Coffeechug delivers over 40 App Reviews

To declutter my blog a bit and not bombard the site with app reviews I have created a new system. I am using a template I created that fits perfectly with my Evernote account. From there I can published directly to postach.io.

I will be developing a tutorial of how I did all this, but in the meantime I wanted to share out my latest app reading reviews. I have over 40 apps I have read and reviewed over the last month. My template for review is quick and to the point to not bore readers to death.

Here is the link – http://coffeechug.postach.io/

I would love feedback, comments, suggestions as well as any apps that I should check out. I will be adding many other apps each week. I have hundreds to add.

Enjoy and look forward to hearing from you.

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App Review: Blue Ocean Bob

Name of App
  • Blue Ocean Bob
 
 
   
 
 
iTunes Link
 
 
Price
  • $2.99
 
 
App Icon
  • Decent. Main character on display, but nothing special
 
 
Ease of Use
  • Three options – Play to Me, Read to Me, and I Can Read are easy to access and each plays and operates very smoothly without any glitch or confusion.
 
 
Overall Feel
  • Smooth flow. The Play to Me option just takes care of business where all you have to do is just sit and listen. Read to Me highlights the words in red to follow along which is a must in my book. Read on Own allows user to click on red words for definitions. Very nice addition
 
 
What is Good?
  • Good story line and the three reading options.
 
 
What is Not Good?
  • No interactions unless you count the matching game at the end. Perhaps this is not so bad to not be distracted from the goal of reading. Typically, people choose apps for interactions, not just straight reading.
 
 
Yahoo or Boo
  • Yahoo. Enough here to give a plus rating. I like that the app has three reading options based on comforts of child. More apps should have these three options.
 
 
Coffeechug Hall of Fame
  • No
 
 
Use It Again
  • No
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App Review: DogCatChicken

Name of App
  • DogCatChicken

iTunes Link
Price
  • $2.99
App Icon
  • Okay, would appeal to younger kids
Ease of Use
  • Simple. Nothing too complicated. My 2 year old could figure it out.
Overall Feel
  • I tested this app out on my two year old. She likes the interactions, animations, and the pages.
What is Good?
  • Interactions and easy to manipulate
What is Not Good?
  • The one thing that I drove me nuts was that there was no built in reader. Many times my kids like to be left alone to read and explore. How is she to learn and hear the story if there is not option to have the words read to them?
Yahoo or Boo
  • Boo, book apps must have a built in reader.
Coffeechug Hall of Fame
  • No
Use It Again
  • No

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App Review: Carnival of Animals: Music Education for Your Kids

Name of App
  • Carnival of Animals: Music Education for Your Kids
iTunes Link
Price
  • Free
App Icon
  • Draws the attention on my 2 year old. Bright and colorful
Ease of Use
  • Too much upfront info and cut scenes to get to the actual stories. As an adult I liked all the info, but for a kid this would be a distraction and they would just move to another app.
Overall Feel
  • It was clever how the pop tabs create the animations. Just on the brink of being a bit too cheesy, but I actually liked it as kids can relate to regular books with same format.
What is Good?
  • I loved the explanation of music and brain development on main screen. Learning objectives are stated.
What is Not Good?
  • Too clunky and not really smooth to figure out what to do exactly. I cannot see a younger child being able to have fun with this app. The interface is just not that good. Ideas and premise are spot on, but usability is off.
Yahoo or Boo
  • Boo – lost interest by interface
Coffeechug Hall of Fame
  • No
Use It Again
  • No, will not be keeping on iPad
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App Review: Amelia and Terror of the Night – Interactive Story Book for Kids

