Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: Funny Kids Poems by We Are Interfaces AB

Funny Kids Poems by We Are Interfaces AB ( $1.99 at time of review)

Funny Kids Poems, by We Are Interfaces AB, is an interactive take on poetry for children.  We Are Interfaces AB also has quite a collection of educational apps, including Talking Merry, Build and Play- Construction Play Scene, Animal Farm - YogiPlay and many more. For a full list, see here.

***In top-10 the most interesting interactive children’s books for iPhone and iPad by***
“Funny Kids Poems” is an interactive book for children up to 6 years old.
There are twelve illustrated and animated pages with short rhymes by Marina Lindholm.

Things I love
Brief rhyming poems with a good mix of familiar and new themes
Interactivity- lots of hot spots with sound effects and movement (accelerometer)
Attractive illustrations and background music
A visual menu of poems
Ability to turn background music off
There is a YogiPlay version of this app available  (the poems in the app are identical but the Yogiplay is English only and there are additional games the child/children can access by reading the poems- coins are earned to play these games.  There are data tracking features for multiple children as well.)

Wish List
A child-proof link to the App Store
word highlighting

Enter for a code for this app via the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New at AppyMall: Baby Learns Simple Shapes

Baby Learns Simple Shapes by Bebebe Co. ($2.99, iPad/ iPhone) INTRODUCTORY PRICE OF 99 CENTS  An early learning app all about shapes, geared toward little ones, 12 months and up! Multilingual/ voice recording options! More information on this app is located at the Appy Mall.

Links/ Contact Info:

Youtube demo: youtube=

Website: Baby Learns Facebook Page: Baby Learns Twitter: @Baby_Learns You Tube: Baby Learns App: Baby Learns Shapes

This app has the title "baby" in its title but this is totally appropriate for kiddos like my 5 year old- he can practice the names of common shapes through several activities, and then earn items to play within the app's "magical world" as a reward.  You can also use this to practice a foreign language (see Baby Learns Simple Objects if this is your main goal).

The three main learning activities are very engaging on their own- even the "Learn" mode, where children can learn each shape's name by tapping on it, manages to be interactive- the shapes do funny things like dance to a beat box, water a plant, or play on an iPad, and so on. A second activity works on receptive skills (they check for understanding, i.e. when the announcer says "star", the child must look among the choices and place it in the truck.)  The third activity, a set of 4 interactive shape puzzles, is a personal favorite- each scene comes alive with movement after the puzzle pieces have been placed- for example,a boat moves across the water, a fish swims in the ocean.  One question though- why doesn't the train toot?

A magical reward land can be accessed through the tent symbol on the main page. The more you play the receptive identification activity, you are rewarded with virtual, interactive stickers to place in the world. Feed items to the animals to see their reactions- the sheep is adorable. Tap on the tree house to go inside it for more interactive fun. There is a spaceship you can enter too, but we haven't yet figured out what to do with it.

The graphics are another plus- bright colors with simple, uncluttered scenes.  I also appreciate how game play is set up- there is only positive reinforcement for correct answers; incorrect answers are ignored; the shape simply falls back into place and the child can try another. Another standout feature is the voiceover library, which allows anyone to record their own set of verbal labels for the shapes taught in the app.  English, French, Russian versions are provided, and you can download other recordings within the app or upload your own and share, if you want)  Right now voiceovers for Spanish, Ukranian and Belarusian language are also free to download. I

There is also a place for parents hidden on the main page- tap the left hand corner where it tells you to to find links to social media, other Bebebe Co. apps and instructional videos, etc.

The only thing I don't quite understand is the built in background noises within the app- the soundtrack features some light background sounds like construction in the distance, tapping of chalk on a board, and so on.  I have sensitive ears and found this a little bit distracting- I would love to have some kind of volume dial so sensitive kids could slowly acclimate themselves to this background noise, or perhaps an On/Off button in the Settings.

