A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that News-O-Matic is an interactive, paid subscription-based newspaper for kids ages 7-10. Five news stories -- from world political news to celebrity stories -- are posted on the News-O-Matic app's main page each day. Stories are written by experts, and a child psychologist reviews the articles. There are more than 15 different features on this newsy app, including the stories, puzzles, a word game, and audio. The "Read to Me" feature is beneficial for kids who have auditory processing issues or difficulty with verbal reasoning. The map feature displays the distance from a kid's home to the location of a news story (if the user allows the app to access location), along with a silly distance tracker, like the number of pope hats it takes to get from your home to Vatican City for a story on the Catholic Church.
What's it about?
Open the app to view the front page of NEWS-O-MATIC, which includes five top stories of the day with colorful pictures, as well as the games (Puzzle Picture or Mystery Word), news timeline quiz, News Room (interact with the editor), and information features. Tap on a story and the written content appears, with more photos and interactive content. There are many interactive options on each news article's page: Fact, Act, Map, find out about the author, write or draw something, and more. In all, more than 15 options for kids in this newsy app.
Is it any good?
News-O-Matic is an excellent news source for kids at home or in the classroom and well worth the subscription fee -- if your kid will read the five daily stories and delve into the interactive content consistently. For kids who like news, this app is a sure winner. Kids can read about real-world news (or have it read aloud to them by the app's "Read to Me" feature), such as politics and news of the economy, as well as stories with lighter topics like entertainment, celebrities, or sports. You may want to consider trying a few issues before signing up for a longer-term subscription to get a feel for whether the typical range of topics appeals to your kid.
News-O-Matic exposes kids to topics of all kinds, and it tries to include ways to get kids interacting with stories (maps, questions, games, write-the-editor features) far beyond the typical end-of-article multiple-choice quiz on other similar news-for-kids products. With teachers, writers, and a child psychologist on board, News-O-Matic takes news for kids seriously and hope kids will find it fun, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, reading comprehension, vocabulary
Social Studies: events, geography, government, power structures
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: thinking critically
Emotional Development: perspective taking
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Subscription price: $1.99/issue; $6.99/mo.;$49.99/year
- Release date: January 16, 2014
- Category: Education
- Size: 65.20 MB
- Publisher: Press4Kids
- Version: 3.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later
For kids who love learning about the world
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.