Bottom Line: A must-buy for whatever you're trying to teach...but it needs one more upgrade. Definitely buy now though, while it's on sale.
Working with a special needs child on remembering the steps to getting dressed? How about putting together sight words practice for a preschooler? What if your child wants to make a video scrapbook of a vacation? What about a child who wants to write and illustrate a story? Flash cards? Well, you get the idea.
The app comes with three preinstalled demo grids (animal sounds, songs for kids, everyday sounds and one full ebook/story, Clelia and the Cereal. The full versions of the three demos and 22(!) more are available for download easily through Safari: The moon and the cap, songs for kids, transportation means, Stephy's French songs, animal sounds, bird sounds, fruits, vegetables, clothes, everyday sounds, do-it-yourself, in town, how to read time, construction vehicles, musical instruments, school stationary (supplies), figures (numbers), the alphabet with capital letters, insects, weather, jobs, health, shapes, colors, sports, and dining/lunch.
The included sets, which used to be in-app purchases for the HD version and cost just $0.99 in-app for the iPhone, make the app well-worth the purchase price, even without all the added functionality. They can be edited and changed as desired. Sets can also be built and shared with other users who have the app, so a child's new creation can be shared with grandma or vice versa, or a teacher can build a lesson and send it to their students' parents. As with the app's functionality, the sharing possibilities are outstanding.
The interface is easy enough to master fairly quickly even without reading the included Quick Start Guide/FAQ, but it's there if you need it. (Click on the image to right to see how to enter the info for each image.) It's also easy enough to teach any child who can read/type and take a picture, although a parent will have to complete any importing/exporting for younger kids. The app can also be used in English or French and there are several sound and picture options.
If a parent/teacher doesn't want the editing features to be utilized, the app features a five-tap lock/unlock system to ensure things aren't accidentally erased or edited. When locked, all children can do is play within a grid or switch grids. I am a bit worried about big x5 on the lock, though, because I'm fairly certain Lily will figure out what that means with enough play.
There are a few reasons I can't give Tapikeo more than four stars, despite how much I appreciate its upside: First, the app crashed a few times when I was entering data, even after a restart. I didn't lose any of my work during the crashes, however, so that's more of a slight inconvenience than a major problem. Second, in certain instances if you press one button while another audio sequence is still playing, they both play at the same time. Third, if you forget to press "done" after entering data, none of it is saved. There should be at least a pop-up that asks if you want to exit before saving. And finally, my crackerjack test team (E and Lily) discovered that pineapple is called banana in the fruit grid.
That said, I recommended the app and it has definite five-star potential with just a few fixes.
If you would like to purchase Tapikeo please use the links provided. The cost is the same, but Smart Apps receives a small percentage. Thanks for your support!
(unlocking all features on the iPhone costs $0.99 in-app)
smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.