New iPhone apps worth downloading: Speakaboos, Pocket Ranger Trophy Case, Dive for Treasures

Jul 18, 2013
Tech

Today’s haul of apps worth downloading starts with Speakaboos, a read-along storybook app for kids that packs lots of content for children learning to read. Following that is Pocket Ranger Trophy Case, a social network for hunters, anglers and the like, designed around sharing photos of your accomplishments in the outdoors. Finally, Dive for Treasures […]

Today’s haul of apps worth downloading starts with Speakaboos, a read-along storybook app for kids that packs lots of content for children learning to read. Following that is Pocket Ranger Trophy Case, a social network for hunters, anglers and the like, designed around sharing photos of your accomplishments in the outdoors. Finally, Dive for Treasures rounds out our list, bringing side-scrolling submarine gameplay and a set of controls that will challenge you to become a skillful submariner.

Speakaboos (iPad) (Free)

What’s it about? Kids can read and sing along with lots of different stories and songs in Speakaboos, an iPad app that helps kids learn while keeping them entertained.

What’s cool? Speakaboos resembles lots of other storybook-style apps in the iTunes App Store, all of which make it easy for kids to learn to read by easing them through different phases: reading stories to them, helping them to follow along with the story as it’s read, and finally allowing them to read on their own. Speakaboos includes some 150 stories that kids can read, and they can search through by topic on a lively, visual menu screen. But the app includes more than storybooks – there are also songs kids can sing along with and interactive stories that help with reading comprehension.

Who’s it for? Filled with stories for helping kids learn to read, this one’s geared at around five to eight and under. Also note that the app requires a subscription.

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What’s it like? Kids might also have fun reading Another Monster at the End of This Book and Toy Story Readalong.

Pocket Ranger Trophy Case (Free)

What’s it about? Share your photos from the Great Outdoors with other people who share interests in birding, fishing, wildlife and more with Pocket Ranger Trophy Case, a social network specifically for the outdoorsy crowd.

What’s cool? Social networks abound in the iTunes App Store, but Pocket Ranger Trophy Case is one of the few (perhaps the only) that’s geared toward the crowd of people who like activities such as fishing, birding and hunting. The app is all about sharing photos of your accomplishments – the bird you sighted or the bass you snagged – with other uses and allows you the usual interactive capabilities, like leaving comments and marking photos you like. You can also tag photos with their subject matter, and Pocket Ranger Trophy Case allows you to avoid the kinds of photos you don’t want to see, while sending you the kinds you do. You can also participate in challenges like fishing tournaments, and compete for prizes when you do.

Who’s it for? Fans of outdoor activities such as fishing and hunting, this is a social network aimed at making it easy for you to participate and make friends.

What’s it like? You might find similar social networks and users in Yonder and Whitetail+.

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Dive for Treasures ($1.99)

What’s it about? Carefully pilot a submarine through treacherous waters in search of treasure in Dive for Treasures, while making sure to avoid running into walls and being sunk by rival subs.

What’s cool? It’s the controls of Dive for Treasures that probably makes the game most interesting. You take control of a submarine and explore various levels by diving into side-scrolling 2-D levels, but you control your submarine with two wheels that you rotate for different effects. The left wheel controls your depth, while the right controls your forward and backward motion, and balancing those controls correctly requires a light touch and some deft skills. Exploring the oceans carefully is to your benefit if you want to survive to haul loot back up from the briny deep, which you can use to upgrade your sub with faster speeds, better weapons (for when you encounter enemies) and more.

Who’s it for? If exploring the depths with touchy, challenging controls in an arcade title sounds like fun (and it is), grab Dive for Treasures.

What’s it like? Try Submarine and Crazy Submarine: Extreme Rush for some similar mechanics and gameplay.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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