Tag Archives: iPod/iPad

You can’t get this Otter wet.

I have been hunting for the right case for my iPhone 6 plus from the moment I got it a few months back, and since my most favourite cases (being the Lifeproof kind) have yet to hit Australian shores.  I’ve had to make do with the limited cases available.  I didn’t want to bend my phone and the only one I’ve found in this narrow market that is capable of stopping that so far, is the Otterbox Defender.

It's a huge bitch!

It is a VERY bulky case, it doubles the phone thickness at the very least and probably a smidgen more.  My children laugh at my when I’m on the phone, and ask if I’ve mistaken my iPad for a phone.  But Otterbox is known for ruggedness not style. Seriously though, I’ve got no pockets this thing will fit in.

It features a tough polycarbonate plastic shell that covers the whole phone, then a rubbery outer synthetic slipcover wraps around that to absorb shocks. It comes with a belt clip holster that swivels from landscape to portrait, and doubles as a stand which you will use more than you think.

In Australia it comes in black and black (my white phone looks a bit silly in it), unless you pick up a grey market one on eBay, or pay big bucks in postage to get a coloured skin direct from Otterbox. 

It will survive a drop, and has done so on many occasions now, and it has a built in screen protector. Which is probably essential to the whole protection deal, but the one or two millimetre gap between the screen and the protector drove me insane. I made SO many mistakes just trying to type one simple message, I end up ripping the screen cover out.  I’m not kidding that screen cover made being accurate near on impossible.  

If you remove your phone from the case, the fingerprint recognition will not work anymore, the sticky of the film membrane that covers the home button doesn’t appear to be designed for more than once use. So I had to take that out too, because I also use that feature on my phone a lot. I removed the phone to clean it (prior to any modifications), because despite its all encompassing appearance you can still get sand in the case. Given the nearly $100 price tag Australians enjoy for this case, I’m not impressed, it works (with these slight modifications) but no longer providing the protection I want.

When I look at this case next to the hubs iPhone 6 sitting all snug and sleek in it’s new LifeProof case, I’m pretty sure my Plus blushes.  I think it’s back to the drawing board with this one please Otterbox, rushed to market and not tested enough.  Also if it is named after a water habituating creature why isn’t it waterproof? Just wondering.

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Filed under Complaints Dept, Reviews, Technology/Gadgets

Stella & Sam Story Bundle – New App!

The talented team at Zinc Roe Games have done it again, and come up with a new Stella & Sam app that has four stories in the one App.  All for only $7.49AU, so right off the bat that saves you nearly $4.50 if you were to buy them individually.

My kids all love the Stella & Sam story and activity Apps, as you can see from our previous reviews.  They are one of our favourite iPad apps for the little ones.  And once again the quality of the App is top-notch, even when bundled together in one app, no glitches so far for us. 

Stella & Sam’s latest edition Rainy Days and Rainbows is included in the story bundle app, it is just as entertaining for the little ones as all the others are.  One of the activities in this story lets your child draw with paw prints in paint, my daughter keeps returning to this activity over and over, she loves it.

Play alongside Stella and Sam and their dog Fred as they go out on a playful adventure on a rainy day. Make paintings with Fred, dig through the leaves looking for treasures and race pinecones across Puddle Lake. From zinc Roe games, the makers of the award-winning Tickle Tap Apps, the Stella and Sam Interactive Adventures combine stunning animation with three elegantly designed activities.  The Stella and Sam Apps are based on the television show and the bestselling picture book series by Marie-Louise Gay. Stella and Sam books have been translated into fifteen languages. They have sold over one million copies and are loved by children all over the world. Each Stella and Sam Adventure features: -Beautiful full-screen animation -Three fun and simple games-Quick navigation by chapter and game -Support for English and French.

Thanks once again to Zinc Roe Games for asking us to try out their wonderful new Stella & Sam App, it’s always a pleasure as we know they always come up with the goods when it comes to a quality app.

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Do you use your iPad to help your child communicate?

For those just coming in, we have three children with Autism.  Our son Tom is quite severe and has very impaired communication abilities, he has never grasped writing, talking or signing.  However he can communicate using pictures very well.  Autistic children around the world, rely on communication pictures to tell their carers what they need.  Usually this involves a folder full of little laminated pictures, like this;

This folder can get very fat as your child gets older and wants communicate more needs with you.  Not only that,  this folder is fiddly, you can’t add to instantly and you need to know someone or own a laminator to make up the little pictures.  And then at least once a week you have to remake some because they get chewed.  Now that we use an iPad/Touch, we can add to our picture library instantly.  This saves Tom a lot of frustration and me a lot of stress, from the inevitable tantrum that follows when a need cannot be communicated.

