Have you seen those little paper cards sitting next to the green cup stoppers at your local Starbucks? Don’t ignore them. Pick one up and flip it over — each card has a code for an iOS freebie on the back. Every Tuesday the ubiquitous coffee purveyor offers customers a free download or two. Frequently the codes offer a song from a popular artist such as Bruno Mars or Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, or an iOS app, an iBook, or an episode of a TV show to watch in iTunes.
Author Archive for Emily
Emily is a freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. You can contact her via Twitter: @whatwentwrite
While the short story often occupies a grey area in the world of literary fiction, ending up unjustly relegated to the status of the flashier novel’s annoying little brother, short stories offer let the reader glimpse inside a writer’s world without the commitment often required by a novel.
The recent addition of Paragraph Shorts magazine to Apple’s Newstand makes it easier than ever to enter the world of the story. If you haven’t read a short story since discovering O. Henry in eighth grade English class, then it might be time to try Paragraph Shorts.
Judging by the pledged support for MODO, Kickstarter users are serious about conquering the clutter that arises from multiple gadgets and (of course) the dreaded cords and chargers that accompany each gadget. MODO already surpassed its 17K funding goal, and there’s still three weeks remaining in its funding period.
Disney Junior‘s TV show Sofia the First is about a little girl in a blended family who’s trying to make her way in the kingdom of Enchancia. Disney’s first iOS app, Sofia the First: Story Theater includes both an interactive storybook and a puppet theater, so the reader can learn about Sofia, then create and record her own plays using a variety of royal props.
Sofia the First: Story Theater gives the reader a chance listen to (or read) a story about an regular girl in an extraordinary situation, then to enjoy the kind of creative, open-ended play that is the province of childhood. In other words, it’s a win-win.
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Disney American Presidents, the entertainment giant’s recent iPad-only edu-app for kids, is an informative and entertaining look at the American Presidency. The app includes go-to facts and sound bites for all 44 Presidents, as well as an instructional, and humorous, video for each president featuring commentary from political big wigs like Wesley Clark and Robert Reich, as well as the more offbeat opinions of comedian Mo Rocca.
Which President did ladies think was Mr. Congeniality? Which President got stuck in the White House bathtub? Disney American Presidents answers these questions, and offers a kid more than just the facts, so the app is sure to hold a child’s attention.
Nearly one year has passed since Apple announced its much anticipated Educational Event. Schools throughout the United States have responded by integrating iPads into their curriculum and classrooms at an impressive rate.
While the San Diego school district made headlines with its outsized order of 26,000 iPads last spring, initiatives with a more modest scope have cropped up in schools across the country. We reported on the Williamsville Central School District‘s iPad pilot plan as it launched last year. (Disclosure: my kids attend school in this district.) The pilot was so successful that WCSD, a large, suburban district located outside of Buffalo, NY expanded the project to include grades 4 and 6.
Using a style reminiscent of the late children’s book illustrator Simms Taback, IdentiKat adds a splash of colorful tromp l’oeil to the iPad. This universal iOS app allows a child (and, er, maybe an adult or two) to solve six adorable cat face puzzles in the Kat Cut section and create her own feline creations in the Kat Lab.
IdentiKat doesn’t rely on standard issue digital shapes or paint tools. Instead the app offers a wide selection of choices that look as if they came from a royal seamstresses scrap drawer. A kid can choose from buttons, brocades, and trims in every color of the rainbow when creating a cat. The puzzles use the same handsome assortment of pieces as well to create a parade of charming felines.
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After successfully porting its Small World board game to the iPad, Days of Wonder hopes to expand its offerings for this popular strategy game with a sequel, Small World 2. The French gaming powerhouse hopes to use its Kickstarter project to add player-requested enhancements including 3-5 player maps and online play to Small World 2.
I first learned that knot tying had its own culture almost by accident while reading Annie E. Proulx’s The Shipping News, a novel that quotes liberally from The Ashley Book of Knots. Beyond tying my shoes or making a jaunty bow with a silk scarf, I’d never given knots a second thought. I couldn’t explain the difference is between a half hitch and a rolling hitch, nor did I regularly concern myself with a rope’s breaking strain. More importantly, however, I hadn’t considered the knot as a tool that could be as indispensable as a hammer, stapler, or chef’s knife.
Enter Animated Knots by Grog HD to cure me of my knot nescience. This new iPad-only app (iPhone/iPod touch sold separately) which ported from Grog’s website of the same name. Animated Knots offers users an encyclopedic knot-tying instructional database.