Life at Warp Speed

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Chinese (and other languages) e-book Apps – Free for a limited time! June 6, 2012

Filed under: Apps,Book Apps,Kids,Learning Chinese — lifeatwarpspeed @ 2:44 am
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App Store – RyeBooks: Mulan -by Rye Studio™.

This has been a very good week for apps, especially Chinese learning ones.

Rye Studio has developed a fairly large library of their RyeBooks Apps. In the world of Chinese storybook apps, these are some of the most visually appealing apps I have come across. Rye Studio is currently offering a large portion of their collection for free download for a limited time. Normally, their book apps range from $0.99 to $1.99.

One of the worse things about many of the Chinese e-book apps out of the market is that their English translations are really awful, the poor quality audio, or heavily accented. Rye books avoids all of these pitfalls. You will have to personally judge whether or not you like the individual stories. I find them to be acceptable, but not stellar from a writing and story telling perspective. However, for my personal purposes, I am not expecting great literature, just something acceptable to use for learning Chinese.

One the nice features about these apps is that you can toggle the text to be English, traditional or simplified Chinese with pinyin, traditional Cantonese with Wade-Giles, and even some other languages like Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, French, etc. You can have audio in these various languages as well. Every book has English and Chinese, but the additional languages vary from book to book. There is also a page of just the story text without the animation which is really useful for reading practice especially since the pinyin can be shown with the characters. You can also record your own audio for the app as well.

Recommended for ages 2 and up.



Rye Science Apps – Free for a limited time.

Filed under: Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 2:20 am
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MarineLife HD -by Rye Studio™ for iPad on the iTunes App Store.

Dinosaurs -by Rye Studio™ for iPad on the iTunes App Store.

Rye Studio has two amazing science apps available for free download right now. Normally, $1.99. These two apps are really slick and well designed. Tons of information, sharp images, realistic animation, narration, and a really wonderful way to learn all about marine life.

The Dinosaur app is not quite as fully featured as MarineLife HD, but it is a pretty good introduction to dinosaurs and the artistic renderings are really nice. I really like the geographical maps of the three periods that show where the different dinosaurs lived. There is a Bug HD app as well, but there are only half a dozen insects featured which didn’t seem worth the hard drive space it ate up (nearly 250 MB).

Recommended for ages 5 and up.



Monster Physics App – 50% off for a limited time

Filed under: Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 1:41 am
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Monster Physics for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad on the iTunes App Store.

Monster Physics is on sale right now 50% off. Normally, $1.99. This is another amazing edutainment app from one of my favorite developers who made one of my favorite math apps for kids, Rocket Math ( This is a great app that teaches kids about the basics of physics is a really engaging way.

There are over 50 puzzle problems to solve. I really like how the play and solutions are open ended so that  you don’t have to solve it the exact same way every time. You get to design your own monster as well as the build feature which lets you build your own creations and put it into action. There are dozens upon dozens of parts to manipulate and build. Your child’s imagination can go crazy. Who says that science isn’t fun?

Highly recommended for ages 5 and up. Younger children can play with some parental assistance. My son absolutely loves playing this with his geeky techie dad who likes this app a lot as well. Absolutely worth the full paid app price.



Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing App – Free for a limited time!

Filed under: Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 1:09 am
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App Store – Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing.

Who doesn’t have fond memories of Sonic the Hedgehog? If you are a fan of kart racing games (we love Mario Kart), you will want to grab Sonic All-Stars Racing for iPad and iPhone while Sega is offering it for free download. Normally, this is $1.99. This games uses a tilt interface as you race through various courses. There are various characters to play and different vehicles to race. There are 25 missions and a 3 grand prix cup races with three levels of difficulty. You can also race online with up to 4 friends or go head to head using Bluetooth.

Recommended for ages 4 and up. Younger children experienced in tilt game play and racing games can also play this.



Sprout’s Doodle Dots app – Free

Filed under: Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 12:48 am
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Sprout’s Doodle Dots for iPad on the iTunes App Store.

This free app for toddlers was developed by PBS Sprout. It is a really nice beginner dot to dot app that also helps very young children learn basic concepts like colors, shapes, fruit, and numbers. You just tap on the dot as prompted by the audio to see the dots form a picture of many common objects. You can vary the puzzle by selecting the type of dots used (colors, shapes, fruit, or numbers). There are about 100 images to play with so your toddler will have lots to explore.

Recommended for ages 18 months to 3 years.




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