Some time ago we made the transition to using an iPad (and iPod Touch) for Thomas’ communication needs, the App we use to do this is the Grace App.  I’ve talked about the Grace App lots I know, but I just can’t talk about these kind of Apps enough, and finally schools and services here in Australia are starting to catch on.  Read what I thought of the Grace App here and here

However these devices and apps can be hard for families to obtain, as the initial cost can be hard to afford, and funding can be even harder to obtain as not all services can see the benefit in using them.  But like I said, this is starting to change, Yay! 

The lovely Lisa; creator of the Grace App, has sent me a code for a free download of her fantastic app for one of my readers that needs it.  Awesome yes?  So please pop a comment below if you, a friend, a school, someone in need - could use the app on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad – to go in a draw for the code.  This App is valued at over $45AU, so please tell your friends.  I’ll draw this on Friday. 

iPods for Autism people, let’s get the word out there!

UPDATE!

During the past week or so I have transferred my blog onto a new server, so there were lots of entries received in the cross over period.  Luckily I got an email for all of them, as I was not able to transfer (find) the comments over onto this post. Whoops.

So, the extra people who entered are:  Janelle  S, Robin R, Mike R, Sue A, Barb C, Michelle N, Sharon P, Laurel F, Mitchell P, Annette S, Thea B, SmellyJelly, Lana V, Michelle A, Jamie E, SeeSpotRun, Kerry W, LaraW, Sharna T and TeeJay.

Phew!

And the winner is….  Nicki Zeith – thanks for entering, your iTunes code will hit your email inbox shortly.  And thanks so much for your comments everyone, I hope I captured them all O_o Can anyone who did comment and didn’t get listed please message me, and I’ll pop an extra entry into my next giveaway for you. :)

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Filed under Autism, Giveaways, School, Technology/Gadgets, The Kids

Mr Thorne does Phonics – iPad App

I’ve been given the chance to test drive another educational iPad app, thank you Mr Thorne. 

Mr Thorne does Phonics, created by Mr Thorne himself.  It stemmed from his role as Head Phonics Teacher for the Solihull Local Authority, leading to You Tube videos of Phonic tuition with over 2 millions hits on his channel

Now you can get these videos in an App.  I have to admit on first seeing the app in action, I was a dubious about the grainy YouTube footage meshed into the workings of the app, but that said, it has no bearing on how effective this app is as a teaching tool.  Kids don’t care about the footage, it’s just me being picky ;)

Our four-year old daughter Georgie has taken to the App very well, she even greets Mr Thorne when he appears on the screen.  For those who don’t know, Georgie is autistic and has a slight speech delay, it has been Apps like this that have helped us get her talking.  This App has a lot of content, we’ve seen Georgie sit still using it for half and hour straight, so yes it is very engaging.  Below is a video of Georgie using the app, just ignore the point near the end where the baby interrupts ;)

The app costs $9.99AU and you can find it here.

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Filed under Reviews, Technology/Gadgets

Meet Stella and Sam on the iPad – Preschool Apps

Yeah yeah I know, I’m blogging about the iPad again.  But the lovely people at Stella and Sam & Zinc Roe Games, asked me to check out their new release preschool App.  I’m glad they did, because we loved it.

How cute are these little people.  The app is a beautifully animated story starring Stella and Sam, taking them through a short adventure looking for their lost things.  Throughout the adventure little interactive games for your children to complete as part of the story, my autistic four-year old daughter loved ‘dressing’ the snowman and wiping away the snow to find hidden things, and the games are not the same everytime.  Excellent fine motor skill exercises.  I think I’m going to have to download more Stella and Sam when they come out, the HD screen of the iPad really presents children’s app brilliantly – especially something drawn as beautifully as Stella and Sam.  It’s based on the television show and the bestselling picture book series by Marie-Louise Gay. 

“Stella and Sam is about engaging children to discover and explore the world around them, sparking children’s imaginations and encouraging their creativity.”Marie-Louise Gay, author and creator.

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Filed under Reviews, Technology/Gadgets