Name of App
  • Amelia and Terror of the Night – Interactive Story Book for Kids
iTunes Link
Price
  • $2.99
App Icon
  • Love it!
Ease of Use
  • Very easy to use and nice highlights to find hidden surprises.
Overall Feel
  • Just loved it! Music was upbeat. Reader voice was perfect for story.
What is Good?
  • Everything. Outlines of hidden items. Sound effects. Parts of story had no interactions to focus on story line. Other pages were loaded with items to touch, games, and of course trying to find all 60 stars for bonus material.
What is Not Good?
  • Could not find anything wrong. I really enjoyed this one all the way through.
Yahoo or Boo
  • Yahoo!
Coffeechug Hall of Fame
  • We have our first entry into my Hall of Fame. The guitar slaying squirrel is my favorite!
Use It Again
  • YES! This one is a good one for all of my kids.
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App Review: Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Farm

Name of App
  • Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Farm

iTunes Link
Price
  • $.99
App Icon
  • Like it as it generates interest in animal combos, but does not stand out to me on full display of apps
Ease of Use
  • Took me a minute to figure out what to do, but once I realized you just make animal combos it was super easy to figure out. A kid probably would have figured it out right away.
Overall Feel
  • Interesting. Many animal combos. Each combo has an individual story/poem. Fun and creative
What is Good?
  • All the combos.Pretty cool and something I have not seen before.
What is Not Good?
  • Don’t have much, but my adult mind falls guilty of bad thoughts. Be aware of when you mix a dog and chicken. Just saying! (check out my Instagram account to find out!)
Yahoo or Boo
  • Yahoo
Coffeechug Hall of Fame
  • No
Use It Again
  • Yes, my kids get a kick out of this one.
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App Review: Fine Feathered Friends (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat)

Name of App
  • Fine Feathered Friends (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat)
iTunes Link
Price
  • $5.99
App Icon

Ease of Use
  • Simple interface, easy to figure out. Lots to touch and interaction
Overall Feel
  • Everything you touch gives a name. Lot of words to hear and learn.
What is Good?
  • Everything you touch a word pops up. Even the individual text words. Bold words give a definition. Structure of Dr. Seuss is always a favorite. A lot of content to this app. Many pages and interactions.
What is Not Good?
  • Does the name of the boy really need to be Dick?
Yahoo or Boo
  • Yahoo, even though the name of the boy really bothered me. Seriously, call him any other name.
Coffeechug Hall of Fame
  • No
Use It Again
  • Yes
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App Review: A to Sea Alphabet App

A to Sea

I liked this app. The pages are full of color. Animations are good. It keeps the eyes busy. What I liked best are the really interesting facts that pop up at the bottom of the screen. I learned many new things as I checked this app out with my kids.

The app basically teaches the alphabet with each letter being an animal. My kids really got a kick out of the flying fish page.

What impressed me most is that it did not come across as cheesy. Too many apps look cheaply made and constructed. This one is simple, easy to navigate, and can hold the attention of a 2-3 year old.

Another app at the $4.99 price range which must be the norm. Not bad if looking for an alphabet book. The option to go to specific page is a nice addition as well.

Drinking my coffee, I am sure glad I am not the icefish for letter I as it is much too cold for me to go for a swim!

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Double App Review: A Shiver of Sharks and A Troop is a Group of Monkeys

A Shiver of Sharks

A Troop is a Group of Monkeys

I have combined these two apps because they are published by the same company, Little Bahalia Publishing. They operate exactly the same and have the same structure. Which is a good thing!

The apps are very colorful. The reader sounds human and the reading is somewhat slower than normal talk which is helpful for younger kids. I tested these apps on my 2 year old who never sits still and she liked them both. She enjoyed the interaction of each page. There is enough to keep the reader entertained without losing sight of the actual reading.

As an educator I liked how the Common Core Standards are referenced and there is also a Reading Strategies page to help parents learn different ways to interact with the contact. I think this is so important because sometimes we are not sure what all to do with these books and don’t realize all the different ways to interact.

I look forward to the third installment and these are both two apps that will be staying on the iPad for future use. Simple, colorful, interactive, and fun. No ads or any other glitches that could create headaches for parents.

P.S. Parents you might learn a thing or two about what some animals are called in groups. I know I certainly did not know them all. Which is leading to further discussion with my older children about these words.

Both are worth the $3.99 price tag. Test one out and if you like one, then you know you will like the other one.

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