App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
1600 App Poster Image
Dollar bill takes you on an AR White House tour.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about what happens at the White House and its surrounding grounds at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Kids can also learn how augmented reality technology is applied in the app. Through investigating what they see on this app, kids can gain cultural understanding about the way the White House plays important roles in American governance. 

Ease of Play

Generally easy to play, but a bit glitchy if the phone isn't held just right in relation to where the dollar bill is placed.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that 1600 transforms a real dollar bill into the White House and its grounds in the app through augmented reality technology (AR). Center the app's screen on the face of a dollar bill and watch the images on the bill transform into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Tour the animated scene (among many others) and watch images such as the presidential helicopter land on the grass as Secret Service agents stand guard on the roof. Parents may need to help younger kids with 1600 because it's not easy to consistently tilt your device just right to continue the tour. When it hits a glitch, the app returns to the beginning, which can be frustrating. Read the White House privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Grant 1600 access to your device's camera. Place a dollar bill on a flat surface and tap start on the app's main screen. Guiding outlines of a dollar bill will appear on the screen; align the real dollar bill with them. Watch as components of the dollar bill transform on the screen to become the White House and its surrounding grounds. Tilt your screen to view various areas of the grounds and building. Tap on the Oval Office to see its interior.

Is it any good?

This augmented reality app fits the bill if you want your kid to learn some basics about what happens at the White House in a unique way. As the dollar bill's components begin to spin and swirl on the screen, it's amazing to watch 1600 transform the image into the White House. Created by the White House Historical Association and Nexus Studios, this app is intended to help kids gain "a better sense of the institution and its purpose." It does this but only at the most surface level. If you're looking for an in-depth understanding of the history and functions of the White House, this isn't that source. But for a free app that requires nothing more than a dollar bill and a little patience, this is a fun way to explore 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what they see on 1600. Since there's no verbal or written explanations on the app, parents may need to explain some of what kids see. 

  • Visit whitehouse.gov for more detailed tours of the White House with real photography, as well as White House facts and figures.

  • Talk about augmented reality. Brainstorm ideas with your kid: What are some other ways that this technology can enhance learning about other subjects?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love history and augmented reality

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