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Archive for the ‘mom apps’ Category

Apologies, I’ve Been Busy With New Site – Please Come Visit


I miss this blog so much, I haven’t had a chance to ramble on and on at all since I launched AppTudes – a fresh site for app and game reviews for all interests, which I launched on Father’s day. I have been so lucky! I managed to get some amazing writers from other big sites like my own 148apps.com, my former home appadvice.com, and padpadget.com, appolicious, and some serious bloggers.

We’ve almost hit 1oo posts and our number have been through the roof! It’s so exciting, in seven months this is only my 86th-ish post, but that what’s great about having a tea. And the support from the developer and publisher community has been overwhelming. I hoped to do a launch-week push of giveaways, but we just hit the one month mark I don’t think a day has gone by where there wasn’t at least one active contest going, most days we have several.

And for those of you who like my SAHGeekMom picks, trust me we have a ton of kid stuff, art apps, and culture there too, but also real gamer games, general inteerest apps, and we just got an iPhonegraphy expert on board too!

By the way, if you review or have skills like copy editing, wordpress guruship, web or graphic design, come on over and check it out because we’re hiring! That page has most of our staff bios, but we have three newcomers so it’s time for an update. And, if you have skills, we’d love your face up there too.

I only have a minute, but I stopped by because I am going to flood my blog with the reviews I’ve written since I’ve been gone. In fact you are even getting on AppTudes doesn’t have…yet.

But remember when you see the posts, if there are contests attached they are being held on on apptudes.com and through our twitter account anf fcebook page, so you’ll have to pop on by if you want to enter. I hope you do, I have a lot of parents and educators on board and you might discover altogether different kinds of app, like I have been, that aren’t one I tend to run into.

I’m going to start using this blog again soon though, but less for reviews and more to discuss iOS news, and topics of interest that go beyond reviews. But don’t worry, wherever you find me writing, I’ll be focusing on only the very best apps for iOS. Hope to see you everywhere soon.

Happy App Hunting



Win iTunes Gift Cards Now With Tweet – Huge App & Game Promo Code Giveaway Coming Soon!

UPDATE June 16, 2011, 10:45pm EST

New chance to win June 17, 2011 9:00pm EST – this time the prize is a $15 tunes card, but you will have to work for it. This is NOT a random draw, the more attention you bring to us, the better you chnaces of winning! Random chances at iTunes cards and even early free apps, are available by liking our Facebook Fan Page here! When we hit 200 likes someone will win a $15 iTunes card, at 300 a $20 card etc. – details here.

We also have a twitter party planned for Tuesday, June 21, from 6-8pm EST – Click Here For Details

Win extra goodies just use the hashtag #swagathon starting at 6:00pm EASTERN time and for two hours we will be giving away extra swag and answering your questions about apps and the new site – please join us!

Did that make no sense? I know right, I went to my first about a week ago – it’s simple copy and paste #swagathon into twitter’s search bar when it’s time and you will automatically see everything everyone is saying and be able to reply. You can ask us questions and win big!

If you want to win you need to be following @apptudes and we have to follow you back so we can DM (direct private message) you with the code for the app you win!


We awarded the first iTunes card for Tweeters tonight, June 16, 2011, at 9:00PM EST. The prize was a $10 iTunes card for following and tweeting this and anything else that gets apptudes.com and @apptudes or our Facebook fanpage (where you can win ever more, click here) and I even gave an extra prize to someone who has been tweeting so hard for @sahgeekmom. Since we are all the same, it seemed only fair =D

Also visit and like our Facebook page to win free app promo codes starting NOW! And more chances to win Itunes gift cards! No limit to how often or how many you can win!


Do you want a chance to win some of the best bet apps and games on iOS, Mac and Android?

What about free iTunes gift cards? Free subscriptions to premium online services?

Then mark the date: Father’s Day, June 19, 2011 and start following @apptudes on twitter!

