Saturday, December 27, 2014

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App Wrap: "News-O-Matic," "WWF Together"

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NY1 highlights the coolest and newest apps for your cellphone or mobile device in the twice-weekly segment "App Wrap." NY1’s Adam Balkin filed the following report.


The "News-O-Matic" is a digital daily newspaper for kids. It's just five articles a day, written by children's book authors, former teachers and journalists. Developers say there's also a child psychologist who vets every piece.

Keeping with these digital times, each article has certain interactive elements, things like maps and mini-games. On top of that, the children readers are given a chance to be published themselves in the app. There's a section for emailing comments to the staff or even emailing a picture you can make that relates to one of the articles. Some of those comments and pieces of artwork are then made public.

"News-O-Matic", an iPad app, starts off with a few free issues, but then, to help cover the cost, since there aren't any ads, you'll need a subscription: $1.99 a week, $6.99 a month, or $49.99 a year through in-app purchases.

WWF Together

If your child tends to gravitate towards the headlines that feature animals, the World Wildlife Fund's latest app may be worth a look.

Called "WWF Together", you choose an animal you'd like to learn more about, and then as you swipe up, down, left and right you get interesting, sometimes odd facts, along with pictures, video and, again, interactive elements to help you learn more about the animal. There's also a globe you spin to not only get more information on endangered animals, but see where they are and exactly how far they are from where you're sitting.

What really makes this app a bit different, though, from others that teach about animals is that there's not only an origami feel to lots of it, but once you finish all the information on an animal, you see a virtual origami version of it folded right in front of you, and then you get actual origami instructions if you'd like to do it in the real world.

"WWF Together" is an iPad app that's free. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP