fresh.ink

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
fresh.ink App Poster Image
Read free stories daily and discuss; some iffy stuff.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Users read literary passages, are exposed to vocabulary words and an opportunity to utilize critical thinking before answering thought-provoking questions in the community.

Ease of Play

Content is organized, easy to navigate and apply features such as changing font size and style.

Violence

Some reading passages may contain violence.

Sex

Some reading passages may contain sexual themes.

Language

Some reading passages may contain profanity.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some reading passages may contain drinking, drugs and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that fresh.ink is a free app with access to published short stories, essays, and novels to read in an e-book style format. A new story by an author is available to read every day. The selections vary in subject matter and length of time it takes to read. Users can participate in a virtual discussion within the app, answering thought provoking questions, which are left as a comment for the author and other readers to see as part of an online discussion. From story to story, the maturity level varies widely and can contain mature content involving sex, violence, and  profanity. During review there were references to suicide, sex, and the word "f--k." The discussions were tame and story-focused, but it's unclear how well they're moderated. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

FRESH.INK is a free app that shares literary stories, essays, and novels from published literary magazines throughout the world. One story by an author is shared each day. Readers have the option to view a few months worth of daily writing selections. Each story includes a short bio of the author, a brief synopsis about the essay, a link to the original publication, and other works published by the author. Users can bookmark the page they were reading and view the stories they've finished. When reading the story on a device, users can choose day or night reading features. There's also an option to change the font to styles. Plus there are five choices of text size and the option to select a vertical or horizontal orientation as you scroll. The bottom of the article indicates about how long it should take to read and how many pages in the story are left. If a user is dedicated to reading each day, they can set a reminder. 

Is it any good?

This collection of free literary stories and essays from authors all around the world offers some great reading and a bit of discussion, but it's best for teens. Many of the stories include adult-oriented themes, and it's impossible to know what surprises await in the content. Since the app includes opportunities for users to communicate with others and like comments provided as part of the group discussion, the app is primarily for adults and teenagers, not young kids. Reluctant readers might like the simple, one-story-at-a-time approach, but it would be great if stories were organized beyond when they were added. Letting users select particular genres or topics would be a great feature. For a free app, however, fresh.ink could be an opportunity for parents and teens to read selections together and use the questions provided to spark their own conversations and discussions. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the fresh.ink app is a unique opportunity to read new works of published fiction daily, allowing readers to find new authors to enjoy while experiencing different themes. What kinds of stories do you like to read? Do you prefer novels or short stories? Why?

  • Engaging in discussions about books with others can help to develop critical thinking skills. Rather than just answering the provided questions in the app, what are some questions they might be able to ask that others would find thought provoking?

  • Authors and other readers are collaborating and engaging in a discussion through the app. It's okay to disagree with others, but are their comments written in a professional, respectful tone?  

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, reading, reading comprehension, text analysis
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: October 31, 2019
  • Category: Books
  • Size: 174.10 MB
  • Publisher: fresh.ink software, LLC
  • Version: 2.0.6
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.3 or later
  • Last updated: March 16, 2020

For kids who love reading

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