 Enter here for a copy of your own Baby Learns Simple Shapes app:
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Review and TAL Appy Chat with @Reks

@Reks Apps

Review, Appy Chat & Giveaway

for more Appy Chats & Giveaways visit


Developer: @Reks

Appy Chat:

When did you decide to develop this app? We decided to enter app business four years ago. My husband took a course in app programming and asked me for an app idea to help him practice his skills. Since I am always occupied with designing educational and entertaining activities for our children I suggested two apps: spelling app (later became Build A Word Easy Spelling…) and learn to tell time (later became Tick Tock Clock – Learn to Tell Time using Digital and Analog Clock). When did you first release this app? These two apps were our first apps released in November / December 2010.
How long did it take you to develop this app? Longer than any other app later. @Reks has now over 30 apps.
What is your favourite feature? In the Build A Word Easy Spelling …, that would be the possibility to make the app accessible for visually impaired students. The latest improvements focus on teachers enabling them to track progress of individual students and share it with parents. And absolutely amazing feature would be the ability to share custom made spelling lists by mail with other users of Build A Word Easy Spelling … apps. This means a teacher can create a spelling list recording her own voice and share the spelling list with parents for children to practice…
What skills were you hoping to help the end user to develop? The app focuses on spelling. By dragging and dropping letter cards into correct slots a student also practices fine motor skills. However, if a student struggles with fine motor skills, there is an option that makes the app accessible for special need students in which drag&drop is substituted with simple tap on the letter card.
What age range would this app most suit? Originally it was designed for younger students, hence the reward in the form of balloon popping game. However, the balloon popping game can be switched to off, and the background can be made blank making the app a more solemn educational tool for older students.
Are any new updates coming soon? Oh, yes! We keep improving our first app. We are so fortunate that many of our users communicate to us what they would like to see in our apps. @Reks truly cares about the users, and we always do our best to make our apps work for everyone. Thus, following the features requested by users we should add: option to select more than one spelling list, additional vowels, option to create custom list with the narration of phonemes instead of letter names, additional mode next to the existing Learn, Practice, Test…

Montessori Alphabet Maze


Montessori Alphabet Maze is meant to help your child practice abc order. The child begins at the letter A and traces a path from the letter A to Z. The sound effects are really fun- there is a clicking sound when first touching a letter, soft computer-like "beep" as each letter is swiped across, and cheering if the maze is completed successfully. A zapping sound is played at the end of the maze is reached through tracing an incorrect path of letters.  My oldest knows his ABCs and is enjoying this as a challenge- he attends vision therapy weekly, and this is perfect for visual tracking.  My youngest, who is still making alphabet errors, became frustrated with this, as the game waits until you reach the letter z to tell you if you have made a mistake.  I would like to see an update where it gives immediate feedback on an error as an option for game play- perhaps a different tone could sound?

@Reks also offers another app with the same style of game play, but with numbers: Montessori Numbers Maze.

Memory Game Spelling Words

Memory Game: Spelling Words iTunes Artwork


Memory Game Spelling Words helps children learn up to 700 common spelling words. In this game, the child can choose to play one of three ways: One Player Game (try to beat your time and number of attempts); Two Player game (play against a friend); iComputer Player Mode (beat the computer).  My kids like playing the computer so they can hear the robotic computer voice saying "Your turn".  I appreciate the parent-friendly settings- you need to press and hold to access them. As with the other @Reks apps reviewed, Memory Game Spelling Words is (customizable. You can choose difficulty level (6, 12 or 18 cards), choose between cursive or print, and upper and lower case letters.  There are also many included lists sorted by features "Short 'a' "'ck' clusters" "Dolch Word List Preprimer" etc. ; you can create also your own lists from their master list of 700 words.  In addition there is a sophisticated search feature where you can search for word families, such as words ending in "at". The words are professionally narrated, and you can choose from either a woman's voice or a child's. ( Under the Results tab you can view how fast you completed a memory game/ how many attempts it took.)

This app also has an optional setting for a mini game to play between memory games. The optional dinosaur game is cute- dinosaurs of various types and colors walk across a bridge, with a lone dinosaur waiting underneath. If you tap a matching dinosaur (same color and type), then he will open a parachute and drift down to the waiting dinosaur. If you tap a dinosaur that is different, it will fall down. There are cute sound effects made for each scenario. After all the dinosaurs have either fallen or landed safely, the safe dinosaurs scurry off together, and a new memory game begins.

