PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame- Photo Frames brought into the 21st Century

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What we love…

Easy to set up and use. Auto update feature allows it to automatically upload and display new photos without any effort

What we’d love to see…

Ability to create own albums and tag and search photos (planned in future updates)

Summary

PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame is an effortless way to bring  family photos off phones and computers and into everyday lives.  It provides an easy way to enjoy and share  photos and memories with family and friends near and far.

recommended-by-the-imums

As children my siblings and I loved seeing the new pictures every time we got a roll of film back from the developers, and we loved reminiscing as we looked through them together. We had albums of family photos lying around that we loved to look through whenever family or friends visited. With my own children most of our family photos have been taken on digital cameras and, more recently, on cellphones.  We take way more pictures now, but we never see most of them – they stay trapped in a digital graveyard on our computers and phones. I really that feel we, as a family, are missing out by not looking at family photos together and enjoying the memories they bring, but any solutions I’ve tried have just been too time consuming, and end up getting dropped after a few months.

I recently started using the PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame and I love how it has brought our family photos off our phones and back into our everyday lives.  When I heard “digital photo frame” my first thought was of a frame we had years ago that required downloading photos onto an SD card, which was then inserted in it to view the pictures. This was OK the first time we did it, but we rarely got around to creating new cards for it so the same pictures stayed on for years. Comparing the PhotoSpring to that is similar to comparing a Prius to a Model-T – they are both digital photo frames but otherwise have little in common. The PhotoSpring is so easy to use, and once set up it can keep adding new photos as I take them, without any effort on my behalf.

Our PhotoSpring is on a bookshelf in the living room and I’ve set it to automatically switch on in the mornings and off around our usual bedtime. It has a nice sharp display screen and a wide angle of view so you can see the pictures from where ever you are in the room. It is currently rotating through around 1,600 photos taken on my iPhone 7 and my husband’s iPhone 6 over the last year. I love that we are now seeing these pictures and that the kids will often comment about pictures they see and reminisce about the times they were taken.

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If a particular photo catches our eye we can take the PhotoSpring off it’s stand and use it as a digital photo album to look through the photos surrounding it at our own pace. It is easy to mark favorite pictures to make then easy to find later or to delete or hide photos we don’t want on display.

My favorite feature is that with it set on auto-update all the new pictures I take on my camera automatically appear on the PhotoSpring without me needing to do anything. As a busy mum of 3 I always have good intentions about making photo albums, printing photos etc but never quite find time to get it done. With PhotoSpring I no longer have to feel guilty about not being more organized with our family photos -PhotoSpring gets our family photos out and on display for without any effort on my part and that is priceless!

 

Unboxing

In the box is the photo frame, charger and stand. The PhotoSpring looks similar to a 10 inch iPad or Android tablet, but slightly thicker. It has a clean look with no buttons on the front and a white border around the screen. The stand works in either portrait or landscape mode. The charger can be connected to the stand to charge whilst displayed, or directly to the PhotoSpring. It has a nice long cord so I had no problem reaching an outlet.

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Set Up

Set up for the PhotoSpring is very quick and easy.  I had mine up and running in about 5 minutes.
1) Connect PhotoSpring to power and wait for it to turn on.
2) Connect PhotoSpring  to your home WiFi network. PhotoSpring will then download the most current version of it’s software.
3) Name your device (e’g Mary’s living room PhotoSpring) then enter your name and email address to get a PhotoSpring account invitation.
4) Respond to the email to create a free PhotoSpring account.
5) Download the PhotoSpring companion apps for iPhone, Android, Mac or Windows to start uploading photos to your PhotoSpring.

You can connect your account to more than one PhotoSpring and invite multiple friends and family to connect to your PhotoSpring. This is great for keep family connected. You can have PhotoSprings at home and work to easily access your photos in both locations. It makes a great gift for Grandparents or other family members because even if they live a long way away you can easily share photos across the miles.

The PhotoSpring comes preloaded with a slideshow that runs you through the features of the frame and how to use it, as well as some art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

Sending Photos

There are 2 ways to send photos to your PhotoSpring:

1) Manually: To send photos you open up the PhotoSpring app on your device, select the photos you want to send, and choose which PhotoSpring(s) connected to your account to send them to.

2) Automatically: choose “auto-update” and the PhotoSpring app will automatically upload new photos from your phone (and thus to your PhotoSpring) whenever you have the app open. You can choose to do this only via WiFi or via WiFi and cellular. For iOS you do need to also give permission for PhotoSpring to use location services for this to work.

The photos get sent to PhotoSpring cloud server and from there they are downloaded onto your PhotoSpring for local storage. This does take a little time, it only takes a minute or two for one picture, but large numbers of pictures can take a while to appear.

I send my photos via the auto-update feature as it means I don’t even have to think about uploading my pictures they just appear, my husband prefers to send his manually.

 

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In Use

Once the photos appear on the PhotoSpring they are automatically sorted and duplicate pictures are removed. It will place the pictures in smart albums based on the place they were taken, if they are geo-tagged and location service permission was granted. If you have multiple people connected to your PhotoSpring it will also create albums based on the person taking them.

When playing a slide show you can display either: a) all the photos on the PhotoSpring,  or b) all of a particular album or c) or you can apply one of these 3 filters:

1) Favorite photos- you can mark these by taping on a heart symbol.

2) People- PhotoSpring automatically detects pictures with people in.

3) Best quality- PhotoSpring assesses the picture quality and marks with a lightning symbol those that it considers the best quality.

The PhotoSpring is available with 16GB, 32GB or 80 GB of memory. How many photos it will hold depends on the size/ quality of your images, mine is a 16GB currently has 1,600 photos on it that were taken in an iPhone 7 and is about 25 % full.

The PhotoSpring is a also a touchscreen device, it has a 4 hour battery life so you can remove it from the stand to look through your photo albums and remove, hide or favorite pictures. You can select individual photos or whole albums when hiding, deleting or marking as favorite. When looking at an album the pictures are organized in date order of when they were taken, and you can choose to see them newest first or oldest first. On the side there is a timeline arrow that you can move up or down to easily find photos from a specific date.

