We’re big fans of American developer Tinybop: its ‘Explorer’s Library’ series of educational apps are among our favourites of recent years. Until now, they’ve only been available for iPhone and iPad, but now Tinybop is taking them to Android – with a twist.
The company has released five of the apps for Android devices: The Earth, Skyscrapers, Weather, Simple Machines and Homes. They’re all available as free downloads with free seven-day trials to see what you and your children think of them.
The titles are self-explanatory, but in short, these apps explain how certain aspects of the world work, with plenty of interactivity for children to explore the topics at their own pace.
The twist? Tinybop is testing charging parents a monthly subscription for unlimited access to all the apps. That’s called the ‘Tinybop Explorer’s Pass’, and it’s going to cost $9.99 a year. The company stresses that parents can cancel anytime they like.
We should stress: this is a test. The five apps (with more to follow) are listed as ‘unreleased’ on the Google Play store. That doesn’t mean they’re not available to download: but it means they’re early versions for testing, which may be unstable – translation, they may crash every so often.
Tinybop is hoping to get the thoughts of parents on the apps and the subscription. “Your feedback will help inform our future decisions for Google Play,” it explained in an email to its mailing list. “We know so many of you have waited patiently to play our apps on Android. We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts.”
We know how frustrating it can be for parents who’ve bought their children Android tablets to then see excellent apps coming out for iPad only. The problem for developers like Tinybop in the past has been concerns that it’s harder to make money from children’s apps on Android.
So, in an ideal scenario, when a developer like Tinybop makes apps for Android, lots of parents will pay for them, and that will convince them to make more. Well, we can hope…
Tinybop Explorer’s Pass is a free download for Android from the Google Play store, and that’ll point you in the right direction for the other apps.