Great Apps for the over 12s

Today’s post is my final installment on apps for children and young people.  The over 12s category is probably the hardest to narrow down to just five apps, as there are so many available for this age group, especially the 15 – 18 year olds studying for their GCSEs and A Levels.  I only wish the iPad had been around back in the early ‘90s!  

DK The Human Body App – £4.99 for the iPad 

Human Biology was one of my favourite subjects whilst studying for my GCSEs.  If the whole tablet / smartphone phenomena had been around then, I would definitely have bought this award-winning app.  It explores the amazing human body, offering hours of learning, entertainment and enjoyment.  It is in the form of an interactive book containing in-depth material, including articles, videos and 3D graphics.  Many teachers and educators have recommended it as a “must-have app” for anybody studying the human physiology.  DK The Human Body App isn’t available on Android, but I felt that Human Body Anatomy was a suitable option from Google Play for £1.23.

Shakespeare in Bits:  Hamlet, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth – £10.49 per book from iTunes.  This is a universal app – pay once and it’s on all your Apple devices.

This app brings Shakespeare to life for youngsters studying the Bard’s work.  The developers wanted to make Shakespeare’s plays more accessible, which I feel they have wholly achieved.  Each play is divided into easily digestible parts, with fabulous cartoon animation (don’t be fooled into thinking it’s childish, it’s not) and voiceover acting for each scene.  The Shakespeare in Bits series feature the full un-abridged works with the original text.  There is in-line translation to help readers understand some of the difficult words and phrases.  The app is a combination of text, coupled with side-by-side animation, with the facility to access biographies of the characters and to see a character relationship map.  I only wish that I’d had access to something as brilliant as this whilst I was studying Romeo and Juliet, as I’m sure I would have aced my GSCE with an A* instead of an A!  Julius Caesar will be released shortly.  Unfortunately this app isn’t available for Android and there wasn’t a suitable alternative.

Slice It! – £0.69 from iTunes and free on Android

This is a challenging puzzle game, with a maths-geometry slant to it.  The basis of the app is to slice different shapes into a specified number of parts, but to complete it in the required number of slices, making sure the pieces are all of the same size.  It starts off very easily:  slicing a square into two halves and splitting a triangle into three and so on, but as you progress through each level it gets more difficult.  There are 200 stages within the game and as you progress, you’ll encounter different types of obstacles.  A perfect score is achieved if you slice the object exactly into equivalent pieces; after each slice, your slicing abilities are graded one to five stars.  Stars earn Hints that can be used to unlock tips at any level, and these can be banked for use when you get stuck.

Revision App – The Ultimate Revision Tool – free from iTunes

This app covers the following levels:  University, GCSEs, A-Levels and SAT.  GCSEs and A-Levels are UK exams, whilst SAT are US ones.  It is a great revision aid, especially since it’s free!  Each level contains different subjects and within those subjects are flash card questions.  Having this kind of app on your iPhone, iTouch or iPad is a great way to be able to revise when out and about – no more wasting time on the bus!  There are University, A-Level and GCSE revision notes pre-installed within the app and there is the facility to get many more at just the tap of a finger in.  Students can create their own flash cards and can track their progress to see how they’re doing versus previous answers.  All in all, a great little app to support the revision process!  This app isn’t available for Android and there wasn’t really a suitable alternative – sorry!

Exam Prep by Andrew Johnson – £1.99 from iTunes and £1.90 for Android

If you read the post on Health & Fitness apps, you’ll know how much I love the Deep Sleep app by Andrew Johnson.  So, when I discovered he had an app called Exam Prep, I was extremely intrigued.  The Domestic King will tell you I was a basket case when studying for my exams (and the Domestic Prince can corroborate that nothing changed 6 years on and the same applied when I was taking my investment management exams.)  So, had this app been available during these testing (no pun intended) times, I would have been a definite buyer of this app.  This app will help the listener focus, improve concentration and overcome test or examination nerves.  You’ll still need to put in the hard-work with revision, but if his Relax and Positivityapps are anything to go by, they should help anybody studying for a test or exam to feel much better going into the exam room.