In the evenings I like to sit and look through my photo albums – it is a great way to really enjoy the pictures but also lets me easily weed out pictures I don’t want on display and to highlight favorites that I might want to print or create a photo book from later. I would love a way to easily create my own albums as I do this so, that I could create separate slideshows with a theme e.g. vacations, kid’s art work, Scout trips; I am told that the company has plans to add this feature in the future, along with the ability to tag and search.

Currently PhotoSpring only supports digital photos, but video support is due to be added in the next few weeks. The PhotoSpring has built-in speakers ready for video support. When the company updates the software to add new features it automatically updates via WiFi so you don’t need to check for updates to access the new features.

Summary

I love our PhotoSpring – it makes it so easy to enjoy and share our family photos with very little time or effort on my part. The auto-update feature makes it effortless to constantly update the frame with new pictures. My whole family is enjoying  it. We all get to enjoy our family photos and gives us many opportunities to easily took through photos and share memories together. It makes a great gift for moms and dads as an easy way to view family photos at home or in the office. It is also is a great gift idea for grandparents, as long as they have a WiFi connection, many different family members can connect to their PhotoSpring and easily keep them updated with family pictures even if they live a long way away or even in a different country. Highly recommended !

PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame is available from PhotoSpring.com with 16, 32 or 80GB storage from $149

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

 

 

News: Clarity Speaker becomes First Standalone Device to Offer Access to Both Amazon and Google Voice Assistants

Clarityimage001The only Alexa-Enabled device with a built in touchscreen extends early bird pricing

New York, March 31, 2017 – The Clarity Speaker, the first standalone device to provide access to both Alexa and Google voice services, has announced the extension of its presale campaign to April 30, 2017, following an overwhelming response. Clarity, which is also the first and only Alexa-enabled product to boast a fully-featured touchscreen, has also announced that it will offer access to both Google Now and Google Assistant when it ships in June, well ahead of the rumored Amazon Echo touchscreen.

From blasting out favorite Spotify playlists to watching blockbuster movies, the android-powered touchscreen speaker offers great entertainment capabilities and acts as the hub for smart home automation while offering the power and skills of both Alexa and Google voice assistants. Clarity fuses the convenience and functionality of a conventional tablet with the dynamic possibilities of a smart voice-activated, connected speaker. During the extended presale period, Clarity can be purchased for $149 ahead of its shipping price of $199.

Awesome Audio

Clarity is a powerful, super lightweight, super portable Bluetooth and WiFi connected speaker, ideal for listening to music, podcasts or audio books. Content can be played from connected personal devices, internet radio stations or streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora.

Its two 5-watt speakers and spacious sound chambers deliver exceptional sound performance, and at just 2lbs with a six hour playback battery life, Clarity can be enjoyed anywhere.

Two Voices Are Better Than one

Clarity is the first device to allow people to use both the Amazon Alexa and Google voice assistants. A range of service and skills can be accessed through simple voice commands, such as “Alexa read the news”, “Alexa play Adele”, “Hey Google show me the route to the office” and “OK Google set my alarm for 7 a.m.” Because Clarity also has a built in touchscreen, it can display as well as play results found by these services.

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Hub of the Connected Home

With Clarity, users can control and manage every aspect of the connected home. Using voice commands to control Alexa or Google, or leveraging the 7-inch touchscreen, users can control a range of devices including Nest, TP-Link, Samsung SmartThings, Insteon, Ecobee, Wemo and Hue Personal Wireless Lighting.

There’s an App for That

Clarity’s 7-inch touchscreen and built in camera allows it act as an android powered tablet providing access to apps and services you would find on any traditional device. From watching Netflix movies to video chatting and Skyping with family and friends, users can access and enjoy any of their favorite apps from the Google Play store.

Tech Specs and Availability

Clarity will ship in June 2017, priced $199. An early bird price of $149 is available through to April 30, 2017, on Indiegogo. Its full features include:

  • Compact lightweight design – Dimensions 326 x 110 x 160mm | weight 2lbs
  • 7-inch multi-touch screen with 1280×800 resolution
  • Advanced near and far field capabilities
  • Alexa, Google Assistant and Google Now enabled
  • Powered by quad-core CPU
  • Two 5-watt speakers
  • Two megapixel camera
  • 16G internal memory with expandable storage via Micro SD cards available
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 1600 mAh Li-Poly battery providing six hours of audio and 2.5 hours of video playback
  • WiFi (2.4G and 5G Dual-Band) and Bluetooth (4.0) connectivity

 

Clarity is designed and manufactured by Pan Sea Co., Ltd., a company with a proven track record specializing in intelligent electro-acoustic products such as SoundPad. Its team has more than 20 years of experience in consumer electronics and acoustic technology and has spent three years developing Clarity.

“The response and demand for Clarity has been fantastic, beating all of our expectations,” said Dake Liu, CEO of Pan Sea Co. “We are proud to have developed an intuitive device with a number of industry firsts and are extending our presale campaign after popular demand to give even more people the chance to secure the Clarity Speaker at a discounted price.”

For further information visit www.clarityspeaker.com

 

 

K’ablekey Keychain Flash Drive and Lightning Charge Cable from PKParis -Review



 

Summary

K’ablekey from PKParis is a great accessory for your iOS device. It is very small, weighs less than an ounce and can be clipped to your keychain so you always have it with you. It is both a Lightning charging cable and a Flash drive, allowing extra storage space for your iOS device and enabling easy file transfer. Highly recommended.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Are you constantly running out of space on your iPhone or iPad ? Or can you never find a charge cable when your iOS device is running low on charge? The new K’ablekey from PKParis is a small but stylish device that solves both these problems.

K’ablekey is designed to fit on your keychain so it’s always with you. It has two halves held together by strong magnets and connected via a short cable. Open it out, remove the caps, and it is a cable with an Apple Lightning connector for charging your iPhone or iPad. The connectors have bright orange caps to protect them when not in use. The caps are magnetic so they stick to each other and to the K’ablekey so you don’t loose them, genius !

