148 Apps on Facebook 148 Apps on Twitter

Tag: 8.99 »

7notes HD Premium Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jennifer Allen on October 19th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CONVENIENT
A powerful handwriting recognition engine makes this app great for notetakers.
Read The Full Review »

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories - Dr. Seuss Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on October 17th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories - Dr. Seuss - is a wonderful anthology of stories originally published in magazines during the 1950’s and which have been rediscovered and recently published as a book title of the same name. It has also become an important universal app - a necessary addition to the library of any age fan of Dr. Seuss.

Seven stories are included, each full of the wondrous Dr. Seuss style of imaginative anthropomorphic characters, beautifully odd illustrations, and fantastical rhyming prose that Seuss is known for. I have decided not to synopsize each of these stories as I don’t want to rob readers of truly experiencing these stories for the first time, but this information is provided in this app's iTunes description if one is interested. I can say, however, that it is great fun to see some ideas used here re-worked into later stories, and it is good to know that these tales do each contain a narrative plot line - my favorite style of Seuss.

This app works the way the other Dr. Seuss apps from Oceanhouse Media do, offering readers the chance to read this book themselves, with narration or on auto play, which includes narration, but with pages that turn on their own - great for young children and even for putting the phone down and just listening to these magical stories. As this is a compilation of stories, first select a story with a tap as icons representing these tales are displayed on the title page of this app, and from here one can choose the reading style of interest. It is also nice that this app will save one’s space in a story, making it easy to pick up where one left off easily if the tale is not finished within one sitting.

We are fans of Dr. Seuss in our house, owning many of these apps based on classic Dr. Seuss books and short stories. I am always impressed with their use of the “Ken Burns effect" of panning and zooming the original artwork, bringing readers closer to specific details that highlight moments of these stories and the breaking down large pages of text into shorter verses that aid in the reading out loud of these stories.

Another aspect that Oceanhouse Media apps do well is giving users a chance to tap objects within these pages to both see and hear these items being highlighted, with a lovely style which thoughtfully does not speak over narration, and it is fun that when reading these stories to themselves, this interactive element still applies - nice touches that I appreciate.

It is also interesting how one can tap a single word or an entire paragraph to be read out loud - a very nice feature that also works when the narration is turned off, giving the reader help with word pronunciation or even tapping word-for-word for listening and developing a sense of sentence structure. I greatly enjoy as well the ambient noises and sound effects used within these stories, bringing a richness to these tales that is subtle yet extremely effective.

Readers of this specific app, The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories - Dr. Seuss - will enjoy the narration included as these tales are read by four very good professional voice actors as they each have a personal style that added to the story that is being narrated.

For me, the standout here is the narration by John Bell, who here reads The Bippolo Seed and Steak For Supper, as well as other Seuss books by Oceanhouse Media.

Bell has the perfect radio voice and his narrative abilities here remind me of a great Shakespearean actor who can recite lines of Shakespeare using subtle pauses and intonations in a way that makes these lines of dialogue utterly understandable and relatable - no small feat, to say the least.

Here, Bell has a knack for reading Seuss in a way that I find most engaging and comprehensible in a deeper sense than when I hear these stories read by other narrators, or when I try to read these stories out loud myself. I can also see my son most fascinated by Bell's narration, sitting up and taking in what he is listening to, mouth slightly open as he is enamored by what he is hearing. Bell’s choices for these character voices hit all the right notes and bring an important sense of emotion that I greatly enjoy, flushing out the great imagery created by Dr. Seuss, especially with The Bippolo Seed, sometimes wonderfully taking on tangents beyond the corresponding illustrations.

It is a selfish request of mine that I ask developers reading this review to consider John Bell for their next voiceover project as his voice talent is so great that I have bought apps based solely on his included narration and will continue to do so. I have also enjoyed his voice acting in the iPad eBook, Melvin Says There’s Monsters, also reviewed on GiggleApps.

I highly recommend this app to any fan of Dr Seuss for any age - from the very young to adult - as they are important works of early Dr. Seuss and I am super-excited that these stories have been re-discovered.

PrivateInfo-HD Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jennifer Allen on July 28th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SECURE
An ideal way to store information securely.
Read The Full Review »

Alice in New York Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By David Winograd on June 24th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: Wonderfully Well Crafted
Alice in New York for the iPad is one of the best looking and finest crafted examples of an interactive book to date. Although the word has been used to death, this time it's apt: It's magical.
Read The Full Review »

iDraw Review

By Brian Hudson on November 2nd, 2010
Graphic artists and designers looking for a vector-based drawing solution for their iPads might want to take a look at iDraw, a solid vector-based drawing app that lets anyone create good-looking designs.
Read The Full Review »

Dodonpachi Resurrection Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Brian Hudson on September 7th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: FANTASTIC SHOOTER
Dodonpachi Resurrection is a phenomenally crazy "bullet hell" shooter that boasts excellent gameplay and execution. Just don't spend too much time trying to figure out the plot.
Read The Full Review »

ESPGALUDA II In-Depth Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jason Fanguy on April 16th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: MIND BLOWING
Espgaluda II is a stunning, well-developed 2D vertical scrolling “manic-shooter” that has breathed new life into an otherwise stale, complacent genre and raised the bar for other 2D scrolling shooter developers. It's beautiful, fantastic game play and
Read The Full Review »

Final Fantasy II

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Bonnie Eisenman on February 25th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: BLAST FROM THE PAST...PART II
The second Final Fantasy game brings more old-school goodness with it. While I recommend starting with the first title, this one is still a solid port of a classic game.
Read The Full Review »