Talking Faces by Bubl

App review by
Vicki Windman, Common Sense Media
Talking Faces by Bubl App Poster Image
Choose a character, job, emotion, and tools for simple play.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn cause and effect, some professions and their tools, and basic emotions using Talking Faces by Bubl. Though the app's developer claims that kids can learn about professions, it's more likely they'll recognize various uniforms and some of each job's tools. Without adult explanation, kids won't learn anything of substance about professions. As kids select emotions, watch each face change, and hear the difference in the music, they might learn about feelings. The tie between the visual and auditory may resonate with kids on a deeper level. Although Talking Faces by Bubl is generally a fun, open-ended romp, it does have some opportunities to learn, especially with an adult's help.

Ease of Play

Play is open-ended, and kids can tap, swipe, and drag to explore the possibilities. There are no right or wrong actions, so kids will find it easy to use. The only feature that might confuse kids is the microphone: They might not initially understand that tapping on the microphone records and plays back what they say, but they likely will discover it.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

When you open the app, you can easily tap a button that leads you to other apps to purchase. If your kid can read number words, they can get into the app store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Talking Faces by Bubl explores emotions and several professions in open-ended play. Kids also can record sentences, noises, and sounds and then play them back through the character's voice. Because there's no clear end point and kids will keep discovering more features, it may be difficult to pull kids away. Kids who have trouble identifying or expressing emotions might benefit from using this app, especially when it's played with an adult. All content is appropriate for little ones, but there is a pelican on the opening page that poops, so be ready for giggles.

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What's it about?

TALKING FACES BY BUBL opens to three faces. A kid chooses one and then can tap, swipe, and pinch-and-zoom to change almost every element of the face: Facial features, dimensions, and colors can change with swipes, touching-and-holding, dragging, and pinching. The clothes represent different professions, which can be changed, and each profession comes with a set of tools in the bottom corner of the screen. A kid can tap and drag the tools to hear their sounds, stick them to the face, or drop them. The microphone records voices, and the face repeats whatever is said. There also are buttons to change the emotion of the face, and the music reflects whatever emotion the kid selects.

Is it any good?

Talking Faces by Bubl is a fun discover-and-play app that definitely will engage kids right away. Some kids may want to explore every feature for each face and will have endless fun recording and hearing the character repeat things back. Others might lose interest after they've swiped and tapped through all the features. Parents may be enticed by the claim that kids will learn about professions, but that element of the game is superficial: Though each profