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Kids Email Safety App Tocomail Adds Bullying Recognition Filter

Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 11th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Tocomail is an interesting app geared towards the parents of kids that have access to email. The app sports a kid-friendly interface, personalized email addresses, and more premium features that help manage who and what their kids interact with electronically.

Now the app has added another feature: the ability to apply a bullying recognition filter to incoming emails. The filter looks for key words and contextual phrases, and when email messages containing such are found they are quarantined for further attention from parents/responsible adults, at which point it can be released to the child or disposed of.

Tocomail is available in a free iteration on the App Store; the aforementioned premium features are available for $2.99/month or $29.99/year via in-app purchase.

Angry Birds Creator Rovio Announces Kid-Centric Publishing Initiative

Posted by Jeff Scott on February 27th, 2014

Makers of the two billion times downloaded Angry Birds series of games, Rovio, have announced via sister site Pocketgamer.biz that they are opening up a publishing division focusing on fun learning apps for kids 3-12. The goal being to take learning games in a whole new direction. Rovio is looking for developers in this space that can help them in this quest. The first chance to talk to them about it will be at our Big Indie Pitch event during GDC week in San Francisco.

"When kids are bored, their learning plummets," detailed the Finnish firm in a statement given to PocketGamer.biz.

"When they're engaged, anything's possible. So we're looking for new game ideas to entertain kids and motivate them to learn. Games that parents can also feel good about."

Favorite Four: Halloween Apps for Kids

Posted by Lisa Caplan on October 22nd, 2012

Kids get excited about holidays long before they happen. And no holiday is more geared towards kids than Halloween. In keeping with October's spooky spirit  we've rounded up our favorite four apps, new and classic, to keep sugar-buzz-ready kids happy and maybe save mom and dad from a few "how much longer's?"

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

From Loud Crow Interactive comes the follow-up to last Christmas season's smash digital book, A Charlie Brown ChristmasBorrowing the same general design, they bring another timeless Peanuts classic TV special to iOS- It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Narrated again by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown, kids can wait along with Linus for The Great Pumpkin or go trick-or-treating with Charlie Brown, Lucy and the rest of the gang all with digitally remastered drawings. Along with a retelling of the story and some sing-a-long sections there are also avatars, mini-games and lots of touch points. The only thing parents should note is that there are in-app purchases for coins, needed to unlock all the features. This may seem worrisome with little fingers, but don't forget you can turn off in-app purchases in your iOS Settings.

LEGO® Halloween Creationary

Not a building game, but rather a "build-and-guess" board game this LEGO-branded title is ideal for younger kids who enjoy seek-and-finds with spooky twists. A roll of the magic dice determines the category: Creatures, Places, Things and Costumes and then the game starts assembling an item in that category. Kids try to guess the halloween-themed object against the clock.

ClickySticky Halloween Sticker Book

Part sticker book, part Colorforms, kids can move and reuse the dozens of Halloween-themed virtual stickers on four thematic backdrops: Haunted Mansion - Trick or Treat, Candy Bag,  Costume Dress-up and Jack-o-Lantern Creator to make sticker pages that tell stories and are infinitely reusable. This app, like the rest of the ClickSticky series, has a simple and responsive interface that appeals to young children, but remains engaging to my son for a third season owing to his ever-expanding imagination and the free-form play.

Plants vs Zombies

This title is not precisely Halloween-themed but remains a perennial iOS favorite year after year with a perfectly seasonal cast. PvZ is a castle defender, meaning zombies attack a home base, in this case an actual home, and its up to players to place plants, which serve as all kinds of crazy weapons, to keep the undead marauders from making it across the backyard. The iPhone version is a bare-bones iteration of the hit PC/Mac game from PopCap while the iPad version gets continual updates to include features gamers love like the Zen Garden and Vasebreaker Mode. The best thing about the title is kids as young as five or six can grasp the concept but it's appeal is ageless. And these zombies are definietly rated G for goofy, not gory.

This Week at 148Apps: April 23-27

Posted by Chris Kirby on April 28th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

This week at 148Apps.com iPad cases were on our collective minds. First, site editor Rob LeFebvre reviewed the new Hammerhead Capo Case, stating, "The Hammerhead Capo case is a solid, good looking basic case for $40. It comes in black, blue, white, red or orange leather-grained polyurethane. It covers the whole iPad, with molded open areas for the dock port, headphone jack, rear camera, and volume buttons."

Read Rob's full review of the Hammerhead Capo Case on 148Apps.

Meanwhile, Lisa Caplan also took a closer look at Brydge, a new Kickstarter project. Lisa writes, "There is a new Kickstarter project, Brydge, by Brad Leong that will come close to converting an iPad into a notebook with a hinged aluminum case and Bluetooth keyboard that looks a lot like a Macbook."

Read Lisa's full commentary on 148Apps.

We also had many, many new kid-friendly app reviews on GiggleApps, including Amy Solomon's review of the latest Toca game, Toca Kitchen Monsters. Solomon says, "I have a real treat for readers today as I would like to announce that recently, Toca Boca released a free version of their popular digital toy app, Toca Kitchen. Titled Toca Kitchen Monsters, this new app includes two monster characters whom players can cook for and feed, complete with monster-like table manners and house-keeping skills."

Read the full review on GiggleApps.

Children's apps were the focus on 148Apps.biz as well, as Kevin Stout reported on a new study released by Ruckus Media Group. Stout writes, "Parents are tough customers to please. While it’s obvious that children’s apps and games need to be appealing to kids, it’s the parents that those apps are really targeting. Ruckus Media Group just announced the results of its national study about children’s educational apps and parental preferences. The research, done with research group, PlayScience, looked to investigate what app experiences parents provide for their children, what parents prioritize in children’s apps, parents’ involvement in their childrens’ reading, and parental guilt with digital devices. We spoke to CEO of Ruckus Media Group, Rick Richter, and obtained some additional information about the study."

Read more about the new study from Ruckus Media Group on 148Apps.biz.

Thew news, reviews and contests keep on coming across all of the 148Apps network of sites. Keep up to date with the latest by following us on Twitter and Liking us on Facebook. You won't regret it. Until next week...bye ya'll!