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GiggleApps is now part of 148Apps

Posted by Jeff Scott on August 3rd, 2013

In the nearly four years that we have been publishing at GiggleApps we have received a dedicated following of parents looking for the best apps for their kids. And now 900 parent and kid focused app reviews later, we have decided to integrate GiggleApps content directly with 148Apps. Starting this week you will see kids and parents apps right along with the usual content you see on 148Apps.

Check out all of the parent and kids app reviews from GiggleApps, now on 148Apps.

Have a kids app you want to submit for review by GiggleApps staff? Check out our submit an app for review page for more details on what to send where.

Welcome GiggleApps!

Lullabytes Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Angela LaFollette on June 12th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: SLEEPY TIME
Lullabytes puts baby to sleep with classical music, detects crying and plays soft tracks to help baby drift back to sleep and includes a sleep diary for parents. What’s not to love?
Read The Full Review »

Turn Grocery Receipts Into Funds For Your School With Shoparoo

Posted by Jennifer Allen on August 21st, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Schools rely on fundraising efforts from parents and supporters of their establishments, even more so in recent years thanks to the ever tighter budgets being implemented during these tough economic times. There are plenty of ways to raise money but so many of these are either time-intensive, hugely inconvenient or even expensive for supporters to back. Those people struggling need to check out Shoparoo. It's a new app that's set to make things so much easier and more profitable for schools and their supporters.

Basically, the app turns grocery receipts into money for schools. All the user has to do is take a photo of their receipt via the Shoparoo app and watch the "Roo Points" flood in for their designated school. It's as simple as that. The more spent, the more points awarded with bonuses for clear pictures of receipts and regular submissions.

The folks at Shoparoo have managed to work out a deal that involves information gathered by the app being used to identify trends and general consumer behavior. Shoppers don't have to worry about any excessive personal information being taken though as no credit card or bank details are required. Users can even cross out certain items on their receipts if they'd rather not disclose it. It's a great way of ensuring that market research benefits you, not just major companies.

Jared Schrieber, co-founder and CEO of Shoparoo, explained the benefits to us. "The concept of turning grocery purchases into school donations is already widely adopted throughout the U.S.," he said. "What's so unique about our approach is that there's absolutely nothing specific that parents have to buy, sell or collect in order to raise money for their school. This makes Shoparoo an amazingly hassle-free fundraiser and a natural complement to schools' existing Box Tops and labels collection programs."

It's a pretty neat idea and it's already been backed by numerous major companies such as Dove, Hellmanns and Knorr. Over 200 schools have already signed up to the project with it promised to be simple to join. Funds are then credited automatically based on the Roo Points accumulated.

Why not give it a try for your school? Let us know your experiences of the service.

Shoparoo is available now for free.

LEGO Lens Puts Virtual LEGO Creations Everywhere

Posted by Kevin Stout on May 4th, 2012

Augmented reality (AR) apps frequently pop-up on the App Store giving users a visual experience over our everyday reality. LEGO has recently jumped on the AR game with LEGO Lens. LEGO Lens lets users watch and interact with LEGO creations at various locations in the U.S.

The app shows LEGO creations that are close on a Google Map. Once at the location, the LEGO creations can even be captured in a picture to share with friends. A radar shows the LEGO creations when users are close.

We hopped on LEGO Lens to check out the locations of where these LEGO creations are popping up. There were none in my immediate driving distance (but a fair few in my state). Looking at the pins on the Google Map, there are quite a few places boasting The Avengers & Loki in the sky. The locations that these LEGO AR creations are popping up in include movie theaters (lots of Carmike Cinemas), malls, and stadiums. The LEGO creations are swarming in New York, LA, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Chicago.

It’s important that parents supervise with the use of this app given the GPS capabilities and suggestions to visit the LEGO locations.

Ruckus Reader Lets Parents Track Children's Reading Progress

Posted by Kevin Stout on April 20th, 2012

When a child is in possession of a device as versatile as an iPad, it could be just as distracting as it is productive. A new series of apps by Ruckus, Ruckus Reader, has been released that help parents keep track of their children’s progress through Ruckus Reader books.

There aren’t many Ruckus Reader apps available yet, but the ones that have been released include big names like Transformers, Crayola, and My Little Pony. The Ruckus Reader apps send weekly “Reader Meter” emails to parents (information is also available on the website) with information about their children on subjects like phonics, print awareness, fluency, alphabetic knowledge, sequencing, and story comprehension.

All of the three big name apps (Transformers: Ruckus Reader, My Little Pony: Ruckus Reader, and Crayola:Ruckus Reader) include features like word hunts, games, mazes, and “make-your-own” sort of pages (make-your-own stickers, make-your-own story, etc). All three apps are free.

