Genera Games is definitely on to something with TouchyBooks. It’s a clever little app that more-or-less digitizes the experience found in most “board books,” letting young readers (or lookers, really) tap all over the screen to generate sounds and movement. If I were a kid, my parents would never let me hold an iPhone, but if they did this would be a great alternative to a typical bedtime story.
As great as the app may be, this new 2.0 update sweetens the deal immensely. Among the plethora of additions that aren’t all detailed, including a revamped design and a search feature (wow, it must have been rough without that one), are a couple of ideas that are just as smart as the app itself. First, all of the books (full copies, not free samples) can be rated by users. The Amazon-like five star rating system may seem obvious now, but it makes searching through the store a bit less of a hassle. Secondly, there’s the autoplay option. Wow. I mean, the whole narration/interaction thing is smart, but adding the choice to automatically read through a title is borderline brilliant. It’s perfect for kids that are old enough to “read” along, but aren’t quite ready to start poking at things.
Were I a parent, I’d be all over TouchyBooks. This is an awesome app for kids that are just starting to tip a toe into the waters of literacy, as well as a solid tool for helping more advanced “learning-to” readers. Anyone even vaguely familiar with browsing the App Store will find navigation a breeze, and the titles in this limited (but still fairly substantial) library are priced very respectably. Parents, check this one out ASAP.
Released: 2010-10-20 :: Category: Books