Storytelling is a great way of teaching kids things about other cultures, while still making them feel as if they’re having fun rather than just learning stuff. The Magnificent Travelling Palace is one such app that both educates and entertains.
The app follows a magical adventure story through the eyes of four children. Throughout the tale, the book embraces the splendour of Indian culture while remaining fun for kids. It comes with a recipe for an Indian dessert as well as interactive elements allowing kids to join in with the storytelling experience.
Visually, children can enjoy the 26 3D computer illustrations and animations, while their ears will enjoy the delightful musical score.
Created by a mother who knows what it’s like, The Magnificent Travelling Palace should prove a fun yet educational app for every keen young reader.
The Magnificent Travelling Palace is out now for the iPad and priced at $1.99.
Parents know that the iPad is a fantastic resource of storybook style apps, ideal for young children. They’ve probably already read the tale of Peter Pan to their kids, either through an app or through a traditonal book. So what makes It’s Me! Peter Pan stand out? It allows kids to get right inside the action.
Parents are able to customize the app to use photos of their child’s face to replace Peter’s, thus throwing them right into the story.
It’s Me! Peter Pan continues the fun theme with the addition of child friendly puzzles and the ability to explore Neverland by touching and tapping on various objects and characters scattered around the story. The ability to paint and color in images rounds off the package.
It all makes for a cute and beguiling tale that should entertain many a young child.
It’s Me! Peter Pan is out now with a free version to try and the full app available for $3.99 via an in-app purchase.
Once upon a Friday evening, as I sat here, email reading,
Over a many quaint and curious letter of reviews implored,
While I perused, nearly napping, all the while my fingers clacking,
Pausing not their steady tapping, tapping on my old keyboard.
“ ‘Tis a slow night,” I muttered, “little use for my keyboard;
Only spam, and nothing more.”
Deep into my malaise drifting, long I sat there, fading, staring
Doubting, seeking apps few mortals ever dared download before;
Then my boredom was disbanded, by the news of an app branded,
A collection handed to a more than willing App Store.
I noticed when I checked the store. And I found, it offered more.
Not content with mere wording, these three stories feature moving,
Not just moving but reacting, with a touch we’ve seen before.
“The Tell-Tale Heart,” said I, “has piqued my interest.
“As has The Oval Portrait and The Masque of the Red Death.
Let’s see if interaction makes them better, better than they were before.”
iPoe, with interactive stories, still is sitting, still is sitting
Lurking in the category for books found on the App Store;
And we all can start the reading of this dark and twisted dreaming.
And the price is of a number that in dollars orbits four ($3.99);
And my goal for this here story has been met with much fervor
Download it from—The App Store!
This week at 148Apps.com, everything was hopping in celebration of Easter weekend. We started with Jennifer Allen’s Five for Friday feature, showcasing an array of Easter-themed apps. Allen writes, “Happy Easter folks. No matter how you may celebrate it, and whether you do or not, we’ve got some fun Easter themed apps and games to cover in this week’s Five For Friday. Much like the event itself, the apps are a little geared towards families but there’s still fun to be had for all.”
Meanwhile, Amy Solomon from GiggleApps reviewed a new interactive children’s book – Nedi the Yeti. Solomon says, “Nedi the Yeti would make a great first app for babies and toddlers as the animals are friendly looking and engaging as well as not so well hidden that children of all ages could not find these creatures with ease, as a drag of a finger will coax these animals from their hiding places and a tap will trigger a speech bubble and a fun animal sound, be it either cartoony or realistic as is the case of the included bird or owl sounds found within.”
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2012-02-13 :: Category: Books
Finally, 148Apps.biz writer Kevin Stout explored ways for developers to acquire new users for their apps. Stout says, “Getting recognition and acquiring new users for mobile apps has gotten harder and harder as the app ecosystem has grown. This week, at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit 2012, strategy was discussed about the rising cost of user acquisition by three people close to the issue: Gabriel Leydon, chief executive of Machine Zone (free MMO developer of iMob and Original Gangstaz), Maria Alegre, CEO of Chartboost (app promotion solution), and Chris Akhavan, VP and GM of Strategic Partnerships at Tapjoy (app discovery and sharing platform).”