Parents will receive “Reader Meter Progress Snapshots” for free with a Ruckus Reader account. For full “Reader Meter Progress Reports” and unlimited access to their entire Ruckus Reader iLibrary, parents can subscribe to a Ruckus library membership for 6 months at $24.99. Both types of accounts can support up to four children who may access the books across various app and devices.



This Week at 148Apps, December 5-9

Posted by Chris Kirby on December 11th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

This week at 148Apps.com, we opened the floodgates for the 2011 Best App Ever Awards. Site founder Jeff Scott writes, "In its fourth year, the Best App Ever awards is a people’s choice awards for apps. Last year over 500,000 votes were cast in the quest to find the best apps, not just the best selling. This year it’s back bigger and better than ever. In a big change this year, not just iOS but also Android applications and games are up for nomination in the awards competition. Users can nominate their favorite apps and games in any of the multiple categories by heading to the app nomination page and choosing a category."

Read more about the 2011 Best App Ever Awards on 148Apps.

Over at GiggleApps, our site dedicated to reviewing the latest apps for kids, reviewer Amy Solomon took a closer look at the new Charlie Brown Christmas App, saying, "It is lovely that children can decorate their own tree with included ornaments and other decorations, as well as a few that must be earned by finding all the hidden items as accomplishments. This area is found on the first title page of the book and can easily be overlooked as one starts to read. Please look for it. I am also smitten with the last page of this app where the characters are all shown with image and name, and a tap letting readers hear the line they are most noted for in this story, a great section for me to go over with my son as he is new to these characters."

Get into the Christmas spirit and read the full review on GiggleApps.

Finally, AndroidRundown writer Carter Dotson published a commentary regarding the recent CarrierIQ revelations. Dotson says, "Some of the fallout is settling from the explosive Carrier IQ revelations – naturally, most parties involved are denying any kind of wrongdoing, or even that their tools are even installed at all on the phones. Apps to search for the existence of the tools on phones now exist. As well, apparently even Carrier IQ was found on iOS devices, although Apple has pledged to remove them in a future iOS software update. Interestingly, one researcher has found that the software likely isn’t sending vast swaths of user personal information back to carriers and manufacturers, although there are still some questions about the data that is being recorded by Carrier IQ tools. In fact, a lot of this data may be used for benign purposes such as determining where phone calls are being dropped, rather than any kind of purpose of spying on user information."

Read the full CarrierIQ rundown on AndroidRundown.

We're done for this week. But next week brings us that much closer to Christmas, and closer to the new year. Keep informed by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter. Jingle on your merry way....and see you next week.

Apps For Girls & Boys: An App Store Exclusively For Kids

Posted by Jennifer Allen on November 29th, 2011

We at 148apps know how tough it is to find the right games and apps for children. That's why we have sister site GiggleApps. For those looking for a different sort of guidance, however, Apps For Girls and Apps For Boys might just be what they need.

Both freely available, these are apps that offer gender specific versions of the app store, presenting apps that have been recommended by other parents for children of the relevant gender. Different categories include the likes of Games, Fashion (for girls), Books, Utilities and Education. For users who have spotted an app worthy of being featured, there's a handy app recommendation section which ensures others can discover exceptional apps.

While having always been a bit of a tomboy as a child, I'm not so sure about the color schemes available for the two types of apps. If you can get past the stereotypical color scheme, there's no denying that this is bound to be a helping hand for many parents and children.

Both apps are available now.


Fierce Grey Mouse HD GiggleApps Review

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 9th, 2011

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.

Read the full review at GiggleApps.

Yoku-Gami Review

Posted by Nick Papageorge on July 8th, 2011
iPad App - Designed for iPad only

Yoku-Gami is a game that represents, to me as a parent, everything that is right in the app store, in relation to games for kids. It's a puzzle game that looks and plays like a standard match-3 game but is, in reality, anything but.

It is designed by the great mind of Reiner Knizia, a German board game designer heralded for his simple designs that lead for complex gameplay. Being a fan of his, I jumped on Yoku Gami and it's been a game my daughters and I have enjoyed immensely, and I feel happy in knowing that they're not just playing a mindless game, but instead are really working their brains as they play.

The entire goal of the game is similar to match games, clear the tiles. But how Yoku-Gami works is this: "If the greatest number in the group equals the total of all the other numbers in the group, you have a successful turn". So if you select a 3, 2 and a 5, your 3 and 2 equal 5 and you remove those tiles and get a score. That score is based on how many numbers are in the group and if you create groups of 5 or more numbers, you then get a bonus.

