There comes a point in each girl's live where she has to decide whether she wants to be cool or whether she wants to be nice. Now, of course, it's clear that I don't do ultimatums, so I chose both (I think it's pretty cool to be nice), but over at Flipboard, they mostly think I'm pretty cool as they've made me a 'Cool Curator'!
Flipboard is a cool and nice app for your iPad that turns all of your social media and rss feeds into a very pretty-looking 'magazine'. I use it all the time and am also a big fan of their featured streams, as it helps me find new artists and blogs.
So head on over to Flipboard.com or the iTunes app store and download Flipboard. Once you've decided that this app is indeed pretty nice, check out the tab 'Cool Curators' and voilà! You can read this blog in a cool magazine-like fashion!
Enjoy and a big thank you to Mia from Flipboard for choosing me! I am so so very honored!
Links: Flipboard.com | Flipboard iTunes App Store
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Will & Kate: A Love Story tells the story of Prince William of England and Kate Middleton, of course. In the beautifully illustrated and interactive storybook, Prince William grows up from an ordinary little boy who always knew he'd grow up to be the king and meets Catherine, a very pretty small-town girl who used to dream of someday marrying a prince. They meet each other by chance one day and fall in love. And well... we all know how the story ends, don't we?
THE FUN'S IN THE DETAILSChildren can choose to have the story read to them by a charming British female narrator, or choose to read the book themselves. You move through the story by clicking the arrows back and forth in the bottom on the screen and there are enough distractions along the way to discover and play with - ancestors gasping, sheep bleating, birds chirping, fireworks popping - lovely. These interactive features are the highlight of the book, I'd say. They're incredibly witty and combined with the hilarious sound-effects and ambient background noises, they make for a very entertaining book. The application is very intuitive and it's quite easy to navigate and 'get' all the little jokes hidden within the pages.
A CONTEMPORARY FAIRYTALEThe illustrations in the book are really nicely done as well. The illustrations are done by British illustrator Adam Larkum and he chose to cleverly combine Quentin Blake-esque drawings of the characters with actual photographs of historical artworks, countryside landscapes, and landmarks. This makes for a fairytale story with a contemporary feel, which, let's be honest, is what Will and Kate's story represents, doesn't it?
WHERE'S THE DRAH-MAH? The only thing I was less impressed by in this adorable app, was the story. It feels kind of flimsy. It might be that I'm just the only person in the world who hasn't been completely blown away by this royal love story - but I would have liked to see more of a storytelling arch. There's no crisis. Little Prince William isn't unhappy with his fate to become a king and little Catherine isn't lonely. There's no moment of doubt before them getting married or mention of their famous breakup because of the pressures of living a life in the limelight. I'm missing a bit of drama here, which makes the story feel like Snow White without the evil Queen.
MORE PLEASE! Other than that - this is a delightful little app and very well suited for younger readers interested in the Prince and Princess getting married soon. The story is fun and happy, the drawings are lovely, and the interactive details had me laugh out loud (especially the talking paintings). Can't wait to try out Ink Robin's other book The Lollipop Lady Mystery. Great job, guys!
Links: Ink Robin's Website | 'Will & Kate' in the iTunes store
RELATED POST: Book/iPad App Review: Oliver Jeffers - 'The Heart and the Bottle' Comment »
Yesterday I downloaded Oliver Jeffers' 'The Heart and the Bottle' book/app and it's the first app that made me positively excited for using the iPad as a new medium and way of publishing. Amazing. I highly recommend this book/app. This is so clearly the work of people who dared thinking out of the box when creating this amazing work of art. Let me tell you why I say this.
STUNNING INTERACTIVE IMAGESFirst off, as was to be expected, it has all the stunning imagery the original book has. The creators went a bit further than just this though, they created images that are truly interactive. Usually I'm a bit allergic to the word 'interactive' when it comes to children's products (filling out your name at the start of a story does not make it interactive), but they did a great job. You can move the images with your finger, play games with the stars, shake the iPad so the bottle rolls around the screen. You can even make it snow or turn day into night.
STORIES AND GAMESThe app has a couple of really fun games 'hidden' within it. You can ask for 'hints' to discover the games, but it's a lot of fun to just try and explore the screen. You can draw with crayons, change the images, or play a 'Simon says' kind of game with the stars. However, the games, the interactive aspect, doesn't interfere with the storytelling. You can choose to just read the book yourself or have it read to you by Helena Bonham-Carter. It holds true to the original storytelling and shape of a children's book, but it's fun to get sidetracked at any point in the story by the fun extras.
THEY GET ITIn short, the builders of this app just GET IT. Unlike so many publishers it seems they don't feel threatened by the iPad and the changing landscape of publishing. They don't want to convert their book into a digital format to 'compete' with real books. These people looked at the new possibilities out there and seemed to think 'how can we use these tools to make our book even more fun?'. I don't think the iPad or other tablet devices will ever (completely) replace regular children's books, but they can definitely add to the experience. And that's exactly what this stunning, lovely app/book does. It's not just a book, it's not just an app. It's both in the most delicious sense. Yes, I am excited. Truly excited about an app for the first time since I got my iPad. GO GET IT.
Links: Oliver Jeffers' website | Bold Creative website | 'The Heart and the Bottle' on iTunes
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