Combine the timeless pastimes of drawing with the popularity of tablet computers and you'll end up with Crayola ColorStudio HD [https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/crayola-colorstudio-hd/id420671716?mt=8]], a new iPad app and accompanying stylus pen that resembles a magic marker.
\ Consider this download is a digital coloring book, as it allows kids to color various pages – even ones that come alive with animation and sound effects.
\ The free app gives you 10 coloring pages to start, but in order to unlock all 30 of them (and a lot more content coming in July via a free update), you're encouraged to buy the Crayola iMarker ($29.99). Once the digital stylus is detected on the iPad screen, you'll have access to all of the extra pages, as well as the ability to create your own coloring pages and free draw on a blank canvas.
\ You can choose between various kinds of crayons, pencil crayons, paintbrushes and markers, plus a choice in color, tip size (small, medium and large) and an eraser to remove mistakes. Alternatively, you can tap the \"undo\" arrow to remove larger sections you no longer want.
\ Coloring pages are divided into sections, such as Sports, Monsters, Jungle, Seasons and Underwater. As an example of an animated underwater scene, a giant squid waves its eight tentacles, bubbles float up and clown fish swim by. Thankfully, the animated object stops moving when you start to color it in, plus to help kids out further, it's not possible to color outside of the lines.
\ When you're done coloring, you can save, email or wirelessly print your creation (iOS 4.2 or later), or upload it to Facebook. Speaking of printing, since you can create your own coloring pages – with a number of templates, objects and tools to take advantage of -- they can be used with regular markers, crayons and paintbrushes.
\ Griffin Technology's Crayola ColorStudio HD isn't the first coloring book for iPad, but it has a few things going for it: the pages are animated; you get a number of crayons, brushes and markers; and a familiar magic marker to use on the tablet. While the iMarker stylus is a clever idea – and has colored LEDs inside so it lights up when in use – at $30 it's a pricey product for what it is. I also found you also need to press fairly hard on the pen for it to work, which might be an issue for some kids (my youngest, a 6 year-old, said it took some time getting used to).
\ I tried using another stylus to unlock the full coloring book (the Pogo Stylus), but it didn't work. You can choose to color the pages with your fingertip in the Options screen, however.
\ Price notwithstanding, this app and stylus serves as a clever present for a young iPad owner.