Newly released for the iPhone comes Snow White, a beautifully animated storybook style app detailing the fairytale of Snow White while also offering a number of mini games and songs.
Available in both English and Spanish varieties, Snow White promises 35 minutes of interactive story, along with 8 mini games to play. In all there are 28 scenes to look around via the tilt functionality of the iPhone or by touching the screen to discover hidden details. The games are a mixture of sing along, memorizing pairs, exploding bubbles and solving basic puzzles. Children can explore the app either by reading to themselves or having the storyline read to them.
Snow White should be the ideal interactive storybook for young children. Being available in two different languages and with native speakers available for both ensures that both native English speakers and Spanish speakers wll be able to enjoy the classic tale.
Learning a new language is challenging work. Fortunately technology is around to make things a little simpler courtesy of apps like Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
The app is aimed at those learning English as a foreign language, promising cutting edge features such as full sentence pronunciations and thousands of detailed graphics that aim to bring words and definitions to life.
In all, there are 58,000 example sentences that can be listened to with the option for either British or American voices. 183,500 words, phrases and meanings are explained clearly with an integrated thesaurus providing plenty of synonyms and lists of collocations. As the dictionary will explain, collocations are words that go together. See? Even as a first language, there’s a whole bunch of words that could be learned through this app!
Priced at $28.99, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is on the heftier side of pricing but it’s for a good reason. It’s a comprehensive app and one that a book of the same depth would be considerably more expensive. For those learning English as a foreign language, this is an invaluable resource.
This Too Shall Pass is a very unique and special storybook application with versions available for both iPad as well as iPhone. This tale, based on a traditional proverb of the same name and also part of the “Classic World Tales” series by the developers at Moving Tales, is excellent. Languages include Spanish, French, as well as English, and are great for bilingual families as it is intriguing how one can select a language mid-story if one chooses, and one can make his own recording as well.
Said to be inspired by Persian, Buddhist, and Jewish sources, this is a story of a kind, yet disillusioned king who searches for words of wisdom that can relieve him of his melancholy, as he worries that his state of mind may dampen the mood of his kingdom.
Japanese is an extraordinarily impressive English to Japanese / Japanese to English dictionary. With an extensive dictionary database, flashcards, many ways of looking up kanji, and more, this app delivers everything one could want from a dictionary app.
One of the more daunting aspect of travel is the prospect of getting lost in a new land without a proper understanding of the language. If you find yourself in a place where you can’t read the signs and can’t effectively communicate with the locals then matters can quickly grow rather unsettling. Now you need not worry about such situations, as Word Lens will put your mind at ease by translating simple text into your native tongue (that is of course assuming your native tongue is English or Spanish) by simply pointing your iPhone camera at a sign. As the demo video below says, Welcome to the future.
The app is incredible, as it allows users to point the iPhone’s camera at text and translate from one language to another on the fly. So if you should find yourself standing before a sign you can’t read, all you need to do is point your phone and you’ll be good to go. Best of all, you don’t need to be connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot or 3G to use Word Lens; the words are already programmed into the app so you can still get assistance even if you aren’t able to connect to a network. Take a look at the video below for a cool demo.
Though the app is remarkable, there are still a few issues to keep in mind before throwing out your guidebook and relying solely on technology. First off, Word Lens can’t handle handwriting or some stylized fonts, so while you should be able to easily read official street signs and the like, handwritten directions or fancy storefront fonts will likely return nothing but an error. Finally, the app doesn’t provide a perfectly phrased translation, but rather a general meaning based on the words it recognizes. Think of it like a sort of Babelfish or Google Translate and you get the idea. Finally, as mentioned above the app only currently works for English and Spanish, so it won’t help for those traveling to nations which speak languages other than those.
So while Word Lens won’t exactly replace a translation dictionary or general language knowledge, it does serve as a nice companion piece for travelers and those who want a little extra peace of mind as they go about their adventures. Go confidently, knowing that you have at least one more tool at your disposal to help you find your way.