There are 3 different modes. Endless is just that, it continues until you can go no further. In Arcade, your goal is to clear a whole role or column of numbers, the game also ends when you can go no further. In Level Mode you try to clear as many numbers in each grid. You start with 24 levels, and at the end of each level when there are no more turns, you lose as many lives as there are numbers left. You gain lives when you create groups of 4 or more. As long as you have lives, you continue progressing in the game.

I was incredibly surprised with how far my 6 year olds got in the game, but for some reason, they were able to go quite far for their age and math skills. I know they are a bit young for it, and it isn't a game they can play for hours, as the difficulty does continue to ramp up, but they have enjoyed what we do play together quite a bit. As well, a nice touch to make it kid-friendly, is that good old "Yoki" is always there to tap on and get a hint from when needed.

If you have a child that might be struggling with math, or one that loves math and just wants a fun way to put his/her skill to the test, I honestly believe Yoku-Gami is a stellar choice. I'd never want to leave a child in front of any gaming system for hours, but this really is an honest-to-goodness learn-while-playing gaming that does exactly what it sets out to do, and I do not doubt that it will certainly be a help to those kids who struggle with math.

I'd also like to make it clear that it is equally great for parents. As silly as it might sound, I've seen an honest increase in my math skills through playing it, and honestly that's worth the price of entry right there. All-in-all, Yoku-Gami is a hidden gem that I wish more people knew about, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

Fruit Memory HD Review

Posted by Nick Papageorge on June 23rd, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Fruit Memory HD is, in my opinion, one of the nicest Memory-type games available on the app store, and is one that my daughters and I have a ton of fun with on a regular basis.

The thing that first caught my eye with Fruit Memory was its very clean and attractive art style that really stands out on the app store in comparison to other apps of its type. That, plus, it was all of a dollar. And because of the price, I didn't have huge expectations as all I wanted was a simple, attractive memory game. But once I loaded it up and started playing it with my daughters, I realized very quickly that every now and then a dollar provides a lot more than a dollar's worth of fun and entertainment.

When you start up Fruit Memory you're presented with an selection page that contains quite a few options, but is incredibly easy to navigate. The game can start with as few as 12 cards or as many as 40, scaling the cards in size to accommodate.

The next option allows for the selection of players. You can play on your own and keep a local leader board of how long it took to complete as well as how many moves it takes. There are separate entries for 12, 28 and 40 cards, and there are unique fruits to be found even at the 40 card level.

Once you start everything up, you get to pick your character, avatar, however you want to describe it. There are 16 options and, wouldn't you know it my twins always argue about which character they want to pick. The character designs don't seem like they make much of an impact, but they really do. The faces are made up of various internet emoticons (>.<, o.O, ^_^, T_T) and so on. Very, very cute.

The options make it really easy for even younger children who are not able to read to start up the game. The buttons are large, and very clearly marked, making it very easy for even a 2 year old to set up a game.

After you're done and you jump into the game, the layout is, simply, perfect. Each person has a tab at the bottom of the screen showing their avatar and their score. If you get a match in a turn, you can go again, otherwise it moves to the next player. It's designed nicely for a tabletop mode, and when you have 4 players it becomes 2 on 2, just great for families. One thing that I absolutely love is that each time you guess right, your avatar jumps up and down in happiness. Again, it's a simple touch, but it adds to the attractiveness of the app.

The card backs are, as the title suggests, fruits. The shapes are easy to recognize and differentiate and are very colorful. There will be no issues if your child is color-blind, either, as there is no repetition based on fruit color.

I've had my hands on quite a few other memory apps, some that are much more expensive or much fancier, just out of curiosity to see if they improve upon Fruit Memory and, at this point, I've yet to find one that I would pick in its place. The clean, simple and very visually pleasing aesthetic of the app combined with the attractive sound effects and adorable "characters" is something that is a huge hit with my whole family and, without a doubt, will be for yours too. Heck, it's a buck! You can't go wrong!

Halli Galli Review

Posted by Nick Papageorge on June 3rd, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

I know, Halli Galli is probably one of the silliest names for a game on the app store, but I urge you to look past that and spend some time with a simple and incredibly fun set-collection card game for the entire family.

I have to say that this is one of the most frequently played and one of our most requested. Its execution, while simple, provides flexibility that will work as a great challenge for adults, but is easily played with children as young as 3 years old.

Halli Galli is broken into 3 modes, and although the goal in each version is to collect all the cards, how you go about it varies. In each game, you have a split set of cards, and each turn one card from every player's deck is placed on the board. When playing against other players, it's a race to ring the bell, and I'll explain further how each mode works below:

Junior mode - Our MOST played mode and the most accessible mode in the game. In this mode, you watch the cards until you see 2 smiling clowns that are of the same color. If you're wrong, you give one card to each other player. If you run out of cards, you're out of the game and the first player to collect all the cards, wins.