Wish List: a record feature so we can add our own words; a setting where child must tap the card first before it is spoken (currently, the card is spoken automatically as it is turned over.); a written word paired with a picture of that word.

There is a lite version to try: Spelling Words Card Matching Game

Math Facts Card Matching Game


 Math Facts Card Matching Game is set up the same way as Memory Game Spelling Words- you can play against yourself (One Player Game), play against a friend (Two Player Game), or play against the computer (iComputer-Player mode).  Like its sister spelling app, you can also view your progress under the Results tab, and in the settings you can choose to play a mini dinosaur game in between memory games. Again there are settings to turn off background music, and you can choose exactly what combination of math facts to work on, such as "Add two 1-digit numbers", "Subtract 1-digit from 2-digit numbers, no crossing" , or "Quarters (division by 4) and so on.  There are three difficulty settings for each category (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division).

The optional dinosaur game is cute- dinosaurs of various types and colors walk across a bridge, with a lone dinosaur waiting underneath. If you tap a matching dinosaur (same color and type), then he will open a parachute and drift down to the waiting dinosaur. If you tap a dinosaur that is different, it will fall down. There are cute sound effects made for each scenario.  After all the dinosaurs have either fallen or landed safely, the safe dinosaurs scurry off together, and a new memory game begins.

Wish List: ability to tap a number or number fact to hear it spoken out loud (currently it makes a ringing sound if you touch the same card you just turned over).

FYI, there are two types of Math games @Reks offers- this memory card style game (here is a lite version to try: Math Facts Express Card Matching Game; there are also separate versions for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division)  and a spaceship themed math game called Arithmetic Invaders. Here is the lite version to try: Arithmetic Invaders Express: Grade K-2 Math Facts; they are also available separately for Grades K, 1, 2, 3.

Caboose - Learn Patterns and Sorting with Letters, Numbers Shapes and Colors

Caboose is a fun train-car themed app that focuses on pattern and sorting skills.  In the patterns game, a dinosaur pulls a train car with patterned tiles/shapes on it across an incomplete bridge.  The pattern is read aloud and the child is given time to complete the pattern.  As the child chooses the correct tile or shape to complete the pattern, the dinosaur pulls the train car further across the tracks to the other side.  When an error is made, the dinosaur backs up instead, and the correct tile/shape is added to the pattern for the child.  If the child takes no action during play, after 20 seconds or so a sound will go off, and a tile/shape will flash. (Wish List: the tile chosen as a visual cue is random- I would like it to always be the correct tile/shape that attention is being drawn to). When you have completed enough patterns to get to the end of the bridge, the dinosaur scoots off with a "choo choo" and the sounds of a train crossing signal.  One of my favorite things about the app is how customizable it is.  Under settings, you can choose the pattern content to include any mix of shapes, colors, uppercase letters, lowercase letters, or numbers; as well as choose the patterns to work on a-b, a-a-b, a-a-b-b, a-b-c, a-b-a.      
                                                                                 You can also decide whether or not you want to turn off the narration, or turn off the background music .  You can even choose to use phonics or letter names for the letter tiles used in the game.  I have used this with preschool students in a classroom setting. One young student was having  trouble with sitting still and paying attention to the teacher's directions during small group instruction with patterns. He was knocking the shapes off the table. We successfully worked on patterns with this game instead.

In the sorting game, the game shows a cityscape with a flatbed train car at the front.  With each correct answer, a light bulb above the train car turns from red to green.  Visual cues will guide the child with what to do, for example increasingly smaller bars are shown on the screen with the instructions to put the numbers in decreasing order, from greatest to least. If the child misses the instructions, he can replay them by tapping the symbol in the upper left hand corner.  Underneath each shape or tile are another row of green or red lights- as the child moves the pieces into the correct order, each correct spot will turn green- if a shape is moved into the wrong spot, it will go back to red. When all lights are green, the train whistles and moves forward.  The sorting game is great for working on the concepts largest/smallest, greatest/least . Again there are customizable settings that you allow to turn off background sound, show hints and determine the contents of the sorting game, etc.