Not only is K’ablekey a charging cable it is also a flash drive, allowing you to free up space on your iOS device and easily transfer files to and from your iPhone, iPad and computer (Mac or PC.) On your computer you simply plug the K’ablekey into a USB port and drop and drag files to transfer them to or from the K’ablekey. To use it with your iPad iPhone or iPod Touch you need to install the free PK memory – PKparis app.

 

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With the app you can access music, photos, videos and documents stored on the K’ablekey. You can download them onto your iOS device or view them directly from the K’ablekey. You can also back up your photos, videos and contacts from your iPhone/ iPad and even move them onto the K’ablekey to create more space on your device.

You can view your photos and videos in a list or thumbnail. When copying or moving documents, movies, photos, videos or contacts you can select individual items or select all in a particular category. You can also create folders on the K’ablekey to organize your content.

iPhone Screenshot 4The K’ablekey has USB 3.0 and the specs boast read speeds of up to 100MB/sec (120 for the 32 and 64GB models) and write speeds of up to 20MB/s. I found that the files copied quickly and that the whole process of  reading, copying and moving files was smooth and easy.

For extra security K’ablekey offers the option to password protect some or all of your content. It is also designed to be tough, hard wearing and water- resistant so you don’t have to worry about how it will stand up to use.

Overall, the K’ablekey from PKParis is a great accessory for your iOS device. It is very small, weighs less than an ounce and can be clipped to your keychain so you always have it with you. It is both a Lightning charging cable and a Flash drive, allowing extra storage space for your iOS device and enabling easy file transfer. Highly recommended.

Available online from PKParis website in 16, 32 and 64GB versions from E59.99/ $63.67

iTunes Link: PK memory – PKparis


PK memory PK memory by PKparis

Price: $FREE

This application allows to access the content of your iPhone/iPad/iPod and of the PKparis flash drives (K'ablekey, K'Save etc ). It is a smart and simple way to view / save / copy / share / edit any files.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

 

Running Noah from Useappility -A Fun App for Practicing Multiplication



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What we love…

Makes practicing multiplication fun by incorporating it into an endless runner game

What we’d love to see…

Ability to limit to x10, individual player profiles, different speed levels

Summary

Overall, a fun way for kids to practice their multiplication skills whilst playing an Endless Runner game, Running Noah has 48 levels to work on times tables from 1-4 all the way up to 12x.

Our Rating

Running Noah Learning the times tables takes a lot of repetition, which children often find boring. They’d rather be playing their favorite video game instead of practicing math facts. Running Noah from Useability is a new app that uses children’s love of video games to give them lots of repetition of their multiplication facts whilst playing a fun game.

Running Noah is an Endless Runner, it has four episodes each with 12 levels. You need to unlock a level to move on to the next level. The four episodes have different themes and work on 1-4 times tables, 5-8 times tables, 9-12 times tables and 1-12 times tables respectively. The first episode (1-4 times tables) is free, there is an IAP (currently $1.99) to unlock the rest.

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Gameplay

The flood has just begun and Noah is on a mission to save all the animals and get them into the Ark. As the storm waters rise the land is divided into a series of islands by raging streams. To rescue the animals Noah must build bridges across the streams and also collect food for the animals on the way.

Beside every stream is a stone tablet with a number on it, and on the right of the screen are three numbers from the current series of times tables the student is working from. Tapping on the right of the screen brings up three  more numbers and the player has to tap one number from reach column to create a multiplication problem whose answer is the number on the tablet. The player has to think quickly as Noah keeps running, if he gets to the stream before they have completed the problem he falls in the water. If they create the correct problem a bridge forms and he runs safely to the next island. If they create an incorrect problem the bridge still forms but it collapses when Noah runs across, and he falls in the water. After solving three  problems correctly Noah reaches the stranded animal and gets him onto the Ark which completes the level.

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As Noah is always running the player has to think quickly to keep him from falling in the water, but collecting food adds another layer of complexity. All the animals on the Ark need feeding and food (corn, fish, pineapples or acorns) is above Noah’s head as he runs. To collect it the player has to double tap to make Noah jump at the right time. If they collect very little food the food meter turns red and Noah runs out of energy. Players can replay levels to collect food they have missed, and improve their score, and they need to complete the multiplication problems correctly each time to complete that level.

Analysis

Although the gameplay is in essence very simple, completing the levels does take quick thinking, fast recall and good reflexes. Even as an adult with good mental arithmetic skills I found I often had to replay levels to get perfect scores as it is tricky to answer the problems fast enough and time the jumps right to collect the food.

For each times table the problems include multipliers up to 12 e.g. the lowest level could include 4 x 12. Although this was how I learned my times tables, I have noticed some schools now only teach up to x 10. I would like to see an option to limit it to x10, if your child is learning that way. I would also like an option to add multiple player profiles, so that families with more than one child working on their multiplication skills can track their individual progress and let them compete against each other.

The app has an online leaderboard in it- but kids can not sign up from within the app (a good thing) a link is provided so that parents can enter it in a browser and sign up for the leaderboard if they wish to do so. Once they have completed all levels if the enter a parents email address they will be sent a certificate of completion.

I think the game is designed to be fast paced so that children will have to repeat levels multiple times to get high scores, so that they get a lot of repetition which is a good thing. However, some children with slower reflexes or slower processing speeds may find it frustrating that although they know the answers to the problem they can’t complete the problems in time to stop Noah falling in the water, or they can’t  co-ordinate their tapping quickly enough to answer the questions and jump for the food. With this in mind I’d like to see an option to have different speeds – maybe an Easy, Regular and Fast speed so that slower children can still use the app and to give different levels of challenge which would encourage even more repetition as skills improve.

