From a parent's perspective, YouTube presents a plethora of educational and entertainment possibilities, while at the same time being totally and completely unusable for younger kids (and perhaps even older ones) because of some of the videos that can be accessed in a few clicks.
When my oldest son was younger he used to LOVE Sesame Street. YouTube was a treasure-trove of Sesame Street videos (PBS has since started its own terrific collection on its own site), but I could only let Ryan watch videos that I had seen first. A few clicks in the wrong direction would yield videos where people had added their own graphics and dialogue to the videos, turning the likes of Elmo and Cookie Monster into cursing, beer-swilling gangsters.
So, we started a blog just for Ryan's favorite videos. I would watch them and add them to the blog, one entry at a time, that he could access and watch without the ability to watch anything else.
Gube does all that work, and far more, for parents. It pre-screens videos to determine which ones are appropriate for kids and creates an interface where nearly 3,000 can be reached. So, as a parent, you can let them play the app without having to worry about your kids being as haunted in their dreams as I am by the memory of gangster Elmo.
Gube presents all the videos that have been incorporated into their database on one screen, so to speak, that can be scrolled through up and down. It saves favorites and recents, has a search page and excellent settings functions that allow the parent/teacher to set appropriate age filters (infant, toddler, preschool, grade school.)
The favorites page also has a continuous play option similar to that in the iPod when listening to music. Videos that have been favorited can then be played in order or in a random loop.
E's current favorite videos are Charlie Brown. I searched Charlie Brown and got eight results. Lily recently told me she learned about "righ-cera-tops" (triceratops) at school so I searched that and got two results. Ryan is into Mario game videos and I couldn't find any of those, but that's really a tough one. Videos can submitted for inclusion by users of the iPhone version so I need to recommend some of my kids' favorites.
(Also, I am secure enough in my masculinity to admit that I can't get enough of funny animal videos and there are TONS of those.)
I like Gube a great deal. It's well-done, uncluttered and I appreciate the role it can play because of the personal experience of trying to assemble a set of kid-friendly videos for my son. There are also a lot of educational videos included although the focus here is more finding fun videos that are OK for kids.
The interface is very simple and easy to use. My primary recommendation, other than continuing to add videos would be a topics/categories page. ASD children like Ryan are often intimidated by the open-endedness of a search field so categories would help him organize his thoughts more easily. Also, a toggle for educational/non-educational would be a huge addition.
I think the price is a tad high at $3.99 but if new videos are added regularly that is really mitigated.
Gube is a great app, and I recommend it.
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smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.