For links to all of @Reks' apps visit here.

Enter Giveaways below:

We have a Rafflecopter giveaway for Montessori Alphabet Maze until March 26, 2013
We have a Rafflecopter giveaway for Memory Game Spelling Words until March 26, 2013
We have a Rafflecopter giveaway  for Math Facts Card Matching Game until March 26, 2013
We have a Rafflecopter giveaway  for Caboose until March 26, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

TAL Giveaway: 123 Kids Fun Puzzle Blue by RosMedia

123 Kids Fun PUZZLE BLUE



Developer: RosMedia



iPhone Screenshot 1123 Puzzle For Kids - Blue is a collection of 7 puzzle games with 84 pictures for your preschooler (ages 3 - 6)84 pictures in 7 categories:🎀 Zoo,🎀 Farm,🎀 Vehicles,🎀 Characters,🎀 House,🎀 Music instruments,🎀 Forest.Each picture has 3 difficulty levels – 6, 9 or 12 piece puzzles to solve. On the help screen you will find all details about how to play.From now on, the application is registered in the Game Center. Solve puzzles and collect your points! The higher difficulty level you choose (6, 9 or 12 pieces of a puzzle), the more points you get for solving the puzzle.Complete your achievements and gain extra points! How to earn achievements? It's easy! Achievements come with 10, 25, 50, 75 and 100 puzzle games completed. Features:🎀 84 colourful pictures to solve,🎀 Three difficulty levels for each picture,🎀 NO ADVERTISING,🎀 NO InApp PURCHASES.




iPhone Screenshot 2Category: GameUpdated: February 14, 2013Version: 2.2Language: English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, SpanishRequirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.


Website: RosMediaFacebook Page: 123 Kids FunTwitter: @123KidsFunAppsVimeo: 123kidsfunappsApp: 123 Kids Fun PUZZLE BLUECost: 99c


Enter Giveaway here:

We have a Rafflecopter giveaway until March 25, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

123 Kids Fun PEEKABOO by RosMedia

123 Kids Fun PEEKABOO by RosMedia (99 cents at time of posting)

A "hide and seek" app for early learners experimenting with cause and effect, 123 Kids Fun Peekaboo presents scenes with a hidden animal or object for the child to discover.  The child is presented with a scene and asked a question about the animal or object hidden in the scene. i.e. "What a big ball, who is behind it?  "What a big garage, what is in it?"  Enough of the image is revealed to give a clue as to what might be there. (Bunny ears peeking out of a pile of carrots, for example.)  Then a visual cue (a hand with a red no symbol is removed and replaced with a white hand) indicates the child can touch the screen, revealing the animal or object. The animal / object is labeled; when the child touches it another animation will begin. The animations and sound effects are interactive and caught the attention of my mini tester.

I appreciate the child "lock" feature- to exit out of a scene, the child has to press down on the home button, which should prevent the child from exiting the app accidentally. The app also allows the user to control the sound and/or music separately. 

Peekaboo! What hides behind...?

It’s an educational interactive hide and seek game for toddlers. Age 1 - 3.
Application is composed of 5 chapters:

- Household pets
- Farm animals
- Forrest animals
- Insects
- Vehicles

Thanks to our app your child will discover step by step the world of sounds that correspond to characters and items.

Younger kids will be overjoyed discovering hidden animals, insects and vehicles. Older kids can try to guess what hides behind the sounds, then learn the name of each animal, insect and vehicle which will help them with their letter recognition skills.

Hide and seek game:

- Listen to the sound and guess who or what hides behind it.

- Touch the screen and find out who or what is hiding there.

- Easy to use interface.

- Realistic sounds and animations.

- Learn through play.

Our applications are developed for you and your kids with help from artists and teachers.

