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  Lvl 2 - Apprentice

Mark S.

Status: Beta reviewer

Categories of apps she/he wants to review: Books - Education - Entertainment - Games - Lifestyle - Photography - Productivity - Utilities - Other

iDevices she/he owns: - iPad3- iPhone4S- iPhone5

Description: I love learning about new and interesting products and consider myself a first mover in that sense. I love sports, technology and love making money. I work as a mortgage banker in Columbus and love the freedom it provides with both income and day to day operations. My wife works with special needs children, has a library background and edu. tech.

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 0-2 - Can test apps with kids ages 3-5 - Can test apps with kids ages 6-10 - Can test apps with kids ages over 10 - Teaching kids ages 0-2 - Teaching kids ages 3-5 - Teaching kids ages 6-10 - Teaching kids ages over 10 - Special education teacher or AT (Assistive Tech.) specialist - Homeschooler - Librarian - Educational Technology specialist - Gamer

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2013-01-04

User who invited him/her: Jean-Eudes L.

Total review Karma: + 1     ?

Each time a developer thinks a review from a reviewer is useful, he give to this reviewer +1 in review Karma. The more Karma a reviewer has, the better her/his reviews are assessed!

Her/His app reviews

SociaLink 1.0.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The idea is creative. The convenience of being able to hit the LINK button and follow/friend/link with someone is innovative. I also like that you can hit EMAIL and it emails the links to your homepages for each of the social networks listed. The final button you're able to hit is log out to prevent someone from accessing your personal information, a nice security feature.

I tested it out on a few of my friends and they really liked the features such as how easy it is to add/follow someone.
Improvements Twitter - I have multiple Twitter accounts (personal and business), but it only allows one Twitter account to be logged in at a time. If I choose the email function to email someone the links to all my accounts, it doesn't have either my professional or personal account.

General - It should have a step-by-step process of how it works.Most people don't want to read the description and then try the app, they want to go straight to the app.

Interface - The interface looks very outdated, almost like original Facebook in the early 2000s. A designer should look at this and update it.
General review In a professional setting I prefer to exchange business cards. If I don't want to have further contact with someone, I don't need to but I save face by taking their card. If I am connected to them, I am ALWAYS connected to them unless I unfollow/unfriend them which is just in bad taste.

Overall, I understand the concept but I do not see myself using this application.

Tomo Garage 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I really enjoy the large animated pictures. I think that is a great feature of this game. Overall, the animations make this game very attentive for kids to use. The application has a United Kingdom and United States setting. The noises are very interesting as well, kids love that feature. I very much enjoy the "music box" after scrolling over in the application.
Improvements There are a few things I would update:
1.) I would add a tutorial. When I first logged into the application I had no idea what the goal of the application was. This would be a GREAT feature so parents can explain to their kids.
2.) You should add a feature where you can use the tools and other items you can earn to build or create stuff.
3.) The voice in the game could be a little clearer. It sounds like it has an British accent and I think that would be confusing for American kids.
General review In general this seems to be a good learning application. It seems very interactive and caters to the enjoyment of young children. It is a little confusing as you log in without telling you what you need to do. I mean, it makes sense what you need to do but a tutorial would be great for kids to learn themselves.

On top of the current focus (garage related items), adding something with colors where you spell out different colors would be great.

PUZZINGO Puzzles (Pro Edition) – Animated Kid’s Puzzles [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I had my teacher wife look at this app and these were her thoughts: She liked that it allowed for many different aspects for teaching the word. It allowed you to touch, hear see the image and see the word written out. Additionally, it was good to see them in their natural environment as an applicable usage.
Improvements This is specific to the last level entitled "Core Concepts". When you have the letters listed, that is a great idea, but it would be better if it gave an example of how you can use that letter. By that I mean, "A is for Apple", then show an apple and have the word Apple written out. This way it implements touching the letter, hearing the letter and word, showing the written letter and word.
General review I think the application is a great way to teach kids difference aspects from "Space" to "Animals" to "Core Concepts". I like that the application implements three of the five senses; feeling, seeing and hearing. It is very colorful and has great noises that kids love. Overall I think this is a great tool for kids to learn different things in many different ways, without distracting nonsense.