Thanks for another great week! If you want to keep track of the latest reviews, news and contests, there’s a great way to do it – just follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook. It’s just that easy – promise! See you next week, law-abiding citizen!
The supernatural and vampires, in particular, are big business in the world of literature and cinema at the moment. One of the most popular authors in the field is that of Richelle Mead, famed for the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines novels. iOS users now get to delve even further into that world via the official app, The World of Richelle Mead, that’s just hit the store.
The World of Richelle Mead is a free app that allows users to connect with other fans around the world, while also staying up to date with all the latest news about the author. Exclusive content is provided such as behind the scenes notes and stories, photos and illustrations, plus a great video library of Richelle Mead’s past interviews.
An interactive character map, catering both for new readers and avid fans goes one step further to making the app an essential addition. There’s also the possibility of buying the six ebooks in the Vampire Academy series through the app, and previewing some of the content beforehand.
For those who live Richelle Mead’s writing, or who think they might learn to adore it, this is a great app to try. The World of Richelle Mead is out now for both iPhone and iPad, and it’s free.
Renowned author Elmore Leonard has written over 40 books in his time with many of them being adapted to the big screen and also the small screen in the case of critically acclaimed drama series Justified. So it’s probably about time that he also gets his own app.
The app, originally entitled Elmore Leonard, is a fun and free companion for fans of the author. There’s an excerpt of his latest novel, Raylan, following the experiences of US Marshal Raylan Givens, as well as synopsises of all his other books. A videos section is available for both Leonard and Justified, along with photos from the TV show and other bits and pieces for the fan to take in and enjoy.
It’s an app that’s bound to hook crime writing fans in, especially if they want some great insider information on the new season of Justified.
Elmore Leonard is out now and it’s a free download.
Graphic novels appear to be going through a bit of a renaissance period in recent times with increasing numbers of people intrigued by the very notion. So it’s pretty cool to see a cumulative effort between a BAFTA (the equivalent of the Emmys in the UK) nominated screenwriter, a BAFTA winning executive producer and an award-winning graphic artist come together in the form of a new iPhone based graphic novel.
The novel entitled Exodus169 is all about an epic journey through space to the Planet Lumina, where humans hope to establish their first colony beyond Earth. Obviously things are bound to not quite go according to plan and it all makes for a gripping novel.
The novel is accompanied by stunning artwork and an original and fully-voiced soundtrack which all add a touch of class to proceedings. Depth is provided through a number of extras such as videos, character profiles, character blogs and even an on-board newspaper with new content uploaded weekly.
It’s interesting stuff and at a decent price too. The app along with Episode 1 and the regularly updated extras are free while Episode 2 and future instalments are only $0.99. Well worth a look for any graphic novel fan.
As a female technology buff I feel especially bad that I didn’t realise it was Ada Lovelace Day on 7th October, a day that aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. Ada Lovelace is widely regarded as the first computer programmer. Way back in 1842 she translated Italian Mathematician Luigi Menabrea’s description of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. Her fascination in Babbage’s work led to her developing an early form of computer programming thanks to her powerful mathematical mind. She tragically died at the young age of 36 due to cancer.
The reason for this history lesson other than to educate? There’s a light hearted app out called Lovelace & Babbage that aims to provide part entertaining comic book, part informative and educational tellings of their lives and experiences. After all, the best way to learn is to not realise it’s happening!
The comic book is consistently funny and intelligent in its portrayal and certainly makes for a great change from more conventional graphic novels. It’s a free app so an ideal excuse to give it a read. Users then have the option of paying $2.99 for further storytelling in the form of The Client. For those who enjoy it, there’s a new adventure coming out in early 2012 entitled User Experience.
Books, we love them. So, apparently, do iOS users, bringing the Books category up to the second most popular category in the App Store (the first being Games, of course). Each week, we dip our toes into the book app waters so you don’t have to. Here are our four picks of the week.