Summary

Overall, a fun way for kids to practice their multiplication skills whilst playing an Endless Runner game, Running Noah has 48 levels to work on times tables from 1-4 all the way up to 12x. The app is free to download an include the first episode (12 levels) for free – this is a good way to test the app and see if it catches your child’s interest. If it does the $1.99 to unlock the rest of the app is good value. It is child friendly with no adverts, social media or external links.

iTunes Link:Running Noah – Useappility

Running Noah Running Noah by Useappility

Price: $FREE

“…an app that helps kids improve their multiplication skills” BestAppsforKids.com
“…makes practicing multiplication fun by incorporating it into an endless runner game” theimum.com
“… .

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Pixie Points by Pixie Technology -Review



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Pros…

Ability to accurately locate missing items, uses a new technology to improve accuracy

Cons…

Non-replaceable battery, no built-in GPS, so limited ability to track out of range items. Can be tricky to attach to very curved items.

Summary

Pixies Points are a great way to track things you frequently lose around the house- such as keys, wallet, remote controls and even cats that like to hide under the furniture !

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Do you constantly lose your keys? Your Wallet? The TV remote ? The cat? If you do, the good news is there are now many products on the market to help you track your lost items. The problem is, although many of them are good at telling you the geographical location of an item, they are not always as good at helping you pinpoint their exact location. It’s great to know your keys are at home, but even better to know they are under the couch cushion or inside your handbag or in a dresser drawer. Pixie Points from Pixie Technology use a “Location of Things” platform to pinpoint their location down to inches, and utilize augmented reality to show the location of the missing items.

Pixie Points look like slightly oversized guitar picks and are designed to be attached to your iPhone and items you want to be able to find. Pixie Points are constantly communicating with each other and signaling their respective distances. This creates a local mesh network so they can triangulate to give an accurate location. Because of this you need a minimum of 2 pixie Points in the area (and more is better), the one attached to your phone works as one point and the one you are searching for is the 2nd.

Set Up

To use them you first download the free iPhone app and follow the directions on the screen to pair the first Pixie Point to your phone. This one needs to stay with your phone.  You can keep it in place by using the Pixie Point iPhone case or by sticking it to your iPhone or current iPhone case. The phone case is currently free with purchase of a 2 pack or 4 pack of Pixie Points.

Next, individually pair each of your other Points to your phone. They are color coded so you can easily see which is which, and you can also and label them in-app by the name of object they will be attached to. It is very quick and easy to pair the Pixie points and the whole set up only takes a few minutes. The Pixie Points have adhesive backs and come with spare double-sided adhesive patches. A key fob is also included, so you can easily attach a Point to your keys.

In Use

iPhone Screenshot 1iPhone Screenshot 2iPhone Screenshot 4

Setting up the Pixie points and pairing them is pretty quick and painless. When you want to find your missing item you open the Pixie app.
All your Pixies points show in a list on the screen, and give an approximate location e.g. nearby, approximately 12 feet away, out of range. You then tap on the Pixie you want to find.

What happens next depends on how close the missing item is.

Within Range

If it is within range with a good signal, it will ask you to do a Panorama Scan. This is just like taking a panoramic picture with your phone but combines the picture you are taking with virtual reality, in a similar way to Pokemon Go. You follow the on screen arrow (and virtual assistant) to scan the room. Once the scan is complete, a trail of virtual Pixie dust, color co-ordinated to the chosen Pixie Point, appears on the screen showing you where to look for your item.

Once you start walking towards your item the screen switches to a colored pointer with a distance indicator. You follow this much as you would a compass bearing- walking in as close a direction to the arrow as you can. As you walk the distance indicated keeps updating to show how close your item is.

Once you are within 5 feet of the item the app changes mode again  to “metal detector mode”. This has a hot-cold indicator scale, with distance and an audible beeping, helping you to zero in on your item’s location.

Out Of Range or Poor Signal

iPhone Screenshot 5If the Pixie point is detected but has a weak signal it will ask you to walk until you get a better signal. Initially you will see a bar graph indicating signal strength. If this gets stronger as you walk keep going that way, if it gets weaker turn around and go a different direction. Once the signal starts to improve it will ask you to walk in an “L” to allow the Pixie Points to map out the location of the missing item (this works in the same way as the panorama scan in helping locate it.) It will then switch to pointer mode followed by metal detector mode as you get closer.

If it is out of range it will tell you the last time it was “seen” and where and when that was. If this happens it is still worth walking to see if it comes into range, especially in a home or building with a complex layout as having many walls in the way can interfere with the signal.

 

 

Practical Testing

As my family will no doubt attest, I’m pretty skilled at loosing things, especially my car keys. My son is also particularly adept at losing remote controls, so we make a pretty good family for testing Pixie.

The first day I had Pixie Points I paired the points, but I didn’t yet have my iPhone in the Pixie case I slipped it’s Pixie Point into a credit card slot of the wallet iPhone case I was using. I then lent my phone to my son without warning him the Pixie Point was in the pocket. Later that day I went to look for my keys and discovered my phone Pixie Point was missing. I couldn’t look for the keys as you need the phone Pixie Point for the app to work!

I thought that was the end of the test, but then I realized I could just allocate a different Pixie Point to the phone. I allocated a new Pixie Point to the phone and fixed it securely in place using the Pixie Point iPhone case. I could then track my other Pixiefied items, but was still missing one Pixie Point.

When I searched for the missing Pixie Point it was showing as out of range, and the last place it was seen was at home. It was out of range everywhere in the house, so I assumed it must have got lost somewhere when we were out for the day. The last seen location only shows you the GPS location of the last time you opened the app and successfully connected to the Pixie Point, so if you lost it at a different location where it had not been connected to the app this won’t show.

After a couple of days I decided to try scanning outside the house and as soon as I did so it was back in range and I successfully tracked in to the car. Inside the car the metal detector mode tracked it to the central console, but I could not find it at all. Eventually I discovered it hidden in the folds of a collapsible sunshade that was under the console. I can honestly say that without the Pixie and and metal detector mode I would never have found it- it was so well hidden that I had a really hard time seeing it even though I knew it was there!

