Tag Archives: apps
Disney has dissolved the video game development arm of its Lucasfilm acquisition; Google announces the Blink web rendering engine and Twitter tweaks its mobile apps.
Little Critter, the ambiguously rodent-like character from children’s author Mercer Mayer’s beloved series, has come a long way since his publishing debut in 1975. Stepping into the 21st century, Little Critter is starring in new interactive adventures for young children thanks to kids’ educational/activity books publisher Silver Dolphin Books. The premiere releases are The Trip – Little Critter Reading Adventure and The Trip – Little Critter GamePak; both available now for the iOS, Android, Nook and Kindle platforms. Both are produced by Appy Award winner John R. Sansevere (Little Critter: Where Is My Frog).
The Trip – Little Critter Reading Adventure app ($ 3.99) is based on the book by Mayer and features his original artwork. The app invites children to travel with Little Critter and his family on a road trip. Kids can help choose the route the family will take to explore the countryside, city, beach and more; surmount obstacles like a horse in the road or fixing the car; and interact with the app environment by feeding seagulls or even grabbing a hot dog. Along the way players will also enjoy games with Little Sister. The app is recommended for kids 3-7 and employs basic preschool and early elementary curriculum through features like inventory collection and selection (problem solving), hidden alphabet flashcards (letter recognition) and puzzles. Other features include text highlighting, visual interactive item clues and audio narration for non-readers. A free lite version is also available for Android, Nook and Kindle with iOS coming soon.
Supporting the storybook app is The Trip – Little Critter GamePak. Divided into two sections, the GamePak includes five game themes including Dot-to-Dot, Mazes, Matching Pictures and Words, and How Many? This app also introduces the company’s new Digistix feature—interactive, animated stickers with sound effects—with over 175 digital stickers available across five game themes. The GamePak will be regularly priced at $ 3.99 but is available at a first 30 days introductory price of $ 2.99.
Battlefield 4 reveal set for March 26. Samsung Pumps Up The Galaxy S 4?s Keyboard With Some Of SwiftKey’s Text Input Tech. Samsung to release high-end Tizen smartphone in August. Sprint will launch an all-touch BlackBerry phone in 2012, but not the Z10
TORONTO (Reuters) – Humans aren’t the only species on the planet with a penchant for electronic gadgets. Zookeepers across the United States and Canada are discovering that apes also get excited about apps.
As part of a program called Apps for Apes, 12 zoos across the two countries have been incorporating iPads into the enrichment time allotted for orangutans, the giant furry red primates native to Indonesia and Malaysia.
“We’re finding that, similar to people, they like touching the tablet, watching short videos of David Attenborough for instance, and looking at other animals and orangutans,” said Richard Zimmerman, founding director of Orangutan Outreach, the New York City-based non-profit that runs the program.
Twice weekly, orangutans are provided with access to the tablets. The animals spend from 15 minutes to a half hour using different apps depending on their attention span.
Apps geared towards children that stimulate activities such as painting, music and memory games are among the most popular apps with the apes.
At the Toronto Zoo, zookeeper Matthew Berridge uses apps such as Doodle Buddy for drawing, Montessori Counting Board and Activity Memo Pocket, a memory game, in addition to playing YouTube videos for the apes.
“It’s a lot like when we’re showing children pop-up books,” said Zimmerman, adding that the orangutans are among the most intelligent primates, with the intelligence level of a young child.
Zookeepers are also investigating how communication apps, such as those for the autistic, can help the animals to express themselves better, according to Zimmerman.
“Let’s say an orangutan has a toothache. He or she would be able to then tap on the iPad on a picture of a tooth and communicate it that way,” he explained.
One very intelligent, but armless, orangutan at the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida is so intent on using the device that she uses her feet to navigate through the touchscreens.
“When you see the enjoyment and focus on their faces it’s special, especially for orangutans who are in an enclosure all day and you’re providing enrichment for them,” said Zimmerman.
Because the tablets are so fragile the zookeepers handle the apps while the animals navigate the touchscreen, but the organization is investigating creating larger, more rugged casings.
The program, which is not meant to replace physical stimulation or climbing, also aims to raise awareness about the threats orangutans face in the wild.
“We’re hoping that in that moment we can make a breakthrough with (zoo visitors] and say, ‘Listen, these are beautiful animals that are obviously curious and intelligent and not too far from us and this is what they’re dealing with in the wild,’” said Zimmerman.
Orangutans are critically endangered because of the rapid deforestation and expansion of palm oil plantations into their rainforest homes, he added.
The program, which relies on donated iPads, will soon be expanding to zoos across Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Europe.
More information about the project can be found on redapes.org/
(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Cynthia Osterman)
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Ahoy, boaters! Your may use your iPhone for everything from checking in with friends to paying for plane tickets, but it’s also your friend when you’re heading out on the water. If there’s something you need for boating, there’s probably an app for it.
Want to save money on fuel? Try the free Cheap Gas! app. Embarrassed because you can’t ever seem to tie proper knots, especially if somebody at the marina is watching? Invest $ 1.99 in ProKnot, and you’ll have help when you need it. Want to be able to sail by the stars — or at least impress others with your knowledge? For $ 3.99, you can have GoSkyWatch Planetarium. Point your phone at the sky, and the app will tell you what you’re seeing. Worried about a breakdown far from shore? Install the free BoatUS app. You can call for an on-water towing service, and the service can find you. Apps can help you find boat ramps, big fish and ships that might be in your path.
A word of caution: iPhone apps are great to have when you need them, but don’t depend too heavily on them. After all, you never know when your phone might failor go overboard. Have conventional boating tools at the ready.
Keep reading for a look at five especially useful apps.