February 4, 2011

Introducing Moms with Apps

Once you have kids, everything you have is up for grabs. Last Oreo cookie...gone. Tivo space...occupied by Dora the Explorer. Last sip of Coke...shared. Nice leather couch...a canvas to paint on. Playboy subscription...cancelled. Sleeping in on the weekends...never. New iPhone 4...hand it over.

Some of these concessions are livable, after all I don't really need another Oreo. Some of them are heart-breaking, since I've had that couch since college. However, some of them could jumpstart a lifetime of learning...and I'm not talking about reading it just for the articles.

Taking Education By the Hand

Parents and educators have been quick to note the fantastic educational potential of the iPhone. The interface is intuitive and engaging, while the vast selection of educational applications guarantees that you will be able to meet your children's educational needs. Want to practice early reading skills, while teaching you children how to avoid zombies? There's an app for that. For any educational subject and school topic, you can be sure that there isn't just an app for that....actually, there are hundreds.

Therein lies the problem.

Type Math, I Dare You

While the App Store has revolutionized the software industry, it is cluttered and notoriously difficult to navigate (and that's being nice). It also made $0.99 seem like a lot of money to a lot of people.

Let's just say that I want to find an app to help my 5-year old develop her math skills. I type "Math" into the search bar and you get "Math+-x+", "Math This", "Math That", "Math Math Math", "Mathy McMath Math", and so on.  Are these the best math apps, or just the ones with math in the title? What kind of math is in the app? Why does iTunes only show the first two sentences? It's 3 clicks to find out what type of math this app is for. And even once you establish that it's actually a math app, what ages is it suitable for? It's enough to make you want teach your kids math the old fashioned way...with a nun wielding a ruler.

Introducing Moms with Apps

For as frustrated as users get, developers have it even worse. They have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours developing their apps. Testing, tweaking and refining every last detail. Then, because the title of their name didn't lead with "Math" followed by some random unicode symbol, their app is stuck on page 4 of search results.

Some developers decided to do something about it. Not just any developers, but the members of Moms with Apps. Moms With Apps is a collaborative group of family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families. It started with a few moms chatting over Twitter, evolved into forum, and finally graduated in to a fully fledged movement to promote the best in educational apps for children.

Members of Moms with Apps represent the very best and most renown developers in the App Store. Check out the member list and you find that it mirrors the Top Educational App Lists. Collectively, over 40% of the Moms with Apps member's apps have been featured by Apple in the App Store. These developers have set the standard for excellence in educational apps.

The Moms with Apps App

In collaboration with Moms with Apps, BabyBinks is proud to introduce the Moms with Apps app. While the name is a veritable marketing nightmare, the app is a comprehensive catalog of educational and family-friendly apps from Moms with App members. The developers have painstakingly categorized all of their apps by educational subjects and provided a recommended age.

These are not the categories your not going to find in the App Store. Categories like Art, Science, Music, Special Needs and Early Learning. And what about Math? You'll be searching through Counting, Addition, Subtraction, Fractions, Division and Money to find exactly the app that is appropriate for you children. The app also keeps a historical record of the educational apps that have been featured by Apple.

It's not going to get you your Playboy subscription back, but rest assured, when you son finds a box in the basement labeled "College Textbooks" that has 18 years of magazines in it, you'll be glad you were able to find an app that helped develop early literacy skills. That way when he swears he was reading them for the articles...you'll be able to half-heartedly believe him.