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


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





So App-ealing

It’s no secret how much I love my iPhone; I think it is a brilliant device and I’m not quite sure how I ever lived without it!  Being so far away from friends and family, means I can keep in contact with them when I’m in the car for hours on end.  But, it’s not just the email facility that makes the iPhone my must have gadget.  It’s the huge array of apps that are available.  There is an app for pretty much every thing!

Below is my selection of the basic apps that I can’t do without.  I’m focusing on the iPhone, as that’s what I use, but where the app (or an alternative) is available for an Android ‘phone, I’ll highlight it.  Over the coming weeks, I’ll be suggesting more apps that might be of interest.

Google maps – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

Whatever you do, do not delete this app!  An amazing app, which has got me where I need to on countless occasions and probably helped avert many a marital breakdown.

Find My iPhone – free

This was one of the first apps I downloaded, as being slightly dizty, and prone to losing/ misplacing ‘phones, I thought it would be pretty essential.  Thankfully, I haven’t had to use it yet.  However, should that fateful day happen, the Find My iPhone app will let me locate it from my Mac and protect all the data on there.  I’ll be able to see where my iPhone is on a map and display a message on it, remotely lock it or wipe all my data held on the ‘phone.  Phew!  But, fingers crossed I never have to do this…..The app for Android ‘phones is called Plan B and is free to install and the great thing about this app, is that you can install it AFTER you’ve lost your ‘phone – genius.  Apple are you listening?

 Instagram – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones 

Instagram is a simple way to make the pictures you take on your ‘phone look so much better, as there are several gorgeous filters that you can choose to apply.  You can also choose to share your ‘photos with other Instagram users or post them to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.  I love the “Earlybird” effect.

Facebook – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones 

There’s not much to say about this app, except from it let’s you keep up with your friends when you’re on the move, including the chat function.  Another good feature of Facebook mobile is that you can check-in to different places, which sometimes gain you some nice freebies!  Also, you can see if any friends are nearby.

Tube Map – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones 

This is the most downloaded tube app, which I think speaks volumes.  This app allows you to check your Oyster balance, plan the quickest route, check which route has the least number of changes, find out what lines are down and see live departure and station information.  Essential for any Londoner or somebody who is a regular visitor to the capital.

UK Train Times – £4.99 on iPhone 

For anyone commuting, this app is a must-have.  It provides real-time journey planning across the National Rail network, together with live arrival and departure information, even including the platform trains will depart from.  There’s a great “Next Train Home” feature that will automatically find your nearest train station and plans your journey home (to avail of this function, you need to set your “home’ station).  This exact app isn’t available for Android ‘phones, however, a good alternative that offers pretty much the same features is Rail Commute – Live UK Trains for £2.49 from Google Play.

TuneIn Radio – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

This app is wonderful and lets you listen to your favourite radio station wherever in the world you might be.  Plug your device into a docking station or a set of speakers and hey presto, you have what is essentially a DAB radio!

Viber – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

This app allows you to make free calls (including international ones) to other Viber users using 3G or wi-fi.  It’s great for keeping costs down when travelling.  All calls from Viber-to-Viber are 100% free – bargain!

Whatsapp Messenger – £0.69 on iPhone & free on Android ‘phones

 This app is a great alternative to sending costly SMS and functions across different handset types, so save yourself some money and get this installed asap!

Shazam – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

When I first used this app, it felt magical and I’m still in awe of it.   If you love music, then you’ll love this app.  So, how does it work?  If a song comes onto the radio you don’t know, but would like to, simply hold your ‘phone near to the source of the music and the app “listens” to it and then tells you the name of it.  Genius!

AroundMe – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

This app makes use of Google’s location-aware software.  No matter where you are it can locate points of interest that are near to you.  The app quickly identifies your position and allows you to choose the nearest hospital, hotel, cinema (movie theater), supermarket, taxi rank, restaurant, petrol (gas) station.  You can choose to see the point of interest on a map, view the best route to it, email the information to a friend and add the information to your contacts.  This is a great app and is especially useful when visiting a new place. – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

This is a new download to my iPhone.  I was recently reading away from home with no wi-fi access and poor 3G reception, and needing to look-up word definitions, thankfully solved this problem.  It contains a million definitions, and is most importantly available offline.  The app also includes a thesaurus.  It’s a very fast app and that includes phonetic and audio pronunciation of words.

Red Laser – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

Now, who doesn’t love a bargain?  I know I do!  This app is great at helping you find the lowest prices possible.  You use your ‘phone to scan the barcode and the app searches for the best prices for the item – especially useful on big ticket items.  A must have app for all shopaholics!

BBC News – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

This app gives you quick access to breaking news – great for keeping abreast of current affairs whilst on the move.

What are your must have apps?  And do you think there are any essential apps that I’ve missed?  I’d love to hear from you.

With much love

The Domestic Princess


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