As a Speech Therapist I use my IPAD at work often and I’m always in search of new apps that I can use to keep kiddos interested and test their knowledge. In my experience so far, Early Intervention (birth-3) type apps that I like have been hard to come by. A few weeks ago I was contacted by Karol at One Percent Matters Labs asking if I’d be willing to review their Bright Baby App 🙂
The app itself comes in a free and paid version (paid is $1.99). It is a series of flash cards in 25 categories, which are all displayed on one page and sorted alphabetically, each with a text name and picture example. Once you select a category a picture of each item contained in the category is shown on the screen.
From here you can choose one of three options: slide show, manual show or choose a picture individually. When you select a picture, a larger version of the image is shown on screen with the name of the object in text and a childs voice that also names the object.
Selecting slide show allows you to view all slides in the category at timed intervals (3, 5 or 7 seconds per slide which you can choose in the settings) and manual show which I think (will address this in review portion) allows you to scroll through the pictures at your own rate. You can also select the picture as your favorite by touching the star, which will then group all favorites into its own category on the main page.
The settings can be accessed by pressing the wheel button in the top right corner of the main page of the app. From here you can set the amount of time spent per slide in slide show mode, turn the sound on or off, or change the font size, capitalization and color. Here you can also choose the play mode which allows you to do things such as shuffle the cards, or choose whether you’d like them to show the cards with text (no sound), with sound (no text) or picture only. Finally, in the settings you can add your own category including pictures from your phone camera and a voice recording if you choose.
What I liked
- The photos are high quality pictures of the actual objects – not line drawings.
- 25 different categories that appeal to a fairly large age range – not just birth to 3.
- The ability to set up the cards to play in different modes – this comes in handy for me as I can use the app as exposure but also to “test” by showing picture only and asking a child “what is that?”
- Picture, text, sound
- Picture and text
- Picture and sound
- Picture only
- The ability to add your own categories so that the app can grow with your child
- Adding your own category was easy to navigate
- The ability to add “favorites” which then groups them together into its own category so you don’t have to scroll through each one.
- You can try out 3 categories in a free download
What I thought could use some improvement
- Some of the categories could use some more examples, particularly the animals and furniture.
- While I was navigating the app I was unable to to get “manual show” to work. If I clicked the right arrow it simply repeated the same picture, and if I clicked the left arrow it went into a slide show.
- This is a picky thing but the spelling was not always consistent – for example in settings you can choose “capitalization”, but when you click it its written at the top as “capitalisation”.
- A few pictures could be somewhat unfamiliar. For example the furniture category contains a futon where I might suggest bed, and the “cupboard” is what I would consider more to be clothes storage than one in the kitchen.
- This may be more of a personal thing but I probably would have swapped a couple categories in favor of another. For example, I’d maybe swap art supplies for transportation and office supplies for something like “first words”.
Overall I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. I’d easily bump it up to 4 if the “manual show” can be fixed in the next update. (Unless of course I misunderstood what it was supposed to do.)