Animal Phone

 

Learning(i)

Playful interactions are limited without in-app purchases.

What parents need to know

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."

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

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.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Kids can tap a button to email messages from the animals or to share messages on Facebook, although during our review the app crashed when we tapped the Facebook option.

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • speaking
  • discussion

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination

Communication

  • listening

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

What Kids Can Learn

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • speaking
  • discussion

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination

Communication

  • listening

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:May 25, 2011
Category:Education
Size:18.20 MB
Publisher:Long Weekend LLC
Version:1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.1 or later

This review of Animal Phone was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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