Bottom Line: Fully customizable and with 26(!) included grids. A must-download for whatever you're trying to teach.
Certain one-word summaries often pop into my head when I am writing reviews. Often it's "average" or "weak" or "good."
With Tapikeo HD, the word that kept occurring to me was "significant." Tapikeo HD is a significant app in the same way that See. Touch. Learn. or Toontastic are, in that not only is it very, very good, but it presents a world of customization possibilities.
With Tapikeo HD, users can add images, grouped into sets (called grids), a caption, and then a corresponding voice or sound recording to each image. A simple idea, but one with remarkable potential functionality for just about any educational purpose.
The app could be used to create a visual schedule, for example, or an ebook, or flash cards or even something like a scrap book for a vacation. Some projects would certainly take much more time than others, but there are TONS of possibilities for the framework provided by Tapikeo.
On top of what the app offers in terms of customization, Tapikeo HD comes with seven preinstalled grids (animal sounds, funny facts about animals, matching opposites, learning to wash hands, tools and two ebooks: Clelia and the Cereal and The Moon and the Cap. There are 19 additional grids available to download for free, including alphabet, colors, health, vegetables and weather. So, before you add any of your own, there are 26(!) pre-made grids available for the purchase price. The included grids can be edited and changed as desired.
Five additional sets are available via in-app purchase for 99 cents each: AAC starter pack, discover animals, children's songs, how tos and social stories, and learning grids for children.
Sets can also be built and shared with other users who have the app via email. If a group of smartappsforkids.com users want to get together, for example on our handy-dandy new forum and share the grids they built, it's quite easy to do so.The app also has a link to a section of the developer's Facebook page to download other shared grids and preview them in a web browser. 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. Lily Decides to Eat Raisins took us about 10 minutes to do. It's also easy enough to teach any child who can read/type and take a picture. The app can also be used in English or French, and there are sound and picture options.
If a parent/teacher doesn't want the editing features to be utilized, (a critically-important feature so the app appears to younger kids just as fun pages to press on) Tapikeo features a five-tap lock/unlock system to ensure things aren't accidentally erased or edited. All customizable apps need a system just like this. When locked, all children can do is play within a grid or switch grids, so all editing functions and external links (to Facebook, etc.) are completely unavailable.
Another strong issue is the price. There are a number of apps that do similar things to Tapikeo, but they cost A LOT more than $4.99.
My only suggestions for future updates of Tapikeo, and it's tough to be negative about an app this good, but that's sort of what we do here, are that 1) it doesn't go into landscape mode when turned and 2) I couldn't get the web preview functionality for custom built grids to work.
With an app of this magnitude however, those are not significant concerns. Buy this app.
If you would like to purchase Tapikeo HD (iPad/$4.99, but on sale for $3.99) please use the link below.
This review was written by Ron Engel, editor for smartappsforkids.com, who is currently busy picking up raisins that were dropped all over the kitchen floor during the production of this review. Jean-Eudes Lepelletier, the developer of the Tapikeo HD, is an advertiser at smartappsforkids.com.