Kids get an iPad magazine of their own with app Timbuktu

May 2, 2011
Shine

I started reading magazines when I was a kid (thanks, Highlights!) so it was only a matter of time before a developer tackled an iPad magazine for kids. The first to do so is Italy-based Timbuktu, which hit the App Store earlier this month. The inaugural Timbuktu is “The Ice Issue,” and offers educational packages […]

I started reading magazines when I was a kid (thanks, Highlights!) so it was only a matter of time before a developer tackled an iPad magazine for kids. The first to do so is Italy-based Timbuktu, which hit the App Store earlier this month.

The inaugural Timbuktu is “The Ice Issue,” and offers educational packages on global warming, cold-weather animals and habitats, although the sections on India and Out & About did deviate from the theme. Users expecting a wholly interactive experience won’t find it in Timbuktu, but it isn’t completely static either. Kids should be able to handle the limited motions — swiping left and right to turn the pages, and tapping a hot spot of text every so often. I think younger tots will have trouble reading the text-based features based on the language used (but I’m not a mom, so this is purely assumption), but the largest feature in the app is the audio-driven “Into the Wild,” which offers “conversations” with cold-dwelling animals. While informative, the English narration was difficult to understand at times, depending on the speaker’s accent, and I wondered if kids would get bored listening, while looking at a still drawing. The video about the ice machine was on the long side, but the walrus video offered some great animation, which I can see entertaining the young ones.

Tapping the top left corner of the app will take users back to the beginning, where the table of contents can be accessed, but this really needs to be labeled better. The TOC will jump directly to whatever story is tapped, but if you’re within the magazine and don’t know about the hidden button, the only way to navigate the app is by swiping backward or forward.

READ  Trending - Did Google Copy Twitter?

Timbuktu is a good start for introducing kids to a variety of educational subject matters. It’s clear the creators are devoted to the product, and with its free price tag, you’d be silly to not see if the app is a good fit for your children.

Download the free Appolicious iPhone app

Search for more

Home Apps Games