One of the reasons I started to review apps is because I wanted to provide some insight into what apps are worth spending your dollars on! There are literally thousands of apps out there in the marketplace and it can be tough sometimes to know if they are worth purchasing. When Nathalie van Ee, founder of Fun Educational Apps told me about a new app they put out called AppStar Picks which features the Top 250+ Apps that have been reviewed by independent and trusted App Review Sites – I thought that was such a great idea! I was able to speak to Nathalie about how the idea came about and what parents can expect from this FREE app!
Tell us how Appstar Picks came about?
When I first started to get apps for the kids I quickly realised the potential the iPad, iPod and iPhone would offer. As a mum, I wanted to help my kids use their devices for more than just gaming and started to look for apps that would be fun and educational. Soon it became a passion! But the problem was finding the best ones.
Exploring the app store was frustrating as description was not always enough and many times I found apps that sounded great but reality was quite different. It was then that I decided to share my findings with parents by creating a blog Fun Educational Apps where I would review quality apps. At the same time, I joined a fantastic group, Moms with Apps, which “supports family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families”. Over the year, I met Irina, a mom developer from App Grade. We shared the same passion about top quality apps for our kids and started to discuss how difficult it was to find great curated apps for kids. We decided to combined our expertise where I could provide a list of reviewed apps and AppGrade the know how to create a tool that would help parents and teachers discover some of the best apps for kids. After many months of hard work and discussions we came up with AppStar Picks. It started with 250 reviews for kids’ apps from four independent review sites and today AppStar Picks has just been updated with 70 new app reviews and 2 new review sites!
What do you hope parents gain from this FREE App?
AppStar Picks is unique in the sense that it recommends over 320 apps for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers, categorized by subject. What parents get when using AppStar Picks is not the iTunes app description but fair and impartial reviews from at least one the six review sites associated with AppStar Picks. These sites are run by parents and/or teachers dedicated to review only the best ones!
AppStar Picks offers a friendly interface with a great colourful design. It is easy to navigate. Parents can either browse the apps by categories (education, early education, books, games, entertainment….) or use our advance search features to look for apps by ages, devices or subjects. It also offers many cool features such as a night and day view, price update, “Cover Flow” mode, HD screen shots from the apps, “Wish list” …. and more! We hope that AppStar Picks will help families find their way around the ever growing number of apps and see us as trusted resources for best apps for kids!
Any future apps in the works?
At the moment there is no plan for future new apps from us. We want to continue to develop AppStar Picks and provide new reviews on a regular basis as well as add new review sites. We are also working on great new features to make AppStar Picks even better!
You can download the App for FREE in iTunes:
Note: AppStar Picks started with 4 review sites…
Fun Educational Apps a top independent review site for quality apps developed to stimulate and encourage fun learning for children-http://funeducationalapps.com
Digital Storytime a top resource for the best Storybook apps for kids - http://digital-storytime.com
Applicable2U, a review blog of iPad, iPhone and iTouch applications that relate to educators and parents - http://applicable2u.wordpress.com
Teachers With Apps, a premier source for educational app discovery - http://teacherswithapps.com
And we just added 2 new review sites:
The iMums, Four Mums from around the world dedicated to review apps from a mother’s perspective and to educate parents about the variety of apps available for children of all abilities – http://www.theimum.com –
Apps for Homeschooling reviews educational apps from the perspective of a real homeschooling mother of five – http://appsforhomeschooling.com
And in the next update Melissa’s Reviews will be added from her Appy Mall site – http://melissa.appymall.com/
Thanks Nathalie for helping put together such a great resource for busy parents!