Enter for a code below:
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Animals Babies and Homes by Gil Weiss

 Animals Babies and Homes by Gil Weiss ($1.99 at time of posting)

Animals Babies and Homes is an app for early learning skills/associations that focuses on animals and their homes.  (English or Hebrew can be selected.)  The child must make a match by dragging the picture in the center to a corresponding image.  Once the image has been matched up, it rests on top of its match and a visual cue indicates the match was made.  When all matches are complete, verbal encouragement and clapping ensues and the child is allowed to press the images- the top image in each match is spoken when touched.  The child can exit to the main screen through the arrow in the top left hand corner to select another set of associations. There are 8 association activities; each activity has six pairs of cards. 

FYI, I am a firm believer in the adage "You learn something new every day."  Today thanks to Animals Babies and Homes I learned that a pigeon's home is a dovecote.  Fancy that!

Wish List
I would love to long press the top image in a matched pair to reveal the image underneath it (and its spoken name). (Developer is looking in to making a change with the next update)
Ability to shut off the music on the main screen. (Developer is looking in to making a change with the next update)
Some subtle inaccuracies: Chicken coop instead of chicken coops; deer looks more like a moose; swamp looks like a pond. (Developer is looking in to making changes with the next update)

Developer's Description:

Children delight in spotting familiar animal friends and learning about their different homes; a doghouse, a birdhouse, a mouse hole or a goldfish bowl and babies; bird chicks, cow calf’s, owlet, baby giraffe. These colorful puzzles of Animals Babies and Homes is a challenging and enjoyable game that will develop your child’s ability to visual recall and build up his/ her vocabulary.

Where do animals live? Do ants live in hives? Do bees live in underground tunnels? Do polar bears live in the desert? Can you match the animal to its home?
Bee – beehive, bat – cave, penguin – iceberg and much more. Children can match each animal with the home it lives in.

Which animals go together? Can you match all babies with their parent?
Cub – lion, Puppy – dog, Elephant – Elephant calf and much more. Each Animal Babies and Homes has their name played in English and Hebrew so that children can learn what they’re called, build their animals vocabulary, and start to develop word and picture association.

Children delight in spotting familiar animal friends and learning about their different homes; a doghouse, a birdhouse, a mouse hole or a goldfish bowl and babies; bird chicks, cow calf’s, owlet, baby giraffe. These colorful puzzles of Animals Babies and Homes is a challenging and enjoyable game that will develop your child’s ability to visual recall and build up his/ her English and Hebrew vocabulary.

Kids match the pieces correctly on the puzzle to hear the word of an animal and it’s match (home \ mother) duck – pond, owlet – owl, horse – stable, tadpole – frog, cub – lion, camel – desert and much more!

Animals Babies and Homes is an eye and ear catching puzzle enhances matching and listening skills. Let your toddler play with it, while enriching their language skills, developing their fine motor skills, and learning names of numerous objects.

o Hebrew and English
o 8 puzzles with over 60 of Animals, babies and homes
o Enrich vocabulary and knowledge
o Develop concentration and attention
o Learn the names of animals babies and homes and match them with their corresponding animals:
o Deer - Fawn
o Kangaroo - Joey
o Seal - pup
o Elephant - Elephant calf
o Pig - Piglet
o Squirrel - Tree Hollow
o Bear - Cave
o Monkey - Jungle
o Spider - Spider web
o And more

Like us on Facebook:
Email us:
Follow us on twitter: @Kids_1st_Puzzle

We take children's privacy very seriously, our apps:
- Do not collect any information
- Do not contain ads
- Do not contain in-app purchases
- Do not contain integration with social networks
- Do not use analytics / data collection tools
- Do include a link to Trucks and Things That Go app in the iTunes AppStore

Enter for a copy of Animal Babies and Homes below:

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Review & TAL Appy Chat: The Swan Lake by Publisto


SL_screens_en_01The Swan Lake by Publisto

I have a soft spot for classic fairy tales, and was pleased to see this version of The Swan Lake by Publisto.  This is a love story with a slightly dark side- a spell has been cast on many young women, including Princess Odette, who has become a swan by day, returning to her human form only at night.  A true prince must fall in love with Odette or the princess will remain a swan forever. There is the threat of killing looming, should the spell not be broken, and a tame kiss-but the story is not at all graphic and should be appropriate for elementary aged children.

 postcardThe illustrations and classical music are really breathtaking and the visual effects are really catching- one really clever effect is the way words transition from gray to gold, and then remain black after being read by the narrator.  Alternatively, the reader can choose to zoom in to each page's illustration, foregoing text.  The pages also have a lifelike flipping motion as you turn from one page to the next.  The narration is pleasant and slower paced, which is very helpful for a struggling reader following along.  There is also a recording feature so the reader can practice narrating the passage him/herself.  I also appreciate options to turn background music on or off, to stop or  repeat narration on each page.