Since then I have used it to track my keys successfully many, many times and to track down hidden remote controls too. One caveat with the remote control is you really need a relatively flat section on the remote to be able to attach the Pixie Point. My Samsung Smart TV remote has a very curved back and I can not get it to stay attached, even using the included “curved surface adapter”, it works fine with other flatter remotes such as our Apple TV remote.

Pixie Points are waterproof with IP67 certification and I have had one survive going through a wash cycle in my washing machine!!

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Uses

I think Pixies Points are a great way to track things you frequently lose around the house- such as keys, wallet, remote controls and even cats that like to hide under the furniture. I love how it automatically switches between modes to accurately pin point your item’s location. I have had several times where I have looked for an item with my naked eyes and was sure it wasn’t there, only to be proved wrong when I search for it with Pixie.

Pixie Points are great trackers, but they aren’t suitable for every use. I would not use them for a pet that tends to get out as they are no use in tracking a wandering pet if they are out of range. You also can’t use them to find your phone as you need the phone to be able to track Pixiefied items. Because most people take their phone everywhere they are still useful if you misplace another Pixiefied item away from home, as long as you realize you have lost it within the Pixie Point range. Inside this is typically 30′-50′ and outside up to 150′ in line of sight.

I do find the “last seen location” of limited usefulness as it only tracks the last time the Pixies Point connected with the app. If the phone and Pixiefied item were separated at a location where the app was not opened this wont be recorded.

Pixie Points do not have replaceable batteries, so you need to get a new Pixie Point when the battery runs out. Battery life is stated as typically 1 year, I would like to see a replaceable battery option in future.

Overall, a great option for tracking frequently lost items with pinpoint accuracy as long as they are within range- so best used for items in the home or ones that are often carried with the user’s cellphone such as keys and wallets.

Available from GetPixie.com $49.99 for 2 or $99.99 for 4, includes free iPhone case.

APP link

Pixie - Find lost things: keys, wallet, luggage...
Pixie - Find lost things: keys, wallet, luggage...
by Pixie Technology Inc.

Category: Lifestyle, Utilities
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 122.35 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

News: UNGLUE KIDS FROM ONLINE ADDICTION BY EMPOWERING THEM TO MAKE THE BEST ONLINE CHOICES



 

Los Angeles, CA (February 3, 2017) — When we were kids, finishing all your homework or cleaning up your room might be rewarded with a whole hour to play outside with friends or some allowance money! Today’s wired kids may be enticed to bring down the dirty laundry and set the dinner table with the prize of precisely 30 minutes of Internet access – to be used on their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. This teaches kids that time is money. That’s because mom or dad can now completely control a child’s time and access on the Internet with a clever service, appropriately called, unGlue.

There is no denying that children have been glued to their screens for some time. Kids today spend an average of 6.5 hours per day in front of screens, outside of school activities! Starting at a very young age kids enjoy watching, playing and chatting — typically on multiple devices. That’s the new electronic reality. They watch YouTube, chat on Snapchat, like on Instagram, and build on Minecraft. Parents, on the other hand, want to limit the time they spend on those and balance it with other activities.

“The digital world is an important part of our kids’ life,” explains unGlue CEO and co-founder Alon Shwartz who is also a father of three. “As parents, we need to have a way to balance screen time with their other activities. We created unGlue to enable parents to define the total online ‘fun time’ their kids can spend in a day. At the same time, it allows their kids to decide how and when to spend it. Everyone wins.”

The simple-to-use service works across all devices including smartphones, tablets and computers without the need to install anything on any device! It also works whether kids are home or on the go. Parents create Internet schedules for each child (for example: Olivia can use the Internet between 6am and 10pm). Then, within those schedules, mom or dad can limit the amount of minutes each child can spend on videos, social media, and games each day. unGlue coins it “Entertainment Time.” When they run out of Entertainment Time, they can still access the Internet, do homework, listen to music, and check the weather. They just can’t watch anymore cat videos or chat until the next day.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “recommends that parents and caregivers develop a family media plan that takes into account the health, education and entertainment needs of each child”. unGlue provides parents with this media plan via internet schedules, Entertainment Time limits, Chores, and Time Bank.

Targeted at kids ages 6 and up, unGlue is free (for now) and can monitor any iOS or Android mobile devices, and any number of WiFi home devices such as computers, tablets, game consoles, and so on. To get started parents can download the unGlue app from the App Store. Android support is coming in February 2017.

To support WiFi devices at home, parents have the choice of downloading the unGlue Home Monitor software onto a single desktop computer (hardwired, not a laptop) to control all devices at home. If families don’t have a computer with a permanent Internet wire connection, the unGlue Puck can be purchased for $30 through the app during the setup process.

Parent app

unGlue: Parental Control & Screen Time Manager unGlue: Parental Control & Screen Time Manager by unGlue Inc.
Category: Lifestyle
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 69.24 MB

$FREE

Kids app

unGlue Kids unGlue Kids by unGlue Inc.
Category: Lifestyle
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 38.38 MB

$FREE

 

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival from Move On Pluto- Review



maxmeredith-2

What we love…

Ability to control the story, multiple stories in one, nostalgic feel to the app

What we’d love to see…

Text highlighting as it is read, page turn button, ability to change settings without returning to home page.

Summary

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival is a fun “choose your own adventure” book with multiple story lines and endings. It encourages readers to think about different ways to solve problems and challenges stereotypes as the children discover that not everyone or everything is how they expect, and that first impressions can be deceiving.

Our Rating

maxmeredith-1Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival is the first interactive book app from indie developer  Move On Pluto. It is a “choose your own adventure” book where the reader makes decisions throughout the book, which affect the characters actions and what happens next. Music, sound effects, narration and text can be switched on or off via settings. Parents can choose to have interactive hotspots unlocked throughout the app, just in final storyline scenes, or no distractions. There is no word highlighting as the story is read.