This post concludes the series on apps for children.  I hope you’ve all enjoyed it and found some useful ones for the little and young people in your lives.  There will be more posts in the app series over the coming weeks, but I’d love to hear from you if there are any categories you’d particularly like me to cover?  Or, if you’ve downloaded an incredible app!  Please share!

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

Great Apps for 9 to 12 years olds

Friday was all about apps for the 5 to 9 year olds, so in the third post of the series on apps for children, I’m focusing on the 9 to 12 year olds.  Without further ado, here we go!

Whale Trail – £0.69 from iTunes and £0.99 for Android

This is a great game, with gorgeous animation featuring a cute whale called Willow.  You have to guide Willow around the skies, whizzing through a magical rainbow trying to escape the evil clutches of Baron von Barry.  The user manoeuvres Willow by tapping the screen to make him fly upwards, following a trail of bubbles to sustain his flight, all the while trying to avoid the angry clouds that weaken his energy.  He can collect stars on the journey that allows him temporarily to attack his enemy clouds.  The game flows well and has wide-appeal, and like most of these games is extremely addictive.

Music Theory for Beginners – £1.99 from iTunes

This is a great app for making learning music theory fun!  An owl guides you through 22 lessons that cover the major theory concepts or ideas:  reading notes, rhythm, harmony and so on.  Each topic comes with an interactive quiz, so you can test your knowledge of what you’ve learnt.  If you do well on the quiz, you’ll receive an achievement badge, which allows you to progress to the next level.

This app will help youngsters acquire the knowledge of music theory that may be part of their schools’ curriculum, as well as becoming a better musician if they’re learning to play an instrument.  Unfortunately this is only available for Apple products and I couldn’t find a suitable alternative for Android.

Body Organs 4 Kids – £0.69 from iTunes

If your children are starting to show an interest in how the human body works, this app is exactly what you’re looking for!  It covers 18 different body organs, with each section beginning where a particular organ is located within the body.  They’ll learn lots of interesting things including facts about each organ, how to keep the organ healthy, and what problems can arise if the organ doesn’t function properly.  This is a fairly basic app, but it does exactly what it says on the tin!  Again, there’s not really an app for Android that comes close.

Inside Nature’s Giants – £1.99 for the iPad

This app is the official companion from the Channel 4 show of the same name.  It explores the anatomy of some of the largest animals on our planet, revealing how these incredible creatures truly function.  The app is beautifully presented with interactive elements, lots of video clips, including some pretty gruesome ones!  Using this app, you’ll find out why giraffe’s don’t faint all the time, despite having very high blood pressure and a heart the size of a human’s, why crocodiles are terrible at chewing, despite having the strongest bite of all animals and why a squid has three hearts and passes food through it’s brain!  By exploring these giants, you’ll discover answers to these and many more questions!  The photographs and video are not for the faint-hearted, so it’s definitely an app more appropriate for older children.  You probably won’t want use this straight after supper!  This is not available for Android I’m afraid.

Scrabble – £0.69 for the iPhone & iTouch, £1.49 for the iPad and free for Android

This is a great app to help children build vocabularies and improve their spelling, whilst having fun!  The app is a true replica of the traditional board game with great graphics.  The app has many tools that make discovering words an enjoyable experience for youngsters.  You can play against the computer or choose the pass ‘n’ play option to play against friends and family.  The “teacher” feature is excellent and can be clicked on after each turn to recommend the word which would have achieved the highest score  – so the more you play the better you’ll get!  And just like the Monopoly championship, I’m up 3-1 against The Domestic Prince in the Scrabble series!

Do you have any suggestions for apps for the 9-12 year old age groups?  Have you got any of these apps?  And if so, what do you think of them?

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

 

 

 

Great Apps for 5 to 9 year olds

Yesterday, I wrote about my five favourite apps for the under 5s, so today, I’m moving up an age group to the 5 to 9 year olds.

Cut the Rope – £0.69 for the iPhone & iTouch and £1.49 for the iPad; £0.62 for Android

This game involves a cute, but ugly monster called Om Nom who you have to feed by solving puzzles using tools such as pulleys and catapults.  It starts off with a mysterious parcel arriving that is labelled “feed with candy”.  From then on you have to figure out how to catapult the candy into his mouth by cutting the rope!  Along the way you gain stars for the fastest time, minimum rope cuts and to gain access to new levels.  It’s a physics based puzzle game, which is straightforward but can be challenging and is incredibly addictive!