March of the Dinosaurs looks to be a glorious nonfiction look into the world of our saurian ancestors, by the makers of The Elements and Solar System for iPad, TouchPress. This book features realistic 3D dinosaurs that can be rotated and zoomed, video sequences and an optional narration, and over 65 pages of glorious Dino info across 12 chapters. Sign us up!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-09-29 :: Category: Books
Classicly HD ~ 26,416 books and audiobooks. The ultimate library. Spreadsong, Inc. may have named this app, but we choose it for the content, not the unwieldy title. Classicly HD puts together 23,469 classic books in ebook format, which alone is cause for celebration. What makes this app stand out is the almost 3,000 audiobooks and 61 handpicked collections of books included as well. If you want to carry around a library the size of which would astonish most of the authors of these classic books, this is the app for you.
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-07-09 :: Category: Books
We’re constantly on the lookout for free ebooks, and Kindle eBooks purports to do alot of the legwork for us. The app gives users streamlined access to lists of Kindle free or inexpensive books, in either a top ten list or a list of ALL of them. Users can then send links to these books via email, so they or their friends can download to their actual Kindle or Kindle app. This seems pretty useful!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-10-02 :: Category: Books
Science Fiction fans rejoice, as our next pick has 100 stories from this popular genre to share with them. Users can thrill to the 100 SciFi Stories by the likes of HG Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Murray Leinster, and Jules Verne – classic authors in the genre. The app developers promise more of the short stories, novelettes and full length novels in the days to come, all from the SF field.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-12-22 :: Category: Books
On almost the opposite end of the genre continuum sits the Jane Austen – Fan Kit, $0.99 app that includes a daily Jane Austen quote, almost every published work by this famous author, a “movie of the week” feature to suggest an adaptation of one of her works, and even a trivia game with questions about Jane Austen’s life, books, quotes and movie adaptations.
The Books category on the App Store is second only to Games, by application count. For real! In other words, besides games, books are the most numerous type of apps in Apple’s marketplace for iOS apps. That’s stunning for a device whose creator once famously said, “people don’t read any more.” Here are our choices for the best of the category this week.
Storyville, by Fatty Apps, Inc, brings users one story each week to this universal app. They publish stories from new collections in bookstores from indie publishing presses, like Graywolf Press, Soft Skull Press, and Archipelago Books. Writers and stories are from the past and the present – and the future, if we think about it.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-12-01 :: Category: Books
Dark Eden, by PC Studio, Inc., is a multi-episode teaser/enrichment app for a book due to be released in November of this year. This app will have 14 episodes, each at $0.99, or $9.99 for the whole run. The first episode, The Arrival, is free. Check out this multimedia experience with notes, maps, videos and audio diaries in the app store now.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-08-08 :: Category: Books
Book readers can always use a way to organize those large piles of dead tree, right? Book Crawler, by Jaime Stokes, aims to do just that. Adding books with the ISBN barcode scanner and search/organize by title, author, publisher, copyright, cover art, summaries, Goodreads reviews, and local library locations. Seems like a one stop collector’s paradise!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-12-21 :: Category: Books
What would a list of recommended book apps be without a children’s book in it? We suspect a large number of book apps are bought by parents who want to bring the iPad into their family’s story time ritual. Harold and the Purple Crayon, published for iOS by Trilogy Studios, continues to be one of our favorite books for kids, and the universal version is available in the App Store for a good price. Keep on drawin’, Harold!
Readers, rejoice! Fall is here and Apple is celebrating the return of cold weather and variably colored foliage with a ton of pre-order books in the iBookstore, available via iTunes on the computer or through the free app download, iBooks. Here’s a quick peek at what’s on offer, as well as a few we’re looking forward to as well.
Fiction & Literature
Our pick: Stephen King’s11/22/63 promises to be a fine story from the fertile mind of a master storyteller. King brings us the tale of a time traveler, headed back to stop the assassination of JFK. This one sounds like it will be a classic Stephen King tale with plenty of nostalgia, character development and, of course, terror.