Max lives in the town of Everdale, where one morning he awakes to find his trusty dog Percival is missing. Max rushes next door to enlist the help of his friend Meredith to find Percival. The story follows Max and Meredith’s search for Percival, but the duo have different ideas on the best way to find him. Max is more logical and cautious, whilst Meredith has an active imagination and likes to follow her hunches. The reader gets involved in the story by deciding what the duo should do next when Max and Meredith disagree.

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Depending on what decisions the reader makes the story goes in different directions. In total there are 8 different possible endings. When the reader reaches the end of the story they are shown a map illustrating how the different decisions create different story lines and endings, and are encouraged to read it again for a different story experience.

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The story is an old-fashioned adventure- the dynamic duo aim to solve a mystery, and to do so they have to work together to decide what to do. Meredith believes that an ogre lives near by in Gloomy Gulch and thinks he is responsible for Percival’s disappearance, so the friends have to decide whether or not they will face up to their fears and search Gloomy Gulch. What happens in the story depends on the choices the reader makes, so it really is multiple stories in one. Making different choices introduces new characters and situations, and creates totally different endings, which gives it lots of replay value. All the different story lines work well together, and there are no “right” or “wrong” choices, just different choices. By reading the story multiple times and making different decisions, the reader can find out more about Everdale and the characters who live there.

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The book app has a nostalgic feel about it, the illustrations and story lines feel like they would be at home in a “Little Golden Book.” Although the app has some interactive elements (about one per page) the main interactivity is in choosing the where the storyline will go. The multiple story lines add a fun element and increase the replay value of the app. Depending on which storyline is chosen Max and Meredith may have to face some potentially scary situations, but they find out that first impressions are not always correct, and that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.

There are a few technical changes I would like to see in future updates. I would like to see the addition of word highlighting as it is read. Page turning currently via swiping, I’d like to have an option to use a page turn button instead. Swiping does give the feel of turning the pages of a book, but I find that some children, especially those with special needs, can find this difficult. The settings can only be accessed from the home page and although you can return to this at any time, doing so loses your place in the story, so I’d like to see setting accessible from every page.

Summary

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival is a fun “choose your own adventure” book with multiple story lines and endings. It encourages readers to think about different ways to solve problems and challenges stereotypes as the children discover that not everyone or everything is how they expect, and that first impressions can be deceiving. The developer recommends Max & Meredith for ages 2-7, I think that slightly older children will also enjoy it and my 9 year-old gave it a thumbs up.

 

iTunes Link

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival by Move On Pluto LLC

Price: $3.99 USD

"A marvelous new storybook app ... backed by research of what is most effective in helping children comprehend, grow, and retain content while learning."
- Teachers With Apps

"Solid early elementary.

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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Custom iPad Case From DODOcase – Review

Custom Made iPad or iPhone case from Dodo Cases
Custom Made iPad or iPhone case from Dodo Cases

 

Summary

DODOcase is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases. Their custom iPad cases are a great way to keep book binding skills alive whilst creating a unique product- the cases look good, work well and can be customized to create a one of a kind case.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

I love my iPad Air 2, especially how slim and light it is compared to older iPad models. I think every tablet or smartphone deserves a case to protect it, but at the same time using a heavy or bulky case removes some of the features I love about the Air 2.  I recently had the opportunity to test out the custom iPad case service from DODOcase – which proved to be just what I was looking for in a case- slim, light and personalized to suit my tastes!

DODOcase is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases. They make cases for  iPad 2,3 & 4; iPad Air & Air 2; iPad Mini 1, 2, 3 & 4; iPad Pro 9.7 and a variety of iPhones from the iPhone 5 on. You can choose from a variety of standard case designs, or use their custom case making service to design your own. I chose to create my own, I wanted a classic look on the outside with a fun interior.

The designing process is really quick and easy. First you select your iPad model, then you are taken through the design process step-by-step.

Exterior

You can choose a single or two-tone exterior.  There are 17 different solid colored fabrics, 13 patterned fabrics and 4 colors of leather to choose from. I chose to make the exterior like a classically bound book and picked the red leather with black fabric spine.

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 10.24.27 AM

 

Interior

There are even more fabric choices available for the interior – 18 solid colors, and 18 patterns plus 12 map prints. The map prints are from Stamen Design and are available in or watercolor or toner (black and white). There are 6 different cities to choose from: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris or Tokyo. I really liked the idea of using a map interior as I could chose a map that really had a personal meaning to me, though I was torn between the city of my birth or my current home. I eventually decided on the watercolor version of the London map.

Dodocase 2

Finishing Touches

The case is held shut when not in use by an elastic strap and you can choose from 14 different colors of elastic to co-ordinate with the interior or exterior of your case. For the ultimate personalization you can even have a name or message embossed on the front on gold or black letters.

DODOcase1

 

In Use

When case arrived I was surprised just how much it looks like a quality leather bound book, it even has a bookplate inside for you to write your name on. The case has a polycarbonate tray to hold the iPad, which is attached to the half of the back cover of the “book.” The back cover bends in the center acting as a stand, providing a stable support in landscape mode for movie watching  or playing games. Although obviously designed more for landscape viewing the iPad case is also stable in portrait mode.  If you want to use the iPad completely flat just open the cover like a book or a gentle slope for typing can be created by folding the book cover on top of itself with the liner out.

I really like this case for everyday use, it looks professional on the outside, but makes me smile whenever I open it and see the map inside reminding me of home. The case protects my iPad Air 2 when it is in my bag but is slim and light enough that it complements the Air’s design. The case is cleverly designed to work as it’s own built-in stand and which is stable and secure.

I love that DODOcase is keeping traditional book binding skills alive whilst creating products for the 21st century and with all the options available you can create a truly personalized case for yourself or as a truly one-of-a-kind gift.

DODOcase is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases. Their custom iPad cases are a great way to keep book binding skills alive whilst creating a unique product- the cases look good, work well and can be customized to create a one of a kind case.