Below are just some of the AppTudes launch week Swag-A-Thon sponsors.

All the apps you see below and mnay more will be yours to win, along with other amazing prizes.

To promote this event you can WIN iTunes Gift Cards starting right NOW!

Just tweet this page once a day between now and launch (we will be updating it constantly) and we will start picking winners on Thursday, June 16 from those who are doing the best job of spreading the word.

Be sure to follow me too, @sahgeekmom to keep up to date!

Check out our press release here to learn more about apptudes.com, the freshest site in iOS, Mac and Android Apps, and look forward to more great giveaways added daily

You Can Win These great iOS, OS X Apps and their PC and Android cousins too – new apps and games are coming in so fast this is only a partial list and will be updated as often as possible. These are some of the top apps, we have award winners, and we don’t review or giveaway anything we don’t absolutely love ourselves. You really don’t want to miss out on these!


Here are some of our amazingly generous Swag-a-Thon sponsors. they are giing out iTunes gift cards, premium memberships (think Slacker Radio!) and unique prizes.


  • ESPN iScore Baseball
  • Nascar Junkie for iPad
  • Martha Stewart Cocktails
  • How to Cook Everything – All Version!
  • Slacker Radio (Premium Subscriptions)
  • Procreate
  • Auryn Ink
  • iQuarium
  • Pimp Your Screen
  • Radio By Spreaker (Premium Subscriptions)
  • Writing Prompts
  • Packing Pro (as featured on CNN)
  • iMuscle (Nova) iPad
  • Comic Life for Mac and iOS
  • Dramatic Music App Plus
  • Debt Payoff Pro
  • Let’s Create! Pottery
  • Let’s Create! Pottery HD
  • Autopainter HD
  • Autopainter II
  • Autopainter Express for Mac
  • Dynamic Autopainter for PC
  • Wig Booth
  • Everyday Golf Coach HD
  • 1-2-3 Draw
  • Make-A-Monster
  • Overdamped Artists Series – giving away a TON of their huge catalog!
  • Album App
  • LitterBug
  • Talking 3D Lab Mat
  • Green Genie
  • Max and Molly
  • Dress Up Rush HD (released today, June 17, 2011)
  • Grim Joggers
  • Cavemean (Lemmings!)
  • Snuggle Truck
  • Smuggle Truck
  • Azkend
  • Crux (Crosswords – the best!)
  • Jack Of All Tribes HD
  • AR (Augmented Reality) Misslie -(iPhone and iPad 2)
  • SwipeTapTap
  • Sparkle the Game
  • Royal Envoy
  • Robot City
  • Heros of Kalevala
  • Sailboats Champions Pro HD
  • Teddy’s Playground
  • ColorFlys
  • Egg Drop Soup
  • Doggie Day Spa
  • Joining Hands
For Kids:
  • Hop On Pop
  • Auryn’s Little Mermaid
  • Stack the States
  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go
  • Nosy’s Crow’s Three Little Pigs
  • My Word Wall
  • Grimm’s Rapunzel – 3D Interactive Pop-up Book
  • Once Upon a Potty: Boy
  • Bunny Fun
  • Enchanted Tales: Snow White
  • Ansel and Claire’s Adventures in Africa
  • Teddy’s Day
  • Roxie’s A-MAZZE-ing Vacation Adventures
  • Teddy’s Night
  • Stack the Countries
  • Aesop in Rhyme Series from Auryn
  • Toddler Email
  • Alpha Books
  • Toddler Toy Factory
Please take a moment to visit out amazing sponsors below and tweet now to start winning!

                OVERDAMPED ARTIST SERIES           v   

Get AutoTalent With AutoPainter, AutoPainter HD and AutoPainter Express

Get AutoTalent With AutoPainter

Get AutoTalent With AutoPainter HD And Win A Copy With A Comment

AutoPainter HD by Mediachance iconAutoPainter HD is one of a large number of image-filtering apps that allow you to add effects, in this case painterly ones, to any picture.