Claustrophobic, v1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Much like other games, I like that it is a constant distractor and a game that you continuously play (as opposed to a game where you play for 30 seconds or less then pause between "levels). I also like that there are many different "powerups" you can run into to gain an advantage or even a disadvantage.
Improvements I would like to see the game have a better reaction to the accelerometer for the iPad 3. I felt that sometimes I leaned the iPad and it didn't react correctly.

If you could more clearly diagram what the buttons or pods you run into are that would be helpful. I only found out what pause was by accidentally hitting it. The levels seem a little mundane after a while. The background never seems to change, so that would be a nice improvement for the background to change. It would make it easier on the eyes as well.
General review This game does not seem to have much action. In another continuous moving game, you use your fingers to jump and turn in the game which provides a little more action. In this game you can earn points by simply rocking back and forth, that does not constitute much of a challenge to me, which is what I enjoy in games.

Wubbzy's Fire Engine Adventure [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I love the interactive "touch and speak". It is a different feature to have a learning game that you can both touch the word while learning and it will state the word to you to instill how that word sounds. The music in the background is very pleasing to a young child's ear. I LOVE the paint feature. It is less educational, but is a really awesome feature. I very much enjoy how you can zoom in and out in that setting as well.
Improvements The kids that interacted with this game may have been a little young, but a more guided approach would improve the impact on young kids. I would suggest that when they or we as parents, open the application, there is a simple "start" or "begin" button and it says that work when you touch it. This creates a connection between the start of an adventure and the word. As it is now, there are 13 different things you can click on the front screen. I feel this is both confusing and overwhelming for young kids.
General review I think this is a great application that combines many different aspects that a child would love. It has soft yet attractive colors. Almost anything you touch has an interactive feature, especially in story mode with interactive words. The background sound is pleasing to children and not so distracting that parents can't have it on in the background while their child interacts with the application. Overall, I think this is very well designed idea

Scholar or Scumbag v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I like the idea behind the application. It is a very clever idea and really proves a point to judging a book by its cover. I very much enjoy the biography after you choose whether you think they are a scholar or a scumbag. I also like that through each level you have to get more correct to move forward. This creates the necessity to actually remember these people and then it becomes less of a guessing game and more of a mental exercise.
Improvements 1.) The very beginning was a little confusing. The "continue" button at the bottom was very faint and it made it seem like you had to click, Facebook, Twitter, etc to move forward.

2.) A link to a page with more information about each person would be a good addition.

3.) An explanation as you move further along would be helpful as well. I didn't know how many I had to get correct to move past level 8.

4.) There are also many typos and grammar errors among the application.

General review I do like the overall idea of the application and it is fun, but only for a short period of time. I played for a short period of time and grew bored after getting some repeats. At the same time, it is neat to see all the different mini-biographies of the people. I personally would not pay $0.99 for this application because I don't see the value in it. This may be better marketed as a free game that makes money through ad revenue.

CoverMe - Private Texting & Secure Phone Calls with Password Locked Safe Vault to Protect Secret Contacts, Text Messages, Personal Photos & Videos - V1.0.2 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I like the general idea of basically having another set of data that is in a secure format based on a password. Additionally, I like that the password can be as simple as a 4 digit code. Too often password have to include too many different types of characters and typing them becomes difficult on the keyboard. I also like that each feature has a hidden and visible setting.
Improvements I don't like that the other person must also have the application to keep items secure. It is going to be difficult to convince many people about to use the application to therefore create a secure connection on both ends. You should be able to keep items secure on just your end should they not have the application.
General review I think the idea is great and necessary for certain situations. I do however think it is going to be difficult to create the buzz needed for enough people to download this application in order for it to make sense to use. Additionally, I don't understand how revenue is created via this product. Finally, I don't understand where the data is stored (pictures, messages, etc). Overall, it's a good idea, but there are some things overlooked.