By Jenny Bristol,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Playful interactions are limited without in-app purchases.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
While Animal Phone was created with educational intent, we don't recommend it for learning. It can be attractive and fun for a short time, and allows kids to engage in some imaginative play, but it also lacks depth and misses opportunities for learning.
Ease of Play
It is easy for kids of all ages to interact with this app, with large buttons to tap, and easy-to-understand activities. Making in-app purchases takes several steps -- so little kids will find it appropriately difficult.
Violence & Scariness
Tapping on the gorilla sometimes elicits an "ouch."
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Products & Purchases
The app gives you one animal to play with for free, but there are many options for purchasing additional animals or animal upgrades. The messages left for kids also sometimes include advertisements for other paying aspects of the app. To get to the Animal Store for in-app purchases, parents need to follow written instructions to enter a tapping code, making it more difficult for kids to make the purchases themselves.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Animal Phone is an app where kids can call animal friends who will talk and interact with them, as well as repeat back what kids say. The animals will also leave kids messages when they are away. Kids can use a keypad to dial the phone, or tap "Call" on the animal's image screen. The app includes a gorilla friend to call and play with, though additional animals and animal upgrades are available as in-app purchases. Kids can tap on the gorilla to get a reaction or make him pass gas.
Where to Download
Videos and Photos
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What’s It About?
Kids can carry on a phone conversation with Graham Gorilla, even hearing their own answers repeated back by the gorilla. The interface is very similar to an actual iPhone call, with the Call button and End button. The gorilla calls and leaves messages for the kids as well. Young kids will enjoy calling their \"friends.\" Kids are encouraged to ask a grown-up about ordering \"food and toys\" for the animals, and more animal friends can be loaded for a fee via in-app purchase. Graham Gorilla is the only one included in the free app.
Is It Any Good?
ANIMAL PHONE is an attractive and fun app that allows kids to interact with pretend animals over a video phone type of toy. Tapping the animals allows kids to speak with them, but the gorilla only has a few movements and a few things to say. He will repeat back anything kids say to him, in a slightly lower/slower voice, but he will not have any significant response. Kids may tire of playing with just the one included animal, and will likely ask to purchase additional animal friends. This app doesn't stand very well on its own without the in-app purchases.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, speaking
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, Communication: listening, Tech Skills: using and applying technology
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: May 25, 2011
- Category: Education
- Publisher: Long Weekend LLC
- Version: 1.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.1 or later
- Last updated: August 22, 2016
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Our Editors Recommend
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