What makes AutoPainter a standout, however, is that instead of offering an overabundance of styles rendered with minimal imagination, they offer only four. But each was created with so much attention to detail, the results are nothing short of artworks themselves.

What also sets AutoPainter HD apart is the gorgeous way it shows you the artistic steps in the process of rendering your work. Take a look as I add a Van Gogh effect to a night time photo. The process and video take two minutes:

The included styles are:

  • Aquarell: Running colors, water removal, dry scratches: Intended for flowers, landscapes, old buildings or people.
  • Benson: Inspired by work of Frank Benson. This style has a sunny palette with Mediterranean tones. It enhances inner light and color harmony and works best on sunny landscapes.
  • Cezanne: Inspired by late works of Paul Cezanne. Painted on an artistic paper, the quick brush strokes with warmth and chalk details. Ideal on flowers and still life.
  • Van Gogh Inspired by Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, discover the signature swirls, bended reality and blue tones with orange details. Best for night photography and landscapes especially with water reflections.

The GUI is stunning and, frankly, idiot proof. Select an image from your iPad library, select the effect and watch AutoPainter work it’s magic.

If this seems like a sophisticated tool, with too few effects there is a reason. AutoPainter HD (and it’s iPhone and OS X versions) are based a much more robust PC program,Dynamic Auto Painter, that focuses not only on painterly styling’s, but also on portraiture.

The developers are working to ingrate the features from the PC program to the other versions (which are currently all identical except AutoPainter Express on the Mac App Store yields a much higher resolution output image), but they have to deal with the limitations of the iOS device’s processor capabilities.

More is to come, rest assured, but Mediachance would rather release high-quality filters gradually than throw in everything, however pixelated or unrefined, at once. I applaud that approach and look forward to thoughtful updates.

And, all that said, there is a lot you can do with just the four. All it takes is creativity and some multitasking.

One of my favorite features within AutoPainter is that you can stop the transformation process at any point, so you can fine-tune your results, albeit in a linear manner.

But as a talentless hack with creative aspirations, I was inspired to find additional uses for the app.

Try adding a cut-out of a person from one of your snapshots using an image editor.

(If you have a Mac check out my new favorite photo editor Acorn – The Image Editor for HumanIt’s a full-featured, but simple, alternative to Photoshop.)

Then use AutoPainter HD to add, say a Cezanne effect. Now overlay the rendered person on a Cezanne background and ta-da, you can star in your own iconic work.

The only thing I would like to see added is social network integration and emailing to show off the end results. In this first release you can save your work to the device’s photo library, but that’s it.

I rendered a Cezanne still life, and “Starry Night” to see how the filters would respond to their inspirations and I was impressed by the results.



Then I got silly. Imagine if Roussaeu and Van Gogh had hung out?


AutoPainter HD is one of the most sophisticated photo-filtering apps I have seen on the App Store. It yields extraordinary “painted” results. The GUI is golden and the process is a pleasure to watch. This is a must have for creative types who wish they could paint like the masters, but need a little help. Get it!

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Contest Closed, prizes awarded privately by email. Thanks!

Ok this has been a productive weekend. And the hits I am getting show you are really enjoying the new content so I’ll try to keep it up. Thanks so much for your support. I am frankly in awe of how many new readers and subscribers that have joined us. Thank you.

Here are some popular and/or recent reviews for you to chceck out until next time:

Happy App Hunting


The Best iPad and iPhone Games for Smart Teens Part One

Part Two Is Now Live: Click Here to Check out the next ten games!

Dedicated to a dear friend who isn’t a Cat but is a Beaver…

Happy Weekend,

A friend of mine got a brand new iPad2 on Friday, which was launch day in Canada, for her altogether too bright teenage son, Berk. He is no stranger to iOS, but it’s his first Pad (lucky duck!) so he asked me for some game suggestions:

Some games I have really enjoyed are Cablink, Euchre, KenKen, LetsTans Dlx , Lux games, PvZ  [Plants vs Zombies], Shady Puzzles, Slice It!, Solitaire City, Trainyard, Depict, Red Remover. Might get Monopoly for iPad for my dad…I do imagine my whole family will be using it seeing as I just pryed it out of camp’s hands. Any fun games I am definitely willing to try.


