Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blog Post Roundup (11/20/12)

Here are a few posts I thought y'all might like to read.

I know this is more than the usual, but I haven't posted any links in a while.

Redbirds and God! @ Living Life with the Loves

The Overlooked Problem of Speed @ The Pastor's Perspective

Where We are Called to Disciple @ Joyful Mothering

A God Who Plays @ The Rigneys

Straight at the Heart @ Everyday Grace

Vote=Voice @ The Pastor's Perspective

What to Do in the Waiting Room @ Valerie Write Now

The Cold Hearts of New England @ Encouraging Words

God is in Control @ Journal for Women

Rhythm and Routine @ Journal for Women

The Dust of His Feet @ Encouraging Words

A Look at the Problem @ Everyday Grace

There are No Perfect Days @ Keep the Heart

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

App Review: Beginner's Bible

Handlebar Marketing approached me about reviewing the iPad app for The Beginner's Bible.  In return (for being among the first 100 to respond), I will receive a free print copy.

The Beginner's Bible App by Zondervan ($1.99) is divided into two sections:  Read and Play.

The Read section has six different Bible stories with illustrations.  When the story is being narrated, each word is highlighted.  You can turn off the narration if you wish.  Each of the illustrations has some sort of interactivity with it which encourages the child to engage with the picture and relate to the story.

The stories are easy to read and to follow.  My one big complaint that the only way you can hear any of the sound is to plug in headphones.  This rather freaked me out because I worried that something was wrong with my iPad.  After checking the sound with the Netflix app, I determined that the sound is ok and that it is an app problem.

Additional stories can be purchased through an in-app purchase for $1.99.  It includes 6 new stories (The Visitors, A Bride for Isaac, Isaac's Blessing, Jacob's Dream, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph's Robe), 3 new coloring pages, 2 new puzzles, and 1 new bonus activity.  I'm sure there will be more Story Packs available as they develop the app.

The Play section has six different games to play which correlate to the stories available on the app.  The Beginning, Noah's Ark (shown below), and A New Home are coloring pages.  There are 7 different colors available to use to color the app, as well as a magic button that allows you to swipe the picture and it will automagically color it the way the original artist has it colored.  I liked that feature.  Catchy (but somewhat annoying) music plays in the background while you color.

For Adam and Eve and The Tall Tower, there are puzzles for you to put together to form the picture.  The pieces are easy to manipulate and I like that the "tolerance" for how close you have to hover the piece is very lenient for young fingers.  My daughter liked this pretty well, but wasn't quite into it enough to want to do the whole thing herself.  I find the background music annoying, but it's probably very catch for kids.

The Sneaky Snake game (shown below) is a lot of fun!  Apples float up like balloons and you have to swipe to pop them.  As you progress, more apples float up faster and faster.  (Hint: the trick is to do one long swipe to bust as many apples as possible rather than short swipes for each apple.)  I really got into this game myself, and my daughter liked doing it as well.

Overall, this is a good app.  Gracie (who is 2-1/2) has a typical attention span for a toddler and enjoyed listening to some of the stories, but not all the way through.  She enjoyed interacting with some of the illustrations.  The best way for her to enjoy and benefit from this app is for me to do it right along with her.  I will gladly let her wear the headphones because I really do not like the music.  I do wish that the audio could be heard from the speakers (for the reading).  I just think that should be the norm on all apps.  The app is well made and is very easy to use.  I do think that $1.99 is steep for each Story Pack.  I'd rather see the Story Packs run for $0.99 or at least have twice as many stories and activities available.  To purchase enough for the whole Bible will run a pretty penny.

A note for Handlebar Marketing:  I did a review on the App Store, but I have no idea how to get the url for it.  My user name is MrsKinsey.  Here is a screenshot of my review:

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