Ordering

Available from DODOcases.com custom iPad cases from $79.95, with additional fees for leather, 2-tone binding and embossing.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

ExplorArt Klee – The Art of Paul Klee, for Kids by Lapisly -Review




iPad Screenshot 5

What we love…

beautiful illustrations & beautiful original music, fun, original ways to interact with the artwork, appeals to a variety of ages. All the extra information hidden within the app.

What we’d love to see…

addition of word highlighting as it is read, and  a resource section  with suggestions on creating a few Klee inspired art projects at home.

Summary

ExplorArt Klee is a very high quality app that introduces children to the art of Paul Klee in a fun and educational way. Highly recommended !

Our Rating

ExplorArt Klee – The Art of Paul Klee, for KidsExplorArt Klee is an interactive art appbook from Lapisly that is designed to introduce children to Paul Klee and his work. Paul Klee was a prolific  20th Century Swiss- German artist who combined influences from many different artistic movements, including Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. He greatly admired children’s artwork and  tried to achieve a child-like simplicity in his own work.

The app takes children to PK planet, a special place that came to life thanks to Paul Klee’s art. Their guides are Cicero (Cice) and his cat Ku, Cice tells how he was inspired by Klee’s famous portrait of Senecio. Cice and Ku explain that their planet is enormous because it is inspired by Klee’s work. Klee created almost 10,000 works of art, and as people create new art inspired by him the planet grows bigger. This shows children how an artist’s legacy can continue after their death, and how your own creative accomplishments can inspire others to create too.

iPad Screenshot 4

Cice and Ku introduce four themes that inspired Klee:-nature, music, cities and puppets. The reader gets to explore interactive, animated versions of six of Klee’s famous works of art: “Crucifers and Spiral Flowers”, “Landscape with Yellow Birds”, “Castle and Sun”, “Dream Town”, “Fugue in Red” and “Twittering Machine”, they can also play with the recycled art puppets Klee created for his son. The app is designed to allow the child to explore it their own way, they can spend as little or as much time as they like interacting with each piece of art. When they are ready to move on they stroke Ku, and he brings them to the next artwork.

Each piece of art has different ways to interact with it. In “Crucifers and Spiral Flowers” touching the flowers makes blossoms open or close, sets stems swaying in time to the music, and sends the bird swooping around the page.

iPad Screenshot 2In “Landscape with Yellow Birds” touching the birds brings them to life- pulling up worms, laying eggs, chirping and flying. As you move around the Landscape you can see the picture from different perspectives, giving a simplistic 3D type effect.

iPad Screenshot 1The “Castle and Sun” falls apart when you touch it, creating a puzzle. You have to put the pieces back in the right places by matching the various shapes to recreate the picture.

iPad Screenshot 3

“Dream Town” is made up of layers of superimposed shapes that you can deconstruct stretching them out like a paper accordion.

“Fugue in Red” starts as an almost bare screen with just a few scattered shapes, touching the shapes not only plays musical notes but also works to create the art work as each shape is replicated into multiple similar shapes that form the layers of the artwork.

“Twittering Machine” is my personal favorite – turning the handle of the machine moves the automaton back and forth opening and closing the birds beaks, and playing music at the same time. If you stop turning the handle the movement stops and if you remove your finger from the screen the music stops instantly, so it really feels like you are controlling the machine.

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The puppets are inspired by the puppets Paul Klee made for his son from recycled materials. Cice and Ku introduce the 5 puppets in a theatre, and touching each puppet brings them to life with animation, special effects and a poem about each one.

One thing I really like about the app is that it is designed to appeal to a variety of ages, they can enjoy it on different levels whilst being introduced to a great artist and his work. Early elementary school age children can listen to the pages being narrated, and slightly older ones can read it by themselves. A red balloon appears at the bottom of each page, touching it brings up a navigation bar where they can change languages, switch narration and music on or off, return to the home screen or to a favorite page or artwork. It also has a glasses symbol- tapping this will bring up more information relating to the current page. This might be a Paul Klee quote, information about the artwork, a historical photograph or more information about the artist. This is a great way to make the app appeal to a wider age range, younger children can enjoy the app as is and older ones can use this feature to learn more about the artist and his art, keeping them engaged and learning.

Paul Klee played the violin throughout his life and his mother was a professional musician, so music was very important to him. This importance is reflected in the app, with original music throughout and music integrated into the interactive artwork. ExplorArt Klee is an app that has lots of hidden surprises, and like all the best kids apps it inspires kids to keep coming back and exploring. It took me several runs through find everything hidden within it- from fun interactive elements hidden within the scenes to all the extra information available about the artist and his art.

ExplorArt Klee can be enjoyed in 5 languages: English, German, French, Spanish and Italian. It has optional narration and background music which can be switched off independently.  It is child-friendly with no adverts, in-app purchases or external links.  The developer recommends the app for ages 6-8, I would recommend it for ages 5-10.

Whether you (and your child) are a fan of Paul Klee, or totally new to his work, ExplorArt Klee is a great app for getting children excited about art. It gets them exploring and interacting with great works of art and can inspire them to create their own.  Paul Klee wanted to “make the invisible visible” and  felt that art shows us that the world we see is “not the only one possible”, so I’m sure he would have hoped his artwork would inspire future generations to use their imagination to create their own works of art. ExplorArt Klee is very well done with beautiful illustrations, beautiful original music and fun, original, ways to interact with the artwork. I love all the extra information hidden within the app. In terms of improvements, it would be nice to see the addition of word highlighting as it is read to help emerging readers and I’d love to see a resource section at the end with suggestions on creating a few Klee inspired art projects.

Overall, a very high quality app that introduces children to the art of Paul Klee in a fun and educational way. Highly recommended !

A free lite version of the app has just been released and is a great way to sample the app before purchasing the full version.

iTunes Link to Full Version

ExplorArt Klee – The Art of Paul Klee, for Kids ExplorArt Klee – The Art of Paul Klee, for Kids by Lapisly S.C.P.

