After dozens of rumors about Hulu coming to the iPhone, its finally happened. The biggest surprise came when they announced a monthly service fee to watch it on portable devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and PS3. The service fee will be $9.99 a month. From there, viewers will be able to watch their favorite shows, both current and past, search and browse for shows and video clips. Movies will also become available. A feature that users will sure to love, episodes and clips will pick up where left off in the event of a phone call on the iPhone or having to switch between applications. How nice, especially in the event of waiting in the doctor’s office! Viewers will be able to enjoy up to 720p HD resolution with multi bit rate support for viewing. The hulu+ app is free in the iTunes app store.
In the third installment of Toy Story from Pixar and Walt Disney, devoted movie goers will find out what happens to Woody and Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the toy box when Andy leaves home for college and adulthood.
Warning… for those who have not seen the movie yet, this app does give away key details in the plot.
The graphics in this app are gorgeous. Disney brings to life the magic of the movie to the small screen if the iPad. This app is a must for children of any age – readers and non-readers alike.
As with the other Toy Story Read-Along books for the iPad, this edition brings the characters to life with sound clips, featuring the voice talents of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and the rest of the TS3 cast. The app features two reading modes in which allow you and your child to follow along as the story is read aloud or to read at an individual pace. There is also a younger reading mode to simplify page turns. (Perfect for my two-year-old, JD!)
In the event a parent can not be around for story time, there is also an option for an adult to record their voice to narrate the story.
Also with the TS3 Read-Along, a free 30 day trial of DisneyDigitalBooks.com is included for parents to try out. This is an effort for Disney to expand their products to parents beyond the offerings on the iPad. Does Disney anticipate a toddler typing on a keyboard in addition to handling an iPad? oh well..
Since this is the first TS film to come out in 3D, there is an option to view the book in 3D. Just like in the theaters, 3d glasses are required and are available for free at Disney Stores around the country. For locations, click here.
To add to the fun, there are also puzzles, coloring pages, music and games to play in the app after the story is over.
The price for Toy Story 3 Read-Along is $8.99 and is available in the iTunes store.
I had an interesting conversation with my sister-in-law (SIL for short) yesterday. After expressing how hard the math curriculum has been for her son CL, I remembered an app in which drills students on their math skills. Regardless of where your child is at in their math skills, KosmicMath by SlothMedia, LLC, offers different tools for students, parents and even educators.
Rae, my SIL. is an excellent mom. After graduating at the top of her class in high school and in college, it was ‘eye-opening’ to hear her expressing frustration about how her son is learning third grade mathematics. After hearing that, I told her about KosmicMath.
Mind you, I have not purchased any of the other units available on iTunes. The only version that is installed on our iPad and iPhone is the LITE version, in which offers a skill drill in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. JD has played around with it, and loves the artwork in the app.
I became intrigued with KosmicMath’s platform and began to find out more information about it from SlothMedia’s website. According to the page devoted to KosmicMath, it says the following:
The Education version is designed for classroom and educator usage, allowing for teachers to monitor player response. According to the app describtion in iTunes, the Education version is
According to a recent CNET.com article, a PBS Kids study found mobile apps are a new source of learning. The findings reported that kids who played with educational iPhone apps, increased their vocabulary as much as 31 percent in two weeks. Kids in the study were playing with the PBS Kids app, Martha Speaks Dog Party ($2.99, iTunes).
“The Martha Speaks Dog Party app successfully extends our efforts to build oral vocabulary for four- to seven-year-olds, a core goal of Martha Speaks,” said WGBH Vice President of Children’s Media and Educational Programming Brigid Sullivan in a press release.
In the app, Martha Speaks features four different games. In the “Chow Time” game, kids build vocabulary by helping dogs clean their plates, identifying different shapes, patterns, colors and objects. Martha, the talking dog, explains what each word means. The app is based on the PBS Kids series Martha Speaks, about a beloved family dog who eats a bowl of alphabet soup and gains the power of human speech.
The study focused on a group of 90 Title One children ages three to seven. Each child played approximately 2.5 hours on the Martha Speaks app across the two week study period of five hours total time spent on the iPod Touch. The app was played with 11 times, and was self initiated time, not prescribed.
I just downloaded Martha Speaks for the iPhone and will report any results.
Though the CNET.com article is about results with a specific app, I have indeed found this to be true in general with JD. After playing with Monkey Preschool Lunchbox from THUP games, JD was able to figure out the concept of big and small, puzzles and matching. This is quite impressive for a little guy who just turned two in April. (I’m a biased mother! LOL)
Regardless of which app your child uses, work with them. Any child will benefit from close time with their parents. The apps should not take place of quality time with your child, though they can be used during quality time.
An iPhone Mom exclusive! In an email sent to the CEO of THUP Games via Facebook, this blogger inquired about a possible addition of including vegetables to Monkey Preschool Lunchbox. Peter Evan Ginsberg, CEO of THUP, responded immediately with this response:
“You’ll be pleased to know were actually working on an update to Lunchbox with this very thing. It’s going to be a few months before we’re done since we have some other work tying us up right now, but it will be coming as a free update.
Believe it or not, one of our biggest snags is what to call them. ‘Touch the red fruit’ rolls off the tongue, ‘Touch the red fruit or vegetable’ not so much. ‘Touch the red food’? I think we might go with ‘fruit or veggie’.
Thanks to Mr. Ginsberg for replying!
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When I received an iPod Touch from my husband one Christmas, I knew I would have a hard time putting it down. Little did I know at the time, my infant son would also have the same problem. After lots of playing and quickly finding out how much our family was using it, my husband upgraded us to an iPhone 3Gs. Goodbye iPod Touch, hello iPhone!
While standing in line at the check out counter at the grocery store one day, my son was grumpy and bored. It was well past nap time and the cashier was busy ringing up customers that clogged her lane. While Jonathan was fussing over a lost pacifier and an empty sippy cup, I was desperate to calm his cries. The looks from other customers waiting impatiently were burning into my flesh when I grasped for the iPhone and planted it into his tiny hands. Within an instant, his mood changed from the fussy terror that occupied the grocery cart into his regular sweet, giggling demeanor. I wondered to myself how long the peace would last.
After emptying out our cart full of groceries, I proceeded to deposit my son into his car seat for the ride home. I took the cell phone from his hands and put it into my purse. Little did I know that once the precious iPhone was out of my son’s hands, such a scream would come from his little mouth.
Fast forward a year and a half, we have swapped the iPod Touch for an iPhone. three months into having the iPhone, we replaced a crack screen and went through $30 at the App Store on iTunes in apps for our son.
Fast forward again to the present day, we have spent well over $100 in apps, and is continuing to grow.
Now, he currently works on both the iPhone and iPad. Both have loads of applications that occupy him during waiting periods and when he is bored during the day at home.
As a family, my husband and I have quickly figured out that this is the perfect platform for our son to learn his numbers, colors, ABCs and other valuable knowledge.
Here are some of our son’s favorite Apps:
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox by THUP ($.99)
Monkey Preschool When I Grow Up by THUP ($.99)
Elmo’s Monster Maker by Sesame Street ($3.99)
Count TV by Sesame Street ($3.99)
There are so many other amazing apps available in the App Store on iTunes. Please check out all reviews before purchasing apps, it can save you from buying some bad ones. Take care!