I have my top 10 picks and another 10 also-rans for Berk and everyone else to enjoy and challenge wits and reflexes

Most of the games are either universal, or have an iPhone/iPod touch version, so if you see something you like and you don’t have an iPad be sure to check the App Store.

And of course I have video demos  so you can see what’s in the box before you buy.

As usual my lists are in NO SPECIAL ORDER. The top ten are just the games I think Berk and others are less likely to know about, or which are well-known but need some explanation but every game on this list is at least a 4.5 star game, including the also-rans so let’s get to it.

First up is a Wii game that was ported to iPad during the holidays.

World of Goo is a gooey messy joy of a puzzler. You know, maybe there is an order, but only for number one. This is a must have game for Berk and all gamers with brains.

The goal is to lead a specific number of goo balls to the pipe exit. To do so you have to use goo balls to build bridges, ladders and any kind of structure, all very much subject to the laws of physics.  Special goo balls and The Sign Painter are friends, gravity is your foe. Sound simple?

All I can say is MWAHAHAHA… Mum get ready for several late nights! The game is perfect for a touch screen and a ton of fun for all ages. iPad only.

There is a fab new Wii-Port, that would also rock for Berk, and your kids, including the so called grown-up ones.

It’s for age 9+, it’s deceptively simple, but endlessly challenging. It’s called Max and the Magic Marker and I just reviewed it here. so I won’t repeat myself, but it’s definitely worth checking out!

Tea with Pump and Jam 😉

Berk, I hope you know that LessTan Dix is LetsTans Premium on the iPad which gets mixed user reviews, and FYI TanZen HDis a much better traditional Tangram puzzle choice for iPad.

But my favorite Tangram game is a little off the beaten path and a ton of fun.The Magic Egg gets rave reviews across the board and will challenge your spacial relations skills.

The game is universal and has a mode great for Berk’s youngest sister Tea who is Pump’s age, and for Cam, and Ash, his brothers in between.

Spirits for iPad (sold separately for iPhone) is an award-winning game that has been wowing critics and popping eyes in 2011. It’s simply stunning.

Your job is to guide spirits to their destination looking for creative ways to get there. It’s a little like World of Goo in that you use spirits to build paths for other spirits, but the elements you battle and mellow gameplay make them very different games.

Goo gets frantic; Spirits is tranquil, and if it reminds me of any game, it’s 1991’s computer game classic Lemmings. Both games will challenge your problem-solvong skills and make your new iPad2 shine.

This is one of very few games I love listening to as well as playing. Enjoy the soundtrack with the trailer:

If you are a puzzler fan you undoubtably know Chllingo’s Cut the Rope (see below) but there is a new rope-themed game that is scoring points with fans of the genre. User reviews so far are great and both Gizmodo and TUAW picked it as a Game of the Day.

Meet Burn the Rope HD.

The object is simple, burn as much of the rope as possible. Since flames rise, you have to shift your iPad (or iPhone, sold separately) to ensure the fire is always heading up the rope or it will extingish and you lose.

Are you a fire-bug? Well then the ant-singeing, should amuse as well as challenge you. I love AppSpy reviews who seem to say the game is a bit more style over substance, you decide:

Osmos for iPad (sold separately for iPhone) is a challenge, but a Zen one. It is also the winner of the Best Game of the year for iPad 2010.

It’s a PC port for the patient. (Sorry, little lapse of alliteration…) Hemisphere Games describes it best: “Osmos is part physics-based eat-’em-up, part ambient, cosmic simulator, and part Darwinistic game of survival”

However you describe it, it’s eye and ear candy and will keep you coming back for more .Here’s the original trailer. Look for Hemisphere’s game channel on Youtube to see much more.

