A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Talking Angela is a chatterbot app, which means its intent is to create a seemingly two-way conversation between the user and, in this case, a talking cat. It’s part of a series of apps called Talking Tom and Friends, which also was made into a Web series. There have been concerns that the app is a front for a pedophilia ring, but these allegations all have been debunked. However, in regular mode where text chat is enabled, Angela does ask some odd questions such as, "Have you ever kissed a stranger?" and "Do you ever lie to your parents?" There's also a Child mode in which text chat is disabled and kids use the microphone to "speak" to Angela, who just repeats what was said, but the parent gate is easily turned off by any kid who can read the names of numbers. In either mode, ads are abundant -- unless you pay to turn them off -- and in-app purchases are everywhere. This app is easily confused with My Talking Angela, which is a Tamagotchi-style app in that it lets kids take care of kitten Angela as she grows (she eats, naps, bathes, and gets dressed) and doesn't include a chat feature but has plenty of purchases.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Users speak to or send text messages to TALKING ANGELA depending on the game mode. Younger kids speak and hear their words repeated back to them, while older players type messages to Angela, answer questions she asks, and even play little games such as I Never. If a user doesn't know what to say next, the app offers suggestions. You can reward Angela and show her affection by petting her, giving her free gifts, or buying her clothes and makeup with in-game currency or real money. There also are links to a cartoon starring Angela and her friends, which links to YouTube. Parents should note that Talking Angela is different from My Talking Angela from the same publisher: The latter is more like a virtual pet app than a conversational app.
Is it any good?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how talking to a real person is different from talking to a fictional character, even one with the most sophisticated artificial intelligence behind it. What is unique about human conversation that can't be duplicated by a machine?
Talk about appropriate topics, questions, and answers to share with strangers, even digital ones.
Because it is so easy to get around Child mode, this is a good opportunity to discuss changing any settings on any app or device without checking in with an adult to make sure it's safe.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: Free with optional in-app purchases
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: December 18, 2012
- Category: Entertainment
- Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice
- Size: 72.70 MB
- Publisher: Outfit7
- Version: 2.5
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6 and up; Android 4.0.3 or later
- Last updated: February 22, 2021
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