For more complex playing and for older kids and adults, the other 2 modes are great.

Classic - In this mode, each card is of a type of fruit and has a specific number of fruits on each card. Once you see a a set of cards that totals exactly 5 fruits of one kind you ring the bell. The same rules for Junior apply for winning.

Extreme - This is where it gets really complex and challenging. The cards deal faster than other modes, and you ring the bell when you see 2 identical cards or when a monkey appears and there are no lemons, an elephant appears and there are no strawberries and when only a pig appears. Another difference is if you're wrong, you "Go to Jail" and your cards get placed under the bell. The next round you win, you only get your jail cards back. Lose a round while in jail you're out. Everything else is the same.

Each version has 3 different modes. Arcade, Single Player and Multiplayer. With Arcade, you're the only player and if you're wrong, you lose 3 cards (there's no Jail in Extreme). Single Player pits you against 4 computer players with 3 difficulty levels and Multiplayer allows you to play with 2 - 4 people.

I have had so much fun playing this with my 6 year old twins. Huddling around the iPad makes you realize just how perfect a platform it is for these types of games. And it's great, you don't have to set up any cards, you don't have to worry about the bell not working, or someone missing hitting it. You just get to really bond as a family and play a unique and fun game.

I also think it's an excellent educational tool that will get your kids (and you!) to really learn to focus your mind to watch for matches, and is a great way to improve your reflexes and hand-eye coordination.

I cannot recommend Halli Galli highly enough, it's a game that will grow with your family no matter how old they are. And most importantly at the time of this writing both the iPhone and iPad version are on sale for $0.99. You can't even buy a plain deck of cards for that price!

TennisProfiler Aces Training

Posted by Blake Grundman on October 12th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

I believe that the old sport adage goes that, "practice makes perfect."  The funny part was that all of my coaches used to say that this phrase was a load of crap.  They instead instilled in my impressionable young mind that "PERFECT practice makes perfect."  At the time, the difference seemed minimal at best, but now I can completely see what they meant.  If you practice with bad fundamentals, no matter what the sport, you will replicate the same poor fundamentals during actual competition.  I guess that explains my entire high school sporting career in a nutshell!

Though I was never much of a tennis player, I can understand that each sport has a defined skillset that needs to be honed at a high level.  Whether it be a solid drop shot or nailing your lines properly, it stands to reason that if you learn these moves at a high level, you stand a chance at being successful.  But how would you track all of the information necessary to know if you are improving?  This is where the new app TennisProfiler steps in, allowing a watchful parent or coach to keep track of your detailed statistics, one swing at a time.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Enter practice records to the database.

  • Able to track all major strokes such as Drop shot, Groundstroke, Lob, Overhead, Return Serve, Serve and Volley;

  • Provide some suggestions on how to practice each of these strokes;

  • Plot the Daily, Monthly, or Yearly records of the strokes for certain period of time;

  • Consolidate all the records in the database such that there will be only one record for one stroke type with the same features (such as serve type, court position, etc) per day;

  • Email the database to keep a backup of the practice records.


At the risk of sounding like a kiss-up, this really sounds like it could be a coach or over-ambitious parent's dream.  This is the kind of high detail feedback that could very well define the difference between a good and a great athlete.  However, if you are a parent, do yourself a favor and don't try to coach your child's serve from the sidelines.  Rumor has it, that kind of behavior can embarrass your child.  Just don't say that we didn't warn you.

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Your Pregnancy Week by Week Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on September 3rd, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

“Your Pregnancy Week By Week” is an application designed to give both basic info and to aid in keeping others informed about your pregnancy. I did like the fact that once you add your dates, this app will keep count of what week you are in and give you some info week to week about the changes your baby is undergoing, and there is a calendar function that could be useful. There is also a blog which allows you to social network and a "Baby Alert" feature that lets you notify a list of contacts when you enter the hospital.

I did have some problems with the information section of this app. The info section is divided into topics. Each topic is illustrated by a photograph, and there are times that the text, (which is white) scrolls over a light section of the image, making it hard to read. The topics were both oddly arranged and chosen, and I also found myself saying “yeah...but” while reading much of the information, sometimes being confused, and sometimes disagreeing with what I was reading. The interface of this app in general was less than intuitive.

Ladies who are very invested in keeping friends and family up-to-date in their pregnancy may enjoy this app. I also like the fact that this app is pro-breast feeding.