Usually I would stop here and come back with the next 5 and all 10 also-rans, but since I am running late as usual, and that makes one too heavy, here are the first five. They are every bit as good as the top ten, they just have been so well-reviewed for so long I don’t think any additional comment from me is necessary. They are all brain-straining winners.

OK, I just checked the time and there is no way I am getting to dinner, bath and homework and another 5 reviews. CLICK HERE TO READ PART 2

In the mean time, if these ten don’t keep you busy enough (11 with Max and the Magic Marker!) then Berk, shouldn’t you be studying something or sharing your new toy with your mum and dad?

Everyone else, please check out my other reviews  here and follow my daily reviews on appadvice.com.

Happy App Hunting


The SAHGeekMom’s 4 Favorite Art Apps: AppAdvice Extra Appisode:

OMG I am so excited!

Robin Rhys, veteran Writer, Editor, Producer and on-air talent for the hugely popular daily iOS report, AppAdvicee Daily, asked my humble opinion on Art Apps.

And YAY! She feature them all on last’s night show!

She even showed my blog logo and my favorite, called me the resident Art Aficionado. 🙂 Happy Dance!

Please check it out, the apps are amazing and 2 are even universal!

Here are direct links to the apps in iTunes:

Also, I knew that Coroled Pencils was made by the nicest man in Japan, Kengo, and he is having a sale until the end of the month, the app is only .99 and proceeds got to Japan.

What Kengo told me this morning, though, is that Zen Brush is also from Japan and they were very badly damaged in the quake, so I urge everyone who enjoys anything from creating professional art to doodling to PLESAE support these apps and these devs. It’s a tiny way we can make a difference.

Have Fun and CREATE!


Angry Birds and Doodle Jump Have Brand New Games And This Time Kids Rule!

Angry Birds and Doodle Jump Have Brand New Games And This Time Kids Rule!

Well this has been a banner week for fans of two of the most beloved franchises in iOS history and both have movie tie-in so these new versions are aimed at kids more than ever before.

The biggest news is that Rovio/Chillingo launched Angry Birds Rio (.99 for iPhone 1.99 for HD) and it’s cool, Pump loves it, all angry bords fans will love it.

The game forget evil pigs this time and instead has you freeing fellow birds from cages, presumably in Rio.I find this premise much more appealing than killing evil pigs who ate their babies, to this parent anyway, and connects the game, however loosely, to the Upcoming Fox Film.

Also there is no question the gameplay is easier. Pump found me playing with it for a review minutes after he woke up. Before he had rubbed the saned from his eyes, he had completed the first four levels.

But I covered Angry Birds at such length the other day (Click Here to read post) I don’t want to go on and on about it. If you like Angry Birds, you’ll like Angry Birds Rio, it’s really that simple.

I want to focus today on Doodle Jump: HOP the Movie. I submitted my QuickAdvice review to AppAdvice.com, but I always cover the kid-angles on my own dear SAHGeekmom.com.It finally brings the iPhone classic Doodle Jump to the iPad (and iPhone, it’s universal.) Well almost…

What the game really is, is an advertisement for the upcoming Easter animated kid-flick from Universal, HOP.

Doodle Jump: HOP the Movie  is similar to the original Doodle Jump. You still tilt the device to have the hero, E.B. star of the film, jump from platform to platform, avoiding obstacles, shooting invaders and aiming for the sky.

It’s a lot of fun, but it’s not really the fulfilment of Lima Sky’s promise of an iPad version of the game that just saw its 10,000th paid download.

Instead of controlling The Doodler you control E.B., and instead of endless gameplay, there are levels to clear, but otherwise expect the familiar.

It plays beautifully and looks good enough to eat. I even found it easier to control E.B. on the iPad than on the iPhone version of this universal game. The interface is vibrant, the execution excellent, and best of all the game is free. Which seems only fair since it is basically an add-supported game.