Rocket Math – £0.69 from iTunes.  This is a universal app – pay once and it’s on all your Apple devices.

This is an award winning educational game app based on arithmentic and basic maths, requiring children to undertake 56 maths missions.  The object of the game is for children to earn money by completing the different maths missions to build rockets.  This app covers:  numbers, fractions and decimals, counting, telling-time, dealing with money, 2D and 3D shapes, patterns, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square roots and much more.  The app has quite a long age span, and would probably appeal to 10 / 11 year olds (depending upon their ability), as well as younger children .

Since this is a US designed app, the money element of the game is in US Dollars, but the concept of working out how to deal with money is still relevant.  This app really turns learning maths into a game and is suitable for both boys and girls.  Rocket Math isn’t available for Android, but I found Math Number game as a possible alternative and as a bonus, it’s free from Google Play.

Barefoot World Atlas – £5.49 for the iPad (quite pricey, but so worth it!)

This is a fabulous, interactive children’s world atlas.  Although designed for children, I have really enjoyed playing with it over the last few days.  This app is a delight to use and explore, and has wonderful animation that brings the world alive for little ones.

The app works as an interactive 3D globe, where the child can spin, zoom or fly around the globe with a swipe of their finger, zoom in and out on countries, or search for specific continents, oceans and countries.  The app shares with the user some amazing information about our world including wildlife, landmarks, famous buildings, live data for every country and the most up-to-date weather readings!  Using this app, children of all ages will love learning about the world they live in!  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an alternative for Android that came anywhere close to this app at all – sorry!

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore – £2.99 for the iPad

This is a fantastic, creative and interactive book that evolved from an award winning short-film.  The app is part story, part animation and part game.

The story is about Mr Lessmore’s love of, and obsession with books, which is always a good thing to celebrate!  The app has beautiful artwork, and children will enjoy having the book read to them, or reading it themselves as well as exploring the interactive element.  Children of all ages will thoroughly enjoy this book; avid readers will struggle to put this down.  The reviews on the iTunes store are overwhelmingly positive, and as one reviewer of the app says: ”a revolutionary use of the iPad!” – I couldn’t agree more!  Since this is such a unique book, there really wasn’t a suitable substitute available for Android.

Monopoly – £0.69 from iTunes and £2.99 for Android

I’m pretty sure everybody is familiar with the Monopoly board game that has universal appeal.  This app is a great translation of the traditional game into an electronic setting. You can play in single-player mode against the computer or play against up to 3 other players and can adjust the difficulty of the game depending on the age group of the players.  This app hasn’t strayed too far from the original game and the familiar pieces and board look great in digital form.

We love this game….well actually, I probably love it more than the Domestic Prince, whom I bankrupted during our last two games!

 

Do you have any of these apps for your children?  Do you think they’d like them?  Would you like to see more posts on app suggestions for children?  If so, any specific categories that you’d like me to look at?  Appy downloading!

With much love

The Domestic Princess

Xoxo

Great Apps for the Under 5s

These days, smartphones and tablets aren’t just for adults.  I’ve seen children as young as 12 months adeptly manoeuvring around the touch screen.  Many an iPad has been purchased for the adults of the family, only for it to be commandeered by the little ones in the roost.

Well, in light of this growing trend, I thought I’d turn my attention to the apps that have been designed specifically for the younger generation.  There is a plethora of apps available for children, so I’ve restricted my choice to the ones that I would be happy for any little ones in our lives to use.

The decision on whether to let your children use electronic gadgets is such a personal one, and not for one moment am I advocating that you should be allowing your children to use smartphones and tablets.  It’s your choice, and your choice alone.

The focus of my most favoured apps, is definitely more educationally orientated than games focused, as most children are already more than familiar with the games available, such as Angry Birds etc.  However, most of the educational apps, are structured as a game.

I’m splitting today’s post over four posts (yes there’s extra posts this week!), as I was struggling to only select one or two per age group.  So today will be apps appropriate for 6mths – 5 years and tomorrow will be for the 5 – 9 year olds.  With the 9 – 12 and 12+ age brackets following on Friday and Monday.