In addition to all of those features in book mode, there are several other modes available from the main menu- Puzzle Mode (6, 12, or 20 pieces), Coloring Mode (with sophisticated color picker and several drawing tools, including a "signature"), Connect the Dots game, Memory game (16 or 30 cards), Send a Postcard Activity, and Link to the App Store.  My only wish list item would be some kind of parental control button to make it harder to send postcards through social media, and limit access to the App Store, if desired.

FYI, Publisto also offers stories in Greek, Spanish and Portuguese, which makes me giddy as "Eu falo portugues" (pretend my keyboard knows how to add accents).

Appy Chat:

Cross-Posted, original post at THE APPY LADIES

SL_screens_en_01When did you first release this app? The official launch date was in August 3. At the same period, we released three more interactive tales for the iPad, aiming to offer content of great literary and artistic merit. This is why we used timeless classics as our primary source, taken right from dusty 19th century books. Even the selection process was an exciting time!

How long did it take you to develop this app? To develop an app, especially for children, is a lot more difficult than people believe and takes in total more than six months, if done right. The balance between storytelling and activities remains of paramount importance. We had to carefully select the material for the app in order to appeal to children, something that took time in terms of texts, activities, sounds, aesthetics and animation. Moreover, in designing our app story decisions have been carefully based on our observations concerning child iPad use. For example, we have intentionally avoided having any control buttons in the lower half of the screen to minimize accidental disruptions of precious reading time. Because after all, this is what it is about. Whether reading from scrolls, manuscripts, printed material or screens, it’s reading that counts!

SL_screens_en_02What is your favorite feature? Taken the step to provide the ability to parents to also record their own voices as narrators, was risky, in a sense. Because we are all mostly used in passive reading. But it took off. Now, we expect all reading apps to have this option, parents use it, kids love it because they try their own voice and make impressions and as educators can tell you, it’s another aspect of what they call dialogic reading, reading together. This “togetherness” is what Publisto is all about.

What is your favourite page in the app? I would say that the second page of Publisto’s THE SWAN LAKE, which depicts the transformation of Princess Odette from a beautiful, white swan into a girl was absolutely fascinating to me and Tchaikovsky’s music made it even more so. It touches your heart even from the beginning of the story.

SL_screens_en_04What skills were you hoping to help the end user to develop? (eg fine motor, reasoning, education - maths, reading, social)? Our aim was to offer a storybook app that not only entertain

children but also help them develop skills that enhance their future growth. The app offers highlighted narrative text in order to encourage word recognition and vocabulary development. Also, auto-play, read-by-yourself and record-your-own-voice options are available aiming to help children build confidence in reading aloud. Educational activities, including connect-the-dots, puzzles and memory cards, are designed to expand attention span and memory skills. A full-screen coloring mode in a separate paint section, with the option to sign and save, aims at improving fine motor skills. Also, engaging and user-friendly interface design, enhanced by context-oriented tap animations contributes to strengthening hand-eye coordination. All in all, in our apps we strive to maintain the right balance between storytelling and activities and instill love for reading and intelligent play. It’s important that our kids take nothing else than this.

SL_screens_en_03What age range would this app most suit? The app is suitable for children of age 5 to 8. Parents who have downloaded the app were impressed by the engaging narration enhanced by highlighted text. They explain to us that this feature helps their kids to pronounce correctly the words and enrich their vocabulary from a very young age. However, I would like to mention that in all the activities provided, the users can select their desirable degree of difficulty, making our app appropriate for a broader age range.