Other Books Of Note: 1Q84
Haruki Marakami – Part dystopian fantasy, part love story. The Marriage Plot
Jeffrey Eugenides – The author’s first book since Middlesex. The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern – A fantastical debut about a magical circus.
Biographies & Memoirs
Our Pick: Life Itself, by Roger Ebert, shows the legendary film critic at his peak as a writer and commentator on film and, as a result, of life. Many of the stories here began on his blog, which should be required of any student of film or online writing.
Other Books Of Note: Seriously…I’m Kidding
Ellen DeGeneres – Ellen on her TV show, getting married, and more. Shaq Uncut
Shaquille O’Neal – Shaq offers candid thoughts about life on and off the court. Diary of a Player
Brad Paisley – How the country star became a musician and a man.
Our Pick: Christopher Paolini returns to the Eragon story with Inheritance, the highly anticipated and supposedly final chapter to the series. We’re looking forward to seeing how this one ends.
Other Books Of Note: Power of Six
Pittacus Lore – The remaining Loric unite to face the Mogadorions. The Son of Neptune
Rick Riordan – Demigods Jason, Piper, and Leo continue their quest. Wildwood
Colin Meloy & Carson Ellis – Modern city life meets a magical forest.
Science Fiction and Fantasy
Our Pick: Reamde, by Neal Stephenson – Sure, he made us all read way more than we wanted to with his Baroque cycle, but the author of Snow Crash is back with a new book about a tech entrepreneur caught up in his own online war games.
Other Books Of Note: How Firm a Foundation
David Weber – Book 5 of the Safehold series Snuff
Terry Pratchett – Continuing the Discworld saga, one hilariously poignant book at a time. The Omen Machine
Terry Goodkind – Back again to the world of Richard and Kahlan, facing a new and sinister threat to their realm.
Harold and the Purple Crayon is a wondrous and thoughtful adaptation of the classic 1955 children’s book of the same name that had been developed into an interactive storybook, now a universal application.
I remember Harold and the Purple Crayon from my childhood and have shared this story with my son as well. Few children’s books that I can think of beg to be turned into an interactive storybook as much as this one does, and I have been eagerly waiting for this to be developed into a universal app, knowing that at some point this was bound to happen.
I am very eager to introduce this app to readers who may not know of its existence. It is the perfect experience that I expected with every element thoughtfully conceived, making this book a joy to share with my son.
Ahh Snow White. A memorable tale for all, originally part of the Brothers Grimm’s collection and, years later, subsequently translated to the animated screen courtesy of Disney. It’s a tale that children of all ages know well. So how best to revitalize it for a modern era? By adding an anime spin to proceedings of course.
Momonga’s Snow White is the story we all know and love but illustrated in what is known as the Moé style, a slang term used by anime fans to describe the style of making each character adorable to look at. This app offers the book of Snow White with not just an anime twist in terms of looks but also music with the soundtrack composed by Kumi Tanioka, of Final Fantasy fame. As the screenshots show, the app looks glorious and the music is similarly of a high quality.
The entire package should make for an excellent re-envisioning of the classic fairy tale and will hopefully enthral anime and fairy tale fans alike.
Momonga’s Snow White is out now as an Universal app and is priced at $3.99.
Fierce Grey Mouse HD is a delightful interactive story about a grey mouse who wants to be fierce like a wild animal. It is simply delightful to watch this mouse practice his fierceness – the roaring, and the pouncing, along with the exercising and healthy eating habits that it takes to grow big and strong. The only pitfall is that all grand, fierce gestures have scared his friends, and now there is nobody to play with. Rest assured; all ends well in this charming story that kids will enjoy, and maybe even relate to. Versions are available for both iPhone as well as iPad.
Hildegard Sings is a really fun interactive storybook app from the developers at One Hundred Robots that includes a great story, some nice interactions and interesting extras. Options include narration or reading this book on one’s own, and it is nice that the sound effects and music used can still be enjoyed even with one reading this like a classic book, as well being able to turn on or off these sounds independently as well. Versions of this application are available for both iPad as well as iPhone.
