iPad Apps for Dummies

Today, my kids and I skimmed through iPad Apps For Kids For Dummies by Jinny Gundmundsen to see if anything caught our eye that we might want to try.

My youngest daughter, age 14, took a quick look at the grid in the back that shows app by age appropriateness. She is the one who immediately took over my iPad after I got it. She watches shows on Netflix and plays games like Temple Run, which is mentioned in the book, and also Subway Surfer which similar. She was starting to “Facetime” friends through the Facebook app and my husband wasn’t crazy about that option so he entered parental controls  and turned it off. Despite the transparency of the internet, we are still careful about turning off gaming options where you can meet people across the Internet or take awkward pictures that could be spread anywhere, if you know what I mean!

After flipping through the categories and seeing many preschool options, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of apps with Xs in the 13-14 age range that I didn’t realize were there from a quick breeze through the book. There are 27 chapters, starting with a general guide about iPads followed by chapters with anywhere from 5 apps per topic to 16 apps listed and described.

My eldest daughter, age 15, also flipped through the book to see if there was anything she could check for Android versions and install on her new Nexus tablet, a welcome Christmas gift after she dropped her Kindle and broke it. The Kindle app on the tablet allows her to access her pre-bought books and still play game apps too. She also enjoys FREE Temple Run.

My youngest quickly pointed out that the book was filled with both free and paid apps. The free apps limit functionality and most have stores where you can pay  for additional items, characters, etc. either in game money you earned by playing or real cash.

Apps we installed after reading this book (note the heavy science bent from my biology loving youngest) :

Science360 – Free pictures and videos from the National Science Foundation

Animal Planet Wilderness Adventure – Free to upload but animal characters are limited. Animals can race and do a variety of activities. Additional animals can be purchased. Physical trading cards (Nuko Cards) can also be purchased to enhance character choice and environment. 60 cards can be  purchased, with 50 that are animals and 10 that are ways to customize the environment.

Creatures of Light - Free interactive educational information from the American Museum of Natural History

The one I was dying to download for my kids was “Another Monster At The End of the Book Starring Grover & Elmo” but this little blast into my childhood wasn’t worth $4.99 for my kids that are too old anyway.

I also enjoyed reading about all the other books in the Dummies line listed on the final page. Gardening and Digital Photography ones looked especially interesting.

Overall, I found this apps book interesting and informative. Descriptions are comprehensive and give a good overview of each app. It was useful to see how many apps have sprung up with so much interesting information. Very well done.

{Disclosure: I received a copy of iPad Apps for Kids for Dummies for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.}

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