Are any new updates coming soon? We constantly try to improve our apps in order to provide a lasting experience to our young readers and their parents. Therefore, we are making changes and in the coming weeks, will roll out improvements and additions that some of our young friends think will make the experience even better. Also, more Publisto apps are on their way. So, stay tuned because the journey in the literary world of Publisto is continuing… ..

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Friday, March 1, 2013

REVIEW: AutisMate by SpecialNeedsWare

  AutisMate by SpecialNeedsWare (iPad only, $149.99 at time of review)

A MUST see video of AutisMate in action- featured on CNN

If you saw this earlier review of AutisMate, you may notice AutisMate has been completely revamped with more intuitive navigation and a substantial amount of new features.  (PLEASE SEE THE ITUNES DESCRIPTION FOR THE MOST CURRENT UPDATED FEATURES.)

As of May 2014 a new AutisMate should be out-AutisMate 365. All existing AutisMate users prior to this release will always have access to the original AutisMate as they did prior to the release, at no additional cost.

Note from Developer: The new features of AutisMate 365, including cloud syncing capabilities, a community content library and easy collaboration between home, school and therapy, are all enhancements to the current features of AutisMate.   Because we value our loyal users so much, we are offering them a free two-year cloud subscription so they can try out all the new, exciting features of AutisMate 365. There is no credit card required to activate the subscription, they can cancel at any time and there is no obligation to continue the subscription after the two years are up.  All current supports and content in AutisMate will be automatically and seamlessly backed up and available instantly on AutisMate 365.

 Stay tuned for more information, but you can sign up here to be one of the first in the meantime: AutisMate 365

Enter to win a code for this app during Autism Awareness Month here:

AutisMate has been steadily adding useful features since it first came out- this is something you will notice quickly- the developers are very responsive to user needs and have incorporated a number of features requested, to create a truly flexible life skills/communication tool for those with autism or other special needs.
Developer Comment: Thanks for highlighting our development process and how we truly value the feedback and systematically incorporate what we hear to improve AutisMate. For us, we are really trying to build the best solution out there and be able to use modern technology in new ways to help individuals with special needs. Part of what's so revolutionary about AutisMate is our unified approach to communication and behavioral development. Other AAC tools out there focus on a specific level of development (sentence building) and are silo'd from all of the behavioral development that is often just as important as the communication needs. Why this approach is so powerful is because communication and behavioral development are inherently interconnected - you can't teach daily living skills without bridging the communication gap. Secondly, AutisMate is the only solution that can truly grow with your needs. So many of our learners today begin at a complex sentence building level but don't have the prerequisite language skills to succeed here. Our visual scenes and hybrid scene-grid choice boards give early communicators a way to communicate at a level that is not too abstract or complex for them. As they develop those skills, they can progress to a system that offers generative language through our sentence builder. All along the way, they can also develop behavioral skills based on what their developmental goals are at that point in time. 

You can read more about the developers behind the app through this TAL AppyChat and watch some videos featuring AutisMate here:

All Things Digital:

What I love:

 ( Detailed Tutorials can be accessed by pressing the question mark symbol in the app-additional tutorials and features are being added to go beyond just how to customize the app, they will also will give some clinical instruction in how the app can be used to promote various developmental skills.)

Add  "hotspots" to scenes with options to embed voice and/or a video, story, choice board or schedule.
Hotspots are marked by a shape, a symbol or you can now draw your own custom hotspots of any shape, which is a much appreciated feature.  There are a handful of colors to choose from, and you can make the hotspots visible (outlined, like below, left; semi transparent, like below, right) or invisible.  Another feature I love is the ability to use synthesized voice or a recorded voice. An update expected any day now will include in-app purchases/ access to all 40 Ivona voices.  Learn more about them here:


 Access to premade stories via AutisMate Store.
  Download premade stories. You will have to change your iPad settings to allow in-app purchases temporarily in order to download any materials in the AutisMate store.  Once they have been downloaded, they will be available to insert easily into a hot spot. The current content library, as of February 2013, should be looked at as a "preview" as the developers have stated there is much more content planned in the future.

Pull up Scenes by GPS location.
You can easily link a visual scene to an existing GPS location for quick access.

Make Visual Schedules with a Check-off and Reward System.
Schedules can be accessed by tapping the 1-2-3 Star symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. You can even embed videos and stories into a step in the schedule as well. This way you can model each step within a step or do a task analysis of a specific step with a story too. 

You can share grids, scenes and schedules with other users of AutisMate through the Settings tab. This is a wonderful feature, especially for a school setting -support staff and parents can have access to a child's visual support and communication system and everyone can be on the same page. You can share through email or through iTunes.

Communication System/ AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication)

Adjustable grid size.
The size of the grids can be adjusted.  There can be as few as 4 choices displayed (2 rows by 2 columns) or as many as 40 choices (5 rows by 8 columns).  The user scrolls up/down to access any additional buttons off the screen.

To change the grid size in Communication mode, tap the tiny pencil symbol in the upper hand corner. Enter the editing passcode (default is 1111) and then tap the large pencil symbol in the lower left hand corner- choose "Change Grid Dimensions".  Here are a few possibilities below:

Adjustable grid spacing.
You can also adjust the spacing between buttons as well by sliding the button in the left hand top corner to the left for wider spacing or to the right for closer spacing.


Change location of buttons on a grid easily.
Hold down the buttons until they shake, then drag them where you want them.

Edit Mode requires password.
Which is always a good thing if you don't want all your hard work erased.

A variety of button features.
Image options- You can set the image by adding a symbol from the extensive symbol library, using an image of your own from the photo library, or by taking a new image from the app itself.
Autoreturn- choose this to make a button go back to the previous screen.
Color options for buttons-  (black, blue, green, orange, red or yellow - see Wish List)
Hide Buttons- You can hide a button or buttons on a grid if you don't want it to show. In edit mode, click on the button, choose Hide. 

Change Users easily.
You can make multiple User profiles, which is perfect for an educational setting, or for families with multiple users.

Change grids easily.
You can make multiple grids for a User and easily switch back and forth between your created grids by tapping the settings wheel symbol, then choosing "Change Grid Vocabulary".

Wish List: (This app has been recently updated; there are MANY recent improvements that address some features on this wish list, please consult the description in the iTunes App Store.  AutisMate even has WORD PREDICTION now, yes!)

 An option of 1 row by 1 column for grids (a single button on the screen).  Developer Comment- New request: we will incorporate into future update.

Options for changing label and image size within the buttons. Developer Comment: Already planned, to be released in a few weeks along with more grid customization features (e.g., background colors of buttons and background of the app itself)

Text-only buttons- currently you must assign an image to each button.  A text-only option would be useful for literacy activities and to make quick buttons for choices or schedule items for my own literate child. It would also be useful to label items or people in visual scenes.  I noticed you can add a text only button when adding a button to a choiceboard, but the font is very tiny in this case.  Developer Comment: All of these feature requests are already planned and will be rolled out in a few weeks to 1-2 months.

More editing features: A cropping tool for pictures added.  More color options for buttons, perhaps via a color picker with preset favorites.  Developer Comment: These are new requests, and we will add them.  An option to fill buttons with the color (currently you can assign the border color).  And perhaps an Internet image search feature could be added too? Both of these are already planned and will be released very soon.

Size!  Perhaps there could be options to limit photo quality to cut down on storage size.  With the photos and books I have downloaded to the app, it now occupies 1 gb of space!  Developer Comment: New request and great suggestion! We are exploring multiple solutions to the size / space issues.

The default passcode for editing is listed in the main settings of the iPad. While this is useful for caregivers who have forgotten the passcode, I know some very clever users who would find that number and know what to do with it.  The developer is working on a solution.

I put a visual scene in the wrong location.  Is there a way to move it to the right location? My only options seem to be "Delete" or "Rename", but not "change location", or something to that effect. Developer Comment: The current way to do this is to import the scene to your iTunes and then download the scene back into a new location. It's not very intuitive and we are working to make it more clear. Here are instructions from the 1.0 version, which are pretty much the same for the 2.0:

COMPLETED Enter for a code of AutisMate through the Rafflecopter link below: