Some Of The Many Things We Are Interested In:

App Review: Amazon Appstore for Android

The Amazon Appstore is an alternative source for purchasing Android phone and tablet apps.  The default place to download Android apps is from the Android Marketplace.  Android phones are shipped with the Android marketplace app but Amazon App Store is the major competitor for the Marketplace.

Installing the Amazon marketplace is a four click process.  Having to do the four steps is irritating and may drive away those who are not fully committed to the process.  However, Amazon does a nice job of explaining the four steps with a video and an onscreen list of the four steps and it is should be painless unless the download fails, as it did in my case on my first attempt.

Once installed, the Amazon Appstore app and companion website offer a shopping interface that will be fully familiar to anyone who has ever shopped on Amazon for other things. This is the major plus of bothering to stray from the Android Marketplace (which also has a companion website.)  Your purchases are seamlessly integrated with your existing Amazon account.  Both the Appstore and the Marketplace have Featured Apps and allow you to browse by categories and app publishers.  Amazon offers a “Free App of the Day” which is a nice touch.  You have a one-day opportunity to download a specific paid app for free.  the Amazon interface is tried and true and has been honed over the years where the Marketplace  interface (especially via a web browser) is overly simplistic and unattractive.

In the end, I have decided to use both the Android marketplace and the Amazon Appstore as the former offers some ease and simplicity and the latter offers more features.

Visible Contact is an Android/Tablet/iPhone/iPad producer and reviewer based in Austin, Texas.  Download our apps from the Amazon Appstore:

Ice Cream Parlour for Android

Evil Sushi Squish for Android

Halloween Costumes for Android


Halloween Costumes, Stories and Pranks

Boo! Did I scare you? Well Halloween is around the corner and the app stores are busting out some fantastic apps to enhance the spooky season. From costume games to spooky sounds, fun stories and even an app to find those ghosts lurking around the corner. With so many apps for the Halloween season I have narrowed it down to a few must haves on you’re smart phones for any age to enjoy. If your a fan of Halloween then you will love this review.

Halloween Costumes is a really cute app to get you in the mood for the season. This app has a selection of tops, bottoms, masks, among many other choices. You can create a number of combinations of costumes from Stormtroopers with fairy wings to a spooky vampire. A great way to brainstorm about your costume for this year. This app also has some fun animated features that makes it super cute.

Costumes are important to Halloween but it’s the spooky stories that are great to tell. Creepy Tails has a nice selection of Halloween stories that would be great to tell to share or to just read on your own. With 100 stories and 7 categories you can read one a night or save it for a Halloween party.

Now that the costumes and entertainment are taken care of all you need is a good Halloween prank, and Ghost Radar Classic has all the bells and whistles to scare your Halloween guests. It claims to read energy levels and can detect any ghost coming your way. For those that really take ghost to heart this could provide hours of fun and calling out those ghost might make your friends to spooked to play. But isn’t that what Halloween is all about?

App Review By Amanda O’Brien


Food Themed Apps for Kids

Food themed kid apps are becoming really popular with not only kids but adults as well. Pretending is one of the ways we can connect with our children and using great apps like Ice Cream Parlour or Cookie Doodle is on the rise. No mess to clean up, no food to buy, no sugar to feed your child, all of the reasons why these types of apps are becoming so popular. Whether in the car, at a restaurant or just on the go, with smart phone apps making it easier to have fun without the hassle of breaking out a mess, it’s no wonder why more and more of these types of games are showing up on the market. A few apps that have really been making that pretend time fun and easy is Cookie Doodle, Ice Cream Parlour and Candy Swipe and I would like to review them for you here.

Cookie Doodle is a cute app that allows you to pretend to make cookies by rolling out the dough with a sweet selection of cookie cutters you can use to cut out your cookie shapes. Then you get to decorate your cookies! All the fun with no burnt cookies, a perfect batch every time.

Ice Cream Parlour is super cute app with an easy interface for any age. This app provides a great selection of ice cream and, toppings with all the fun of making the cold treat with none of the melting mess. Just slide your scoop on over to the cone of your choice, choose your toppings, endless fun. There is a great little demo of this app.

Candy Swipe takes a different twist on playing with your food. A lot like a crossword puzzle meets the connect four game. Most age levels will understand how to play. But again it’s about having a fun activity for you and your child to enjoy together and this app delivers a lot of fun.


Kids’ App Review: Monkey Preschool Lunchbox for iPhone, iPad, & Android

It’s hard to compete with “Monkey Preschool Lunch Box”  when it comes to iPhone, iPad, and Android apps for children.

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox by THUP Games

This adorable, animated app includes seven games that teach preschoolers about colors, letters counting, letters, and shapes.  Priced at $1.99 on Android ($0.99 on iPhone), it’s a bit expensive but the kids love it, so the parents love it.

An animated monkey helps you count bananas, identify colors, identify shapes, and pick fruits based on the starting letter.  The colors, sounds,  and required motor skills seem to appeal most strongly to the 2 to 4 year old set.  Slightly older kids may require a game with additional challenges but may still enjoy this delightful app.