If there is one thing on this planet that is about as un-gamelike as it gets, it would have to be books. The pages and pages of written word, while immensely entertaining for some, bore others (like yours truly) to absolute tears. So how could you take this potential entertainment kryptonite and turn it into something that could be fun for everyone? Why not try turning it into a game?
Cuing on this logic, a developer has actually gone out and made an action game that uses pages of words as a tapestry for gaming amusement. As improbable as it may seem, WordMan is a free title that offers players numerous chapters of page turning challenges, all of which can be played through on three different difficulty levels. To top things off, players will have the option to choose from three different super-heroes, complete with their own unique word-traversing super-powers.
Check out the trailer for the game below and let us know if you pick it up in the comments. I am curious to see if it lives up to the excitement!
Any app that has a description beginning with ‘Admit it – you’ve always wanted to write a novel.’ shouts at me. Because yes I do and I reckon somewhere deep inside me there is a great novel in there. Or at least one that more than five people would be willing to read. Lacking motivation however, I’m doomed to never achieve that dream.
I suspect I need to get downloading Novel in 30, an app that sets out to help users achieve their goal of completing a novel.
Besides offering a distraction-free writing environment, Novel in 30 encourages you to carry on. There’s a project dashboard ensuring that users can keep track of their progress and check how they’re doing so far quickly. Writing pace is also tracked so that the user can have a rough idea of what they need to do to maintain their target. Plus there’s the ever satisfying option of sharing progress via Facebook to show off how far the user has got.
Users don’t even have to worry about losing their witing so far as it syncs via iTunes ensuring easy access, and all writing can always be backed up to Dropbox.
Novel in 30 is available now for the iPad and is priced at $4.99.
Loris and the Runaway Ball is a simple and lovely universal storybook app about the dangers of running into the street after a run-away ball.
As a parent, one of my biggest concerns is that my fearless child will run into the street to collect a stray ball or other toy and get hit by an oncoming car. As much as we talk about this in order to reinforce this important lesson, I worry that it is never enough for this utterly crucial message to sink in.
This is a sweet story, told from the point-of-view of a loving older brother Lincoln, about how one day he is playing with his little sister Loris and their ball rolls into the street, and now lincoln needs to save his sister from her horrible decision to go after the ball. Luckily the older brother does get to his sister just in time, something I have not yet had to do, and hope I never have to.
Every now and then I think that I’ve finally become a proper adult, all responsible and doing away with childish things. Then I walk near a Disney store and all those allusions go out the window as I’m too busy exclaiming ‘awww’ at every single cuddly toy. A similar ‘awww’ came from me when I saw the latest update to Disney Princess Dress-Up: My Sticker Book.
It’s been updated as part of the excitement build up of the upcoming Royal Wedding at the end of the week. For those uninitiated in the app, you can use it to take photos of your children and ‘become’ part of the Princess storylines. This update adds a new Princess Tiana, 7 new stories as well as 25 new outfits and accessories that your children can dress themselves up with.
It’s a neat little idea anyhow that’s bound to be a big hit with young fans, even more so now that there are even more outfits to dress up in.
The update is available now for those who have already purchased the app, otherwise it’s $3.99 for newcomers to it. Oh and it’s an Universal app which is always convenient!
There are just some people out there that love to read, purely for the fun of it. For the rest of you normal people out there with lives and/or no free time, man created book clubs. What better way to force yourself through fifty pages of ‘Flowers for Algernon’ weekly than a group of that gives you dirty looks for coming unprepared. But what if there were a way to get a jump start on those bitter housewives by preparing like a true planner? This very prayer has been answered by the new app, Group Reads.
Featuring a multitude of functionalities, such as the ability to take notes before your weekly meeting, keeping track of notes for the group, or even recording an interactive log of your upcoming meeting dates, this is the kind of tool that should be in every reader’s arsenal. After all, $1.99 is just a small cost for going from the team slacker to the head of the class!