Angry Birds Rio does charge, and I don’t think it far (see post here) but they give you a very full game.

This game is very winnable, it won’t be a keeper for anyone over 10, but it should help tide fans over while the always ‘coming soon” iPad Doodle Jump finally hits the App Store.

But for young kids, repetition is fun and  the best way to learn, so you actually get a lot for nothing more than a link to the movie trailer your kids have already seen unless you ban the big box in your home (oh how I wish…)

The game has you bouncing off gummies and falling through candy-string platforms. There are no monsters or aliens to shoot; instead E.B. takes out baby chicks taking no prisoners in his candy-quest. But’s it’s not gory, it’s silly.

Check yesterday appisode of AppAdvice.com’s AppApdvice Daily, with Robin Rhys:

The famous and subject of recent controversy, The Doodler (google Doodlegate! I won’t explain, but if you want to see how some devs are just big kids, for better and especially for worse, it’s a very interesting story of trademark law, flaming, poor journalism and hurt feelings) does make a cameo appearance: E.B. follows his lead for a few seconds and then he’s off to loftier vistas.

Just as the Doodler pops in to this new Lima Sky offering, E.B. is no stranger to the Doodle Jump world.

Since the last update of classic Doodle Jump you have been able to change the player name to HOP, which activates an Easter theme, and replaces the Doodler with E.B, but it’s a skin, not a new game, and not on iPad.

One certainty is the game’s appeal to kids. The Easier theme, E.B., and candy-coated levels, target the youngest players, the market for whom the movie is intended.

Pump loves Doodle Jump on his iPod touch, and loves all the themes especially, of course, the scary ones.  And as usual he is better at this game we both enjoy than I am. But neither of us can really get very far so the games is great, but only a few minutes distraction.

Doodle Jump: Hop the Movie, however, on both iPhone and iPad is really much easier to control.

If you have played Doodle Jump before, you know that as you jump up, the board also keeps scrolling up. What I mean is you can’t just wait on a platform, you must keep moving. Everyone I have seen play it, at some points, falls because a platform they remembered being there, fell out of view mid-leap.

This doesn’t happen on Doodle Jump: HOP the Movie. The board only moves up when you do, so it’s much easier to plan your moves. You can play for much longer. Also the levels help. Having short attainable goals is a better idea no what your kid is doing, than giving them an open-ended job.

In Doodle Jump losing is the most common occurrence. This makes the game addictive, replayable and beloved, but it frustrates Pump that he has not really improved his score in months ofplay. But he loves all the Angry Birds games, because he is rewarded for completely small tasks, often.

And of course the bright colors, adorable Easter Bunny offspring and the fact that kids have been bombarded with ads for the movie all make this a game they will want to go back to.

For me, the original is still the kind go doodle games, but for Pump, Doodle Jump: HOP the Movie has become an instant fave.

Mom’s you HAVE to check out this amazing new calendar app for iPhone and iPad, called MommyCal. I reviewed it yesterday and everyone I know who grabbed one has been have too much fun getting organized! You can read all about it here.

OK, I have to do a review for Appadvice now, but be sure to check back often for more great games for everyone.

Happy App Hunting,


My All Time Favorite Kid’s iPad Book Is Donating $1/Download To Apps for Children with Special Needs: Review of Little Mermaid – Auryn

Take An Underwater Journey Through A Classic Tale: The Little Mermaid

Posted by Lisa Caplan on: March 1st, 2011, 7.33 pm on appadvice.com – reprinted March 23rd, 2011 in order to feature the Donations to Benefit Apps For Children With Special Needs. Plus a new introduction for SAHGeekmom.com and info on how to win Auryn Ink!

I first met Auryn Apps WAY back, 2 months ago, when I was just starting off my blog. I reviewed the amazing watercolour painting app, Auryn Ink (not the app being reviewed or connected with charity, just backstory) along with a favorite sylus of mine, from Pengo.

