Pocket Penguins

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Pocket Penguins App Poster Image
Free live penguin webcam is simple but fascinating.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about penguin behavior (within the confines of an aquarium environment) by watching them via the live webcams on Pocket Penguins. Kids can practice their observation skills by viewing the penguins both above and below water. They can also learn some penguin facts if they tune in to watch a California Academy of Sciences biologist make a presentation at the exhibit twice daily (10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. PST). Pocket Penguins is an interesting way to view a live penguin exhibit, but the app doesn't include much information or interactivity.

Ease of Play

Switching between webcams is simple, and pretty much the only options on the app. If you want to see the biologist presentation live, you have to log on at 10:30 a.m. or 3 p.m. PST. There's also a pre-recorded presentation, but the option to watch that at any time is not readily apparent on the app; it seemingly only shows up when connection to the webcam is lost or buffering takes too long.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

One user review observed that penguin mating is sometimes seen on the live webcam.


There's a "Purchase Tickets" icon on the main screen, and users are encouraged to donate $5 to the California Academy of Sciences via text.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pocket Penguins is a delightful webcam app that shows a group of African penguins in captivity swimming, interacting, and feeding at the California Academy of Sciences' penguin observation area. This app is perfect for penguin lovers to watch and observe the little waddlers from three webcams, as well as see a biologist give twice-daily presentations. There's a mild push for app users to purchase tickets or make a donation.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byAngie Blount July 20, 2013


My little boy who is almost 6 loves everything penguins! He has a blue penguin with a red santa hat (TY boo beanie) that he calls Pa-Pa Penguin which is what go... Continue reading

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What's it about?

Kids can observe African penguins in a human-made habitat above and below the water via three webcams. Kids can also listen to a marine biologist give a presentation about the penguins by opening the app at 10:30 a.m. or 3 p.m. PST. To choose the webcam they want to view, kids simply tap on the camera icon in the top right hand corner and then tap on "Main," "Underwater," or "Biologist." If the connection is lost, kids will see the option to watch a recording of the biologist presentation.

Is it any good?

There's something calming yet engrossing about watching these African creatures go about their day on these three webcams. The pre-recorded biologist presentation is good -- if the option to watch it pops up. Otherwise, if you want to hear the Q&A session with the biologist feeding the penguins twice daily, you have to open the app at 10:30 a.m. or 3 p.m. PST. It would be nice to have more information about what viewers are watching available to read on the app all the time, in order to understand the behavior better. A discount on tickets to the actual exhibit is available on the app.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Find supplemental learning materials about penguins from the library or penguin websites so your kids can understand some of the penguin behavior they see.

  • Encourage your kids to think about what interests them in what they're observing and write down questions or ideas that result.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

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