App Friday: Wordspeller and Toca Boca

by Moms With Apps on April 14, 2011

Welcome to App Friday, or weekly link exchange of family-friendly apps. This week we cover reference tools for spelling, virtual tea parties, flying helicopters, and a selection of deals and new releases in “more app news”. It’s a diverse post, but we’ve got a diverse crowd, so let’s cut to the chase and get App Friday started!

American Wordspeller and Phonetic Dictionary – What is your app about? This App, American Wordspeller, was derived from a book, “Gabby’s Wordspeller & Phonetic Dictionary” designed for a 13 year old girl, Gabby, to use in high school. Gabby had been diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of eight in 1993. At the age of 13, being the brilliant kid Gabby was, she asked her Mom to please write her a dictionary which spelled the words the way she did, phonetically. In 1997, this project to create a dictionary which misspelled words, while leading the user to the properly spelled word, began. What started as a simple idea, turned into a large project requiring hundreds of dyslexics, teachers of K-12 and peoples of ESL to facilitate this creation.

Find your word in the Dictionary? How can you when you don’t know the first 2-3 letters it starts with? Why can’t hors d’oevres be spelled ordervs or accommodate be spelled ukomedate? And when you learn the spelling of words you hear everyday how do you know which word you want to use when there are several ways to spell? The purpose of this wordspeller & phonetic dictionary is to get you where you want to go….yesterday. Our database has been carefully compiled so that your search will reveal a maximum of 6 words from which to choose (not 99). When you can locate your word by “how it sounds” there are only a few ways to go. This methodology is superior to the current spell checkers whose attempt to locate the first 2-3 letters from a gigantic database assumes you know all the spelling rules and exceptions.

How It Works: Find your word (except proper nouns) in the dictionary phonetically. Simply type in 2-4 letters of your word by “how it sounds to you”. Don’t struggle with how you ‘think’ your word is spelled. Perfect for Dyslexics, ESL, 3rd-5th grade (when going from the ‘sound-it-out-stage’ into a standard dictionary) and people over 50 (who are forgetting where they stored it). No internet required. Discounts for teachers.

Next, two apps from Toca Boca, who wrote a guest post on our blog earlier in the week about types of play – check it out if you have a chance.

Helicopter Taxi – What is your app about? Helicopter Taxi is a digital toy which uses the camera to create an augmented reality effect. It looks like the helicopter is flying in the room next to you! Let your kids fly around with the helicopter until they get a call from one of the five characters that needs a ride. Place the device on a flat surface to pick them up, and then fly them to where ever they want to go! There are no high scores or levels – just clean fun. The helicopter is always in the right place and is always in time no matter when or where your kids choose to land. This way they can play with it freely and use their imagination even more. Helicopter Taxi Video Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy9_s8dNqec

Toca Tea Party – What is your app about?Toca Tea Party uses the iPad as a coffee table for kids! Start by setting the table – choosing a table cloth, plates, cakes or cookies and the choice of tea or juice. Then invite your friends over for a Toca Tea Party! Your kids can choose to invite plush toys, siblings or parents over for the fun. After that, you simply eat and drink with your finger. If someone is cheeky and spills their drink you can wipe it up quickly. And when everything is finished – simply tilt the iPad slightly to make everything go into the dishes. A Tea Party without any crumbs or tidying up for parents! Toca Tea Party Video Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n584x01eftg

What’s in it for me this App Friday, April 15th?

Note: These prices are applicable on Friday April 15th until 8pm US Pacific Time. After the promotion is over, prices revert back to regular pricing on the iTunes App Store.

More App News

Have you gotten a chance to follow BabyBinks on Facebook and Twitter? If not, you might be missing an opportunity to be notified when 1,000 promo codes will be pushed out through the Moms With Apps Mobile App during the LAST day of App Discovery Week. Click HERE for details on Push Notifications, How They Work, and how it all relates to App Discovery Week. This promotion has been quite the learning curve, but given that 500 promo codes were redeemed in 6 seconds on Thursday, we figure something is working.

If you’ve been out of luck on App Discovery week, don’t fret, there are still great deals to be had. We received word via the iEAR community that an entire set of “Everyday Mathematics” apps by McGraw-Hill are set to FREE through April 16th. First, thanks iEducation Apps Review for letting us know, and second, go check out the apps on iTunes! Here is a link to the Tric Trac App: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/everyday-mathematics-tric/id413520637?mt=8. Once on the iTunes Preview Page, see “More by McGraw-Hill” to find the rest.

There are many versions of the classic story Cinderella, but this one takes the cake – and it’s not just because the developer is my friend and co-founder. PicPocket Books really shines with this new iPad storybook: the illustrations are stunning, the reading rhythms are very smooth (both of my girls read and followed the storyline), and the audio is top notch. Thanks for creating such a beauty Lynette – we love it! $1.99 (oh, wait, only $.99 this App Friday!) on iTunes.

Nicolas, a Dad developer in France, is new to Moms With Apps. Today Apple approved his new app “Math Party“ that has multiplayer capabilities on the iPad. It’s only $.99 on iTunes, but it looks like a cool math challenge that family members can play together, specifically because of how the screen is designed to accommodate two players on either side of the iPad.

Phew, that was a lot of news. Thanks for listening!

App Friday Link Exchange Our goal at Moms With Apps is to spread the word about family-friendly apps. We also like to know about great deals. Do YOU have some app news to share? If so, please participate in our link exchange and post it down below. Include the app name (& details) in the Link Title, your email, and a URL to the app. Thanks for your participation.

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