It was that review (click her e to read it, but bear in mind it’s, um, vintage…lol) and my app stalking guide (useful still, CLICK HERE TO READ but again let’s call it retro), however amateurish they were, that l turned this blog from a lark for friends, to, well, to whatever it is now, and got me writing for appadvice.com.

Since that time I have come to know one of the people behind AurynApps. After I reviewed their app, we tweeted a bit and she sent me the promo code for Mermaid, etc. I have to confess I consider her a friend now, but I wrote my reviews before we had spoken.

Anyway tomorrow Auryn Ink will be featured (With A GIVEAWAY) on Robin Rhys’s Video Review Show AppAdvice Daily, on Thursday 3/24/11, and now Auryn’s helping to raise funds for a fabulous cause I support wholeheartedly, (see About MeApps for Children Children With Special Needs

So please, check out the most beautiful fairy tale in the App Store and help get iPads to children with special needs. They are the most amazing tool for Special Education and disability access.

And please pass the news along. If recent events have shown anything it is the power of social networking to bring about change and allow large numbers of people, do small thing to great effect.

Here’s my appadvice.com review:

The Little Mermaid - Auryn by Auryn Inc. iconLittle Mermaid – Auryn ($3.99) by Auryn Inc. is a minimally interactive, beautifully animated new e-book for iPad that tells the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, The Little Mermaid, in a way you haven’t seen before. This app is absolute eye candy.

Renowned children’s book illustrator, Lizbeth Zwerger, whose art has decorated the pages of this whimsical undersea story for years, lent her work to this app, and the result is nothing short of spectacular.

The Little Mermaid - Auryn by Auryn Inc. screenshotThe While most books of this sort are aimed at the preschool crowd, Auryn’s The Little Mermaid will delight anyone who enjoys the masterful 19th Century storyteller’s iconic works.

Umesh Shukla, CCO and founder of Auryn Apps, explains that this latest title in their catalogue of iOS books is meant to “capture a wider audience. From 6-8 year olds to a more sophisticated child audience, and even adults who are young at heart.”

The app is interactive in as much as it has a read-aloud feature, and there is a watery interactive surface, much like the many Koi pond apps you can find on the App Store. You can make the water ripple, and have fish follow your fingers on the alternating text and art pages (it is art, you really have to see it). And, that is all the flash you get, which is a lovely change for an App Store kid-lit offering.

Auryn manages to achieve the elusive balance between using technology to maximize the user experience while still allowing room for the content to speak for itself. The Zen-like interface sets off Zwerger’s illustrations perfectly and complements the tranquility that pervades this rendition of the beloved story.

The Little Mermaid - Auryn by Auryn Inc. screenshot

The narrator’s tone is fluid, and as melodious as her merfolk subjects, making the book a pleasure to hear as well as read. The gentle ambient underwater sounds reinforce the serenity making this a perfect bedtime companion for children of all ages.

Since this is the original 150 year-old text it is not trite. There is a basic love story, and just enough suspense to appeal to children of both genders, but don’t expect singing lobsters or a Disney-style happily ever after.

On a deeper level the story is a meditation on the value of the temporal life and the eternal soul. Auryn’s The Little Mermaid will put anyone in a reflective frame of mind to quietly ponder these questions.

It’s also refreshing to read about a princess who saves a man, instead of the other way around. Girls as old as 12 should enjoy this story on many levels.

This is a must-have e-book for any young person, and even an admirable coffee table book to show off your iPad. The only complaint I have is that the story had to end.

When it comes to striking a perfect balance between substance and style in the genre of interactive children’s fiction, Auryn has set a new standard. I hope to see more of this sort of well-balanced brain food soon, and will be watching Auryn apps carefully in anticipation of similar future offerings.

Thanks for reading or re-reading and you will love this book and be helping a great cause, so please check it out!

Happy App Hunting,

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