Visible Contact is an Android and iPhone/iPad app developer and reviewer based in Austin, Texas.  Download our top apps:

Apps For Kids

Evil Sushi Squish (for iPhone & Android)

Ice Cream Parlour (for Android)

Halloween Costumes (for Android)

Utilities

Countdown (for Android)


Falling Stars for the iPad

I first downloaded it because it was beautiful but then I began to play with it. It completely transcends its good looks into a playground of musical fun for any age. Swiping your finger across the screen creates chords for your falling stars to play. Change the tempo with just a tap on the stars in the sky. What a great app to show off your new iPad!

Download it for free!

Falling Stars for iPad

Description

Create a world of music in seconds with Falling Stars from Trident Vitality. Then enjoy, share and expand your world whenever you want to.


Parents in Need of the Secret Weapon…iPad and Angry Birds

5 reasons why the iPad was made to keep parents sane: (Wired) — Being a tech dad is a curse. We are always chasing the latest and greatest that tech minds are producing despite our economic status, how many kids we have or whether or not the CFO at home (the wife) will approve.

We want it. We need to have it. We don’t want to wait. We don’t care what it costs.

Some gadgets are are more valuable than others — to you personally and professionally. That’s why I think the iPad is a must-have for all parents. I firmly believe that it was secretly made with kids in mind. Not only is the iPad a great tool for business needs, it’s also the secret weapon of parenting.

Other than the obvious — games, education and creativity — there’s a slew of reasons why I think the iPad was created for kids — at least tech-tech loving adults with kids.

Reason #1: Your kids are going to get on your nerves

Every parent has been there. You’re in a restaurant, out shopping or even chillin’ at home when your kid has a breakdown of sorts. They are uncontrollable. They won’t zip it up no matter what the heck you do or say. Just when you’re about to flip your lid, bust out the iPad. It’s like using duct tape to cover their mouths — but legal of course.

The secret weapon app in this case, of course, has to be “Angry Birds.” The very addictive game is simple for even your toddlers to play. My four year old is obsessed with “Angry Birds” and even pressured my wife and me to get the plush toys. She’s that obsessed.

Reason #2: They are bound to ask, “Are we there yet?”

Epic car drives are the death of any parent’s sanity. If you’re lucky enough, your kids will pass out from the humming of the tires against the asphalt. However, when (and I really mean when), your kid flies off the handle because they can’t take another three hours before you get to Grandma’s house, bust out the iPad and get back to the tranquility of wheels on asphalt.

In terms of car-ride iPad savers, I’d have to suggest the instant classic “Paper Toss,” “Little Things” or “LunchBox.”

Reason #3: They always want you to read them a book at the most inopportune time

Kids love books. That’s all good. What’s not cool is when it’s your time to put the little rascals to bed and they want you to read a book as you’re watching the game. Of course, when you say, “go pick out a book,” they pick our the “War and Peace” of bedtime stories. In this situation, there are a slew of kids books for the iPad that are animated, do voiceovers, etc. You can slap on the game, put it on mute and let bedtime stories get autopiloted. Night-night, kiddos.

The app that my kids seem to prefer is the “Jack and the Beanstalk” interactive book. With some voiceover and animation, it is an entertaining book for the kids and goes by pretty quickly so you can tuck the little rascals in and head back to the couch for the game.

Reason #4: Mother Nature likes to ruin family plans

We’ve all been there. You and the family have outdoor plans for the weekend and mother nature decides to dump three inches of rain over your parade. You’re stuck in the house and for the first 24 hours, the kids are good to go. However, promises of rollercoaster rides, cotton candy and games has turned into a long couch jockey session that turns the kids into anxious, rambunctious and pesky kids. A weekend stuck in the house comes with a breaking point and it’s your job as a dad to know when that is.

Read More…


iPad Books for Children

For the iPad, Books That Respond to a Child’s Touch

There may never come a day when book apps, as interactive books for tablet computers are known, are more appealing to children than games. But the apps are getting more engaging.

The latest book apps to appear on my iPad include, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore ($5),Angelina Ballerina’s New Ballet Teacher ($1), The Wrong Side of the Bed in 3-D ($3), Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! ($4) and Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe ($6).

They’ve scored higher marks with my children than the earliest book apps, like Miss Spider’s Tea Party and Toy Story 2 Read-Along.

Even though publishers haven’t yet woven the interactive thrill of the Elements chemistry app or the AirCoaster roller coaster app into a children’s narrative, the book apps are usually much cheaper than traditional books. It’s hard to feel cheated with a purchase.

The first thing to keep in mind when buying children’s books on the iPad — many of them are also available for the iPhone and iPod Touch — is that there are two places to buy them, the iTunes App Store and the iTunes Books store . The Books store has categories devoted to Children and Teens and Kids’ Picture Books.

Read more at The New York Times