Peekaboo Barn – £1.49 from iTunes and £1.89 from Android

This is a very sweet app, aimed at the 6-month+ age group.  It’s a cause and effect app, whereby the child touches the screen and something happens.  The premise of the game is for the child to touch the door of the red barn, which opens the door revealing an animal inside that then, barks, moos or quacks etc.  It’s a pretty simple app, but is great for helping little ones hone their fine motor skills.  There are other “Peekaboo” apps that use different animals:  Peekaboo Wild, Peekaboo Forest.

Peppa Pig’s Party Time – £2.99 from iTunes

As Clare mentioned in her post on Rainy Day Activities for Toddlers, her two little ones love Peppa Pig, so I’m sure they’d enjoy this app.  The app offers either single player or multi-player mini-games.  Your little ones will get to help Peppa design the party invitations, create the party bags, bake and decorate cakes and play traditional party games.  A must for all Peppa Pig fans!  Peppa Pig’s Party Time isn’t available on Android, but Peppa Pig – Polly Parrot is available from Google Play for £1.99.

Wheels on the Bus – £0.69 for iPhone & iTouch and £1.49 for the iPad; £1.27 for Android

This is a great entertaining and very interactive app, based on the popular nursery song and created by parents.  Each screenshot shows a different part of the song.  The child touches the arrows at the bottom of the screen to move forwards and backwards through the song.  They get to swish the wipers, open and close the doors, spin the wheels and so much more.  One of the great features of this app is the ability to record your child signing the song and then play it back. 

My Very First App – £1.49 from iTunes

This app is based on Eric Cale’s artwork from his series “My First Books”.  I love Eric Cale’s books, especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so when I discovered this app, it absolutely had to feature on the list!  The app is separated into three levels of difficulty:  Easy (ages 1-3yrs), Medium (2yrs+) and Difficult (3yrs+).  The Easy level requires the child to match the colour to the items of the same colour.  The Medium level is a memory game where the child turns over to cards to match-up colours.  The Difficult level combines the two previous levels, whereby you have to match the colours on the cards with the objects.  A great app, showcasing Eric Cale’s gorgeous artwork.  Unfortunately My Very First App isn’t available on Android, but a good alternative for the memory element of the app would be Animals Memory Game available for £0.60 from Google Play.

Pop Out! The Tale of Peter Rabbit – £3.17 from the US iTunes store and £3.09 from Google Play

I adore the charming Tale of Peter Rabbit, which is so reminiscent of my childhood and was thrilled when I found out it was available as an interactive book on Apple and Android products.  It takes the beautifully illustrated original book and brings it to life in digital form with brilliant clarity.  Your little one may find wheels to spin or tabs to pull and some images seem to leap out at you.  There are over 50 pages of text in this app; nothing has been omitted from the original story and the narration fits perfectly.  Definitely worth buying in my opinion!

A tip from the Domestic Prince:

The Domestic Prince has an app called Free App Magic on his iPad that gives you the option of downloading three free apps everyday.  It’s hit and miss with regards to the quality of the app, but some have proven quite good.

Have you got any of these apps?  Is there a fight in your household over the use of your smartphones and tablets?  What are your children’s favourite apps?  And do you agree with children using smartphones and tablets?  I’d love to hear from you.

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

Health & Fitness Apps

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the basic apps I can’t do without on my iPhone, and promised to come back and share some of my other favourite apps.  So here are the health and fitness apps I find really useful.  There are literally thousands of such apps available, so this is just a very small selection of the ones out there.  Again, I’m focusing on the iPhone, but if the app is available on Android I’ll mention it, if not, I’ve selected an alternative.

Walkmeter – £1.99 on iPhone

This was one of the first health and fitness apps I downloaded.  I was back in London organising our wedding and wanted to track how far I was walking everyday.  I must confess using this app became quite addictive.  The Walkmeter turns your iPhone into a GPS tracking device and tracks your route, records your time and speed.  It also allows you to race against your previous time on the same route.  I became obsessed with beating my time for my regular routes and still use it religiously when in London or New York.  Walkmeter isn’t available on Android ‘phones, but a good alternative is My Track, which is free from Google Play.

Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson – £1.99 on iPhone and £1.86 on Android

About a year ago I was having trouble dropping off to sleep, so decided to see if iTunes had an app that might help.  My search led me to the Deep Sleep app and it worked a treat.  This app is a guided meditation programme designed to put you into a deep sleep.  Andrew’s voice is very calm and soothing – I don’t think I’ve listened to more than the first 10 minutes before dropping off!  I pop this on whenever I want to make sure I have a deep night’s sleep.

Sleep Cycle – £0.69 on iPhone

I can’t quite remember why I downloaded this app….I think I read somebody raving about it somewhere.  Anyhow, this app is basically an alarm clock that analyses your sleep patterns, monitors your movements and wakes you up when you’re in the lightest phase of your sleep.  This means you wake feeling refreshed, well-rested and ready to tackle another day!  Sleep Cycle isn’t available on Android, but I found a similar app, which is called Sleep Android and is priced at £1.49.

5K Runner:  couch to 5K – £1.99 on iPhone 

I’m not a natural runner and never have been, however, this app is helping me go from zero to 5k.  It’s an 8-week program where you start by just walking and gradually increase the walking to running ratio, until you’re running a full 5k non-stop!  You can still listen to your own music while the app runs and the audio coach (either a beep or a voice) tells you when to change from walking to running.  The alternative for Android ‘phones is the C25K Pro, which is £1.29.  If you don’t want to shell out either £1.99 or £1.29 on either of these apps, there are free versions of both in iTunes and Google Play.

Smoothie Selector – £0.69 on iPhone

I love smoothies and when in the UK an Innocent smoothie used to form part of my daily breakfast.  Now that I live in India this is no longer possible, so I was thrilled to discover the Smoothie Selector app.  It allows you to find recipes based on different goals, ranging from breakfast, health boosters, meal replacement, weight loss and muscle building.  The app provides nutritional information for every recipe, which I love.  Smoothie Selector isn’t available for the Android, so the next best thing is an app called Smoothie Recipes and is free.

Runkeeper – Free on iPhone and Android

Just like the Walkmeter app, the Runkeeper app uses the iPhone’s GPS technology to track your runs.  There are two modes you can choose:  GPS or Manual entry. You are not restricted to entering running info, it covers other activities too, such as cycling, swimming, mountain biking and even cross-country skiing!  The app synchs with the Runkeeper website where you can build-up a history of all your activities.  I think my favourite feature of this app is the ability to have updates on how you’re doing versus previous runs.

Nike Training Club – Free on iPhone

This is a great app and acts as your very own personal trainer – so brilliant when you’re travelling and may not have access to your regular PT.  The app provides 85 different workouts that are either 30 or 45 minutes long. Like the Runkeeper and 5K Runner apps, you can listen to your own music / playlists whilst the app is running.  Unfortunately, Nike Training Club isn’t available on Android ‘phones but I’ve found what seems like a good alternative and that is Workout Trainer, which is also free.

MyFitness Pal – Free on iPhone and Android

Anybody who’s tried or is trying to lose weight, knows the importance of keeping a track of your calories in and calories out, well, MyFitness Pal helps you to do exactly this.  It’s a brilliant calorie counter with over a million foods in its food database.  You enter into the database the food you’ve eaten and exercise undertaken and it calculates the calories eaten and used.  It even has a barcode facility for you to scan the packaging of the foods you’ve eaten.  You can log on to myfitnesspal.com to see detailed reports on how you’re doing.  It has an average of 5 * rating in iTunes from over 17,000 reviewers, and over 80,000 5* reviews in Google Play.  I think this speaks volumes!

Web MD – Free on iPhone and Android

I’m sure I’m not the only one to ask Dr Google what’s wrong with me when I’m feeling unwell!  So, to find that Web MD (the leading online medical information provider) has an app available was music to my ears.  This app provides:  a symptom checker, information on different conditions, an extensive database on drugs and treatments, as well as an essential first aid guide.  They’ve also recently launched the Web MD Baby app, which gives you quick access to baby health and wellness information whenever needed.  NB although Web MD and Web MD Baby is a useful source of preliminary information, it should not be a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis and treatment available from your physician or other qualified health practitioner.

Well, I hope this little list will help keep you all wonderfully fit and  healthy!  Do you have any health and fitness apps downloaded that aren’t on my list?  If so, I’d love to hear about them.

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

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