Price: $4.99 USD

Jump into the mind of Paul Klee with ExplorArt Klee!
This beautifully designed interactive picture book introduces kids to the dreamlike works of the 20th century Swiss-German master. Paul Klee’s.

iTunes Link to Free Lite Version


by

Price: $

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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids-Review



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What we love…

Uses total immersion method of language learning. Has real life video clips of kids, variety of activities and lessons build on previous ones

Cons …

Can only use in landscape orientation, would like to be able to use in portrait also. Buying all parts of the program can be pricey

Summary

Early Lingo Spanish is a well made program to introduce Spanish to children from 3-9 years old . It uses total immersion with video clips, interactive workbooks and flashcards

Our Rating

Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids Early Lingo is a company that produces language learning educational products for children. They have produced a series of language learning DVDs since 2011 and now have their programs available via iOS apps. They currently have programs available in Spanish, French, German,  Italian, Mandarin and English.  We are reviewing the Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for kids app. It is free to download and contains in-app purchases to unlock content. Jojo the monkey and Lulu the bird are the children’s guides throughout the app. In the app there are 6 different adventures, each one targeting different vocabulary topics. Each lesson builds upon the last and reinforces previous activities. When they complete an adventure it unlocks a corresponding game.

 

The app uses the Total Immersion Method i.e. there is no translation. It is suitable for children from approximately 3-9 years old. In an Immersion Program kids learn the language much the same way as we learn to speak our native tongue – by seeing the language in action by native speakers. My oldest son attended a Spanish Immersion Elementary School for 6 years, and I really think the immersion model is the best way for children to learn a second language. He started Kindergarten knowing no Spanish at all and rapidly learned to understand, speak, read and write in his new language. He was taught 100% in Spanish from the first day, half of his classmates were native Spanish speakers and half native English speakers, the English speaking kids learnt what to do by watching the Spanish speaking kids. The Early Lingo app works on the same principle, it includes videos and learning activities and throughout the app the only language spoken is Spanish.

 

The Early Lingo Spanish app is free to download for a limited amount of content, and then you can choose to buy the six adventures individually, or as a bundle. An adventure consists of a series of video clips with learning activities in between the clips, that reinforce the vocabulary words they have just learned. There are both cartoon videos of Lulu and Jojo and real life video clips of children. Each time a vocabulary word is introduced the child not only hears the word and sees a picture or video clip that represents it, but also sees the word written on the screen.

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In the first adventure Jojo and Lulu go to the park. Whilst at the park they learn about colors and things at the park, but also learn other vocabulary terms such as balloons, painter, sun, girl, apple, cookies, crackers, milk, dog, eating, drinking and playing.  After watching a video clip there are reinforcing activities in the form of an interactive workbook. There are 4 videos in the first adventure with workbook activities in between each clip. The first clip introduces colors, the second things that happen in the park such as children playing and eating, the third focuses on shapes whilst reinforcing colors and the last video expands upon the vocabulary of objects that can be found in a park such as play equipment, trees, butterflies and flowers.

The workbook exercises start very simply- touching pictures to hear the name of the object or concept, and gradually increase in complexity- such as touching a picture that matches what is said. Towards the end of the adventure the child leans to answer more complex questions such as “De que colores es?” (what color is?) “un pez anaranjado.” To answer first they touch the correct object (fish) from a choice of 6, then they pick the right color (orange) from an artist palette that pops up when they correctly identify the object.

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I like that each new object or concept  is presented in a variety of ways which helps generalization. The real life videos of children playing are a nice addition to the cartoon videos and still pictures. Although the app concentrates on teaching simple objects and actions these are brought together to form phrases and more complex concepts.  For instance after learning food, shapes and actions such as drawing and eating, they see  a child drawing a circle and Jojo drinking milk and hear how to describe these actions in Spanish.

As the child completes the workbook activities Jojo’s face at the top of the page is gradually colored in. Once he is in full color (all activities completed for that adventure) this unlocks a learning game such as a motorcycle race where Jojo’s progress depends on the child correctly identifying the named object from 3 choices.

There are also flashcards that the child can use to practice the words they have learned. For more mature learners there is also the option of creating their own vocabulary book by writing in the names of the objects in an interactive book. I did find that this didn’t save well from visit to visit though- when we wrote the names initially they were under the correct pictures but when we returned to use the book later the names were written randomly across the page so we had to erase them and start again. The app appears to be only useable in portrait orientation, it would be more convenient to also be able to use it in landscape, especially as some cases and stands don’t work well in portrait.

Other adventures follow a similar format, but introduce new vocabulary as Jojo and Lulu visit different locations and learn about new things. The other adventures are: Numbers & Counting at the Farm, Opposites at the Beach, Alphabet at School, At the Market (food and kitchen objects) and In the City.

The app is free to download then $3.99 to complete the first adventure, other adventures are $8.99 each, flash cards are $3.99, or  you can purchase a bundle that includes all the adventures plus flashcards for $48.99.  The full unlock of the adventures includes over 450 words and phrases. For each adventure there is also an option to purchase a longer video version (which are the same as the DVDs sold via the Early Lingo website). They are the same videos that are featured within the apps, just in longer format. These cost $10.99 each or $54.99 for the bundle (we did not test the full length videos.)

Overall, I really like the immersion method of language learning for kids. I think Early Lingo Spanish provides a good introduction to Spanish for kids in pre-school and early elementary school. It has a good range of videos and interactive activities and I like how the concepts are reinforced and built upon as the adventures progress.  It can get pricey by the time you have bought all the adventures, especially if you also buy the full length videos. It can also be a little tricky working out what is included in your purchases, so it would be nice to see the addition of a separate locked parents area (in English) that explains everything included in the app and the purchasing options with links to buy them. If you have a child in the target age range that you would like to introduce to Spanish, my recommendation is to download the free content and try it with your child. If they enjoy the content I would pay the $3.99 to unlock the first adventure, after your child has completed that you can decide if they are enjoying it enough to invest in the rest of the adventures.

iTunes Link: Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids – Early Lingo

Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids
Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids
by Early Lingo

Category: Education, Word, Educational, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 698.58 MB

$FREE

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.