The first thing you notice about the 2012 fifth-generation iPod touch is how beautifully it’s made. Crazy thin, ridiculously light, yet sturdy as a slab of slate.
The fit and finish are extraordinary. There are no seams, screws, gaps, cracks or openings. It’s literally seamless. The buttons look like they’re part of the iPod’s case, not nubbins that poke through. Who makes stuff this good? Oh yeah, Apple.
Other reviews have complained about the price (it starts at $300) and some reviewers seem unimpressed by the touch. Who is it for, they wonder? Especially if you already have an iPhone.
Well, it’s for the kids. It’s a kids’ computer. Their first computer, if you like. It’s a relatively cheap, highly portable, extremely capable little handheld computer for children. It plays games, music and movies; surfs the net; communicates via text and Facebook; and hosts a bazillion apps for entertainment or homework. It also displays e-books, though let’s be honest: reading is the last thing it’ll be used for.
But $300 is a lot of money to spend on a kid. Is it worth it?
Using Tones might actually be more fun than hearing the result.
Tones looks to be just about the coolest way to create custom ringtones for your iPhone that I have seen. Then again, I haven’t seen many as I’m not a thoughtless teenager who thinks that other people want to hear his crappy music every time a call comes in.
Better still, Tones puts iPhone ringtone editing just where it should be: on the iPhone itself.
However dramatic the stories about her extra-curricular activities and personality are, Martha Stewart remains the undisputed queen of crafts.
But the last time I did anything crafty was back in high school when I ditched three periods and headed for the beach — so I wasn’t horribly enthusiastic when Martha Stewart CraftStudio popped up on our radar. Color me shocked though, because it’s pretty darn awesome — especially for kids, and people who actually know what they’re doing.
Shut the brats up in style, with the Drive-In iPad case.
There are several iPad cases which have straps to let you fasten them to the headrests of your car seats so people in the back can watch movies. The trouble is, they’re almost all bulky and ugly, as they try to cram too much into one case.
X-Doria’s Drive-In is also bulky and ugly, but as it’s designed as a permanent addition to your car, who cares?
Hope they wipe those things down frequently: never seen a kid without at least several culture farms worth of germs on his or her pink, sticky hands. Those iPads are going to be disease-crusted petri dishes after a day’s worth of kids finish sliming them up.
Otherwise, great call. The only better learning tool for a child than an iMac is an iPad.
Barefoot Books World Atlas ($8) is a kind of digital globe for children, giving them easy access to a simplified cartoon overview of the whole world.
From the orbital view (for want of a better word), you see the globe peppered with hundreds of colorful icons. Spin the globe and zoom in. The little icons grow and become tappable controls. Each one reveals a snippet of information in text and audio form (read aloud by the UK’s favorite TV geographer (yes, we have those), Nick Crane). There’s also a photo to look at for each fact, which is often much more informative than the icon was to start with.
Talking Tom Cat is one app Rian picks out for criticism
User experience expert Rian van der Merwe posted a heartfelt rant at Smashing Magazine yesterday, begging developers of iPad apps for kids to think a little more carefully about how they put their apps together.
Most of his comments were about UI and interface issues, but the final one was a warning a lot of parents (myself included) will support: don’t try and trick my kids into buying additional content.
This smiling youngster is Zias Kool, and he’s happy for good reason: as a birthday present, the makers of cult iOS puzzler Edge are going to add his Lego-designed custom level to a future version of the game.
Makego is a cool new app that makes your kids’ real world creations come to life.
The two-dollar app comes with three virtual vehicles – a racing car, an ice cream truck, and a river boat. All you have to do is make one (out of Lego, paper, or anything else you can think of), plop your device inside, and run the app.