the release notes, and if you haven’t already, go out and buy this app, it is well worth it!  Now the wait begins for Camera+ 1.3!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Geekasms

30 Days of ‘Fu’ – Day 2


Setting up

Okay, so here we go, day 2.  Day 1 I zipped through using the squats and crunches, but today with the pushups and pullups, I have to use my make shift sports strap, and I’m unsure of how it will hold up.  As I already have my account created, I just have to sync these two apps with my already created GymFu account, go through the introductions and instructions, and its away we go!

Training

These two apps give you the option of either having the phone be on the inside or the outside of your bicep, pointed down.  I chose inside my bicep hoping it would be easier to push start and be ready to go.  Plan was good with the pushups, not as well on the pullups, but more on that below.

Training works the same as with crunches and squats.  I had my baby girl helping me with the pushups, so my initial testing didn’t go so well, and well, I sucked on the pullups, but, I didn’t retake the tests on the first day and I chose not to today, so I go with what I got.  I’m doing all this from the aspect of a Dad, so if my baby girl distracts me, well that’s part of it!

Usage

I started with the pushups, which were no problem.  I was able to go through all the motions, had the timing down, so I wasn’t called down on “half” or too fast, and having my phone on the inside of my arm, even with my make shift band, helped me be able to cancel the 120 second break between reps and keep on going through the pushups.

Now the embarrassing part.  I borrowed my brother’s pullup bar he had when he purchased the P90X workout DVDs.  I knew I was in trouble when he bet me I couldn’t do 3 “real” pullups for $100 and I failed, but I went through with it anyway.  Setup the bar in a doorway, and went to it.  The starting point for the pullups is you hanging from the bar, so you have to push start, then lower yourself and hang until it tells you go.  I was able to do 1 and then got called on “half” afterwards.  I had to cheat a little to get through all the reps without being called “half!” on them.  Something I’m not proud of at all, truly embarrassed to be writing that, but am determined to be improved by the end of the 30 days.

Reactions

After 2 days, I’ve used GymFu’s 4 apps, and am rather impressed by them.  For a quick easy workout in my office or upstairs I could easily use these apps more then what I’m using them, but for these tests and reviews, I’m using he apps how they suggest, with resting 48 hrs between workouts.  I plan on looking into the battles and leagues after I get my reps up, hopefully this time next week, but now that we’ve gotten over the hump of getting started with the apps, it time really get into them and see what they can do.

Leave a comment

Filed under 30 Days of 'Fu'

30 Days of ‘Fu’ – Day 1


Setting up

Okay, so here we go, day 1 of my GymFu experiment.  The setup is pretty straight forward.  When you open up any of the 4 apps Gymfu offers,  you’re welcomed to a Home screen.  If its you’re first time using the app, you have a welcome message to read, and if you don’t read it and close the app, the app shows a 1 on it similar to Facebook and your email icons, which leads me to believe that this screen will be a place to receive update messages and such from GymFu.com.  Also on this screen will be a graph showing your progress, something that won’t show until you’ve had at least 2 days worth of training on the apps.

When you go to create your account, you may either create a new account or given thephoto option to simply connect your GymFu account with your Twitter account, which is what I did.  When I did this, I was automatically set to follow @GymFu, and a few moments later, was sent a direct message from GymFu giving me my username, which was based off my twitter name, and a password, which you can easily change from the accounts settings screen.  This was a one time event.  After creating my GymFu account on the first app, when I went to setup my accounts on the other 3 apps, and they recognized I already had an account to sync with.

Also on the screen, you have selections of the Home screen, Training, Battle Mode (where you can challenge other people) and Leagues (haven’t really looked into this yet, will later on)

When you go into the training, before you can start using the app as its intended, you have to go through 4 sections: All about you exercise, All about ‘Fu’, Practice and first test.  I’m actually impressed with this as it tells you the proper way to do the exercise your ‘Fu’ is for (squats, pushups, pull-ups, and crunches.), along with giving visuals as to how you should position your phone, either with your hands or using a sports band (for pushups and pullups).  After you’ve be given the walkthrough, you test your ability to understand what the app has told you with a practice run, if you pass the practice run, you get to go to your first test, where it asks you to do as many reps as you can, as to gauge where your first real day of training should start..

Day 1 I zipped through using the squats and crunches, but today with the pushups and pullups, I have to use my make shift sports strap, and I’m unsure of how it will hold up.  As I already have my account created, I just have to sync these two apps with my already created GymFu account, go through the introductions and instructions, and its away we go!

Training

To be fair to testing these apps for 30 days, I felt like doing everything they suggest.  One suggestion you’re given while going through the welcome screens is that you should rest 48 between training sessions, so I’ve split my time between the four apps.  Day 1 will be crunches and squats, Day 2 will be pushups and pullups, Day 3 will be resting, and I will follow that pattern for the 30 days.

I was honestly unsure of how the apps would work, but after using them I’m fairly impressed.  I started with the crunches, which has you hold your phone to your chest, pointed down, with both hands.  The program requires you to raise your shoulders to a 30 degree angle.  If you do not raise up high enough, its only counted as “half” and if you go through your reps too quickly, then you’re called to slow down.  Its not that bad and after once or twice you get the motion and speed down fairly easily.  The program splits your training into 5 sets of varying numbers of sets.  After each set, you’re given a 2 minute break, which you can choose to bypass or you can sit there and wait.  Which, with the small numbers I got started with, I zipped right through the resting periods, except for the last set, which has you do a set number of reps, but then you do as many as you can.

Usage

I started with crunches, and once I got accustomed to using the app, it was smooth going.  I actually messed up somewhat on the test and the beginning, trying to slide the bar notifying I was done, rather then sit still until the app registered me as complete.  Basically the way it works is you push ‘Start” on your phone, get settled into and stay in the start position, once the phone registers this and registers you as remaining still, it will begin to count, once you have completed your reps and stay still for a few seconds, the app registers you as complete.  My first rep, I got called on for “Half!” but after that it was smooth sailing.  And it wasn’t bad having to hold my phone against my chest either.

Squats gave me a little more trouble at the beginning.  The app suggests that you can either put your phone in your front pants pocket or using a sports strap.  Unfortunately I do not have a strap yet, but I tried to make one, with a small amount of success.  After being called on for “half” for most of my reps in

the first step, because it wasn’t registering my thighs being in the proper position, I switched from the strap to my phone in my pocket, which surprisingly worked very very well!  The best part about this for me is that it works so well in your pocket, you could easily do the squat exercises at work or somewhere other then home if you wanted.

Reactions

Well, after the first day, I’m impressed with how the apps works, the motion detection and direction were much better then I was expecting.  Although the number of reps were not as high as I was expecting or liked, part of that probably stems from me learning the apps functions as I went and being too stubborn to retake the tests.  Overall, first day impressions are A’s all around.  For an exercise app on your phone, you couldn’t ask for me.  I realize this is somewhat a quick zip through, but as I continue to use the apps, I will elaborate and cover more aspects, but as I just started, I simply wanted to cover the bare basics.

Stats

Weight: 242lbs

Leave a comment

Filed under 30 Days of 'Fu'