Bottom Line: Designed for older students to keep up with current events, it needs more content to be really useful (or worth $2.99).
2Bounce2 is a new app based on the website by the same name, billed as a blog for students "to bounce to" to take a few minutes to read the news and be informed in a number of different categories. The app is designed for the iPhone—it will work on the iPad, but not with high definition visuals.
The concept is simple: the app is a news feed, gathering articles of interest from around the web. A few paragraphs of the article are previewed in the app; if interested, the user can click on the headline to see the start of the article (about two paragraphs) with the option to open the full article in Safari. This is a nice option, especially for those reading on the iPad.
Articles from Prevention, Yahoo!, CareerBuilder.com, and more are all available in the main feed. Articles can also be viewed by category, and the search function works well. Tapping the star in the upper right corner will save an article to Favorites, which is a nice feature.
I did find news articles I wouldn’t have otherwise found when I used this app. The top five latest articles when I tested included low-stress careers (I never would have guessed a Marketing Consultant would rank No. 2), a presidential primary article, and an article about 2012 food trends. All of the article topics seem appropriate for older students to read, though some seemed hardly relevant—the number of students waiting for a tax refund and reading, “Where’s My Tax Refund?” are probably limited.
My 10-year old son was interested to see if there was anything that would help him in his weekly current events class. Unfortunately, none of the articles we loaded (the most recent 40) had any world news events, and most of them weren’t even really current events. It didn’t hold his interest.
There is not nearly enough information to make this app something anyone will want to bounce to more than occasionally. No need to check it throughout the day—the most recent article on my feed was from two days ago and there were only two new articles posted in the past five days. Occasionally 3-5 articles posted in one day, but most days had nothing at all.
Also, the category section has just five: career information, fun facts, health tips, thought for the day, and today's news. The most recent post in today's news, however, was two weeks old.
If there actually was current event content appropriate for older children in this app, and at least a few articles a day, it could be a great news app for kids. However, it is definitely not worth $2.99 in its current form, especially when it has not been optimized for the iPad.
As it stands now, we’ll stick to the free news apps to stay current, as many of those can be modified with feeds parents find appropriate.
If you would like to purchase 2Bounce2, please support smartappsforkids.com by using the links provided.
This review was completed by Heather Hetler, who works as an elementary school SLP and is a full-time graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology. smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.