A Life Cycle App

App review by
Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media
A Life Cycle App App Poster Image
Ten scientific cycles explained, but with no interaction.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

This app is easy to use without instructions. There is a table of contents that displays the names and graphics for the ten included sections. Each section shows a diagram of the entire cycle. Tapping or swiping highlights the first step of the cycle and brings up a pop-up text box describing that step with an audio recording of that text also available. Tapping or swiping continues to the next step, while swiping backwards goes back one step. The audio or text can be disabled easily, but users cannot immediately jump between steps. The audio recording has a slight accent and occasional echo or muffle, but is generally easy to understand. The content of the app varies widely in difficulty level from "seed" in the plant cycle to ""ammonification" of nitrogen.

Violence

In the frog's life cycle, it is mentioned that not all of the eggs survive.

Sex

Scientific explanations of processes such as pollination use terms related to reproduction.

Language
Consumerism

There are links from the main menu to sign up for notifications of new apps, email friends about the app, or purchase more apps from the developer. A pop-up window also asks users to rate the app.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Life Cycle App is similar to a science textbook with ten chapters about natural cycles in life. Each chapter displays a diagram of the cycle, and tapping on the image brings up a paragraph of text about each stage, which is read aloud. The text is fairly advanced, including descriptions of mitosis and meiosis, and some scientific terms related to reproduction. Continuing to tap on the image progresses through each of the stages. After a few minutes, a request to rate the app pops up, and there are links from the main menu to purchase other games.

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Is it any good?

The diagrams in A LIFE CYCLE APP and the accompanying text have a lot of scientific information about natural cycles. Much of the early information is presented in ways kids can understand. The audio recordings are not fully professional, but they are still easy enough to understand. Aside from tapping the diagrams, though, there is not any interactivity. Since the subject matter of the content and the difficulty level of the text vary widely, it may be challenging to match this app to kids' reading abilities and interests. 

App details

For kids who love science

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