When you’re a kid, summer takes on a whole new meaning. It’s not just the warm weather and late sunsets — it means no school for three months. But all that quality time can be rough on us parents. And when it’s raining or we’re cooped up together on a long car ride, we can’t count on sandcastles, fireflies, and tree houses to entertain them. But your iPhone or iPad can help.
This week we've got a new lineup of App Store arrivals to help your devices get ready for spring. This week's New App Recap kicks off with updates to Penultimate and Moju, a new Lazoo drawing app for the kiddies, Adobe's new way to tell stories on the iPad, snapping and sharing photos and short videos, and a way to add alternate phone numbers to your smartphone safely and securely. Without further ado, let's jump straight into this week's offerings...
It's already the beginning of March, but many parts of the USA are still buried in snow, which is a great time to just stay indoors and comb through the App Store in search of new entertainment. This week's New App Recap has plenty to offer, with a YouTube app for kids, a better way to order pizza, a visual tool for designers, a service for live music lovers, new search tools, and, uh, free erotica ebooks.
Older generations might frown upon the idea, but these days iPhones and iPads have become an indispensable part of parenting. Whether we're taking a long car ride, stuck inside on a rainy day or just trying to squeeze some work in before a deadline, an iPhone can be a lifesaver when you've got a rambunctious toddler on your hand. But just any old app won't do; it needs to be fun, keep their attention, and maybe teach them a thing or two while they're using it. Here are 10 iOS apps that are kid-tested and parent-approved.
It's already Groundhog Day here in the U.S., and the scruffy little rodent named Punxsutawney Phil has already prognosticated we have six more weeks of winter ahead of us. Thankfully, the App Store is chock full of some new selections to make the time pass quicker, including a convenient way to put push notifications to work, a new mobile email client from Microsoft, a handy app for learning how to play your favorite tunes, how to take control of your Mac, and even a special version of Vine that's just for kids. It's all right here in our first New App Recap for the month of February, so sit back and enjoy!
Everyone has a favorite Disney character, and now kids and parents alike can find them in one place with Disney Story Central for iPad. Also available as a tablet-optimized website, it offers four free books of your choosing just for downloading, with more than 150 others available via in-app purchase.
Amidst rumors Google is about to swallow up voice recognition provider Nuance, Domino's Pizza has teamed up with the current Apple partner to provide a new voice ordering assistant in the latest version of its U.S.-based app, which pretty much brings us full circle back to ordering on the phone, although without any human interaction. That's progress... right?
Continuing in the vein of memorable iOS gimmick apps like iBeer and Tom Cat, SpeakaZoo is part kids app and part parlor trick. As the zookeeper in charge of a whole stable of colorful, crudely animated animals, your sole job is to keep them happy—but not in the usual ways. You won't be feeding or washing them; instead you'll help them work through their various neuroses and idiosyncrasies. But while the wow factor wears off a little too quickly, SpeakaZoo’s chatty characters and childlike charm should be enough to keep your little ones coming back.
Despite the support of nearly every Hollywood studio, cloud locker service Ultraviolet has failed to gain much traction with consumers. Ultraviolet holdout Disney thinks there’s a better way, and the company has released an app to prove it. Disney Movies Anywhere is a free, universal app serving up more than 400 Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies (no TV shows yet) to any iOS device. Digital-only purchases made via the app are handed off to the iTunes Store, but now include the same kind of Disney Movie Reward perks that DVD and Blu-ray buyers are accustomed to.
It’s no surprise that a cartoon like Adventure Time would branch out into video games to attract its young (and alternately, geeky adult) audience. What is slightly more startling is how well the latest effort from Cartoon Network stands on its own merits. While certainly effective as a tie-in to the cartoon, its card-battling mechanics are so strong that Card Wars could have done without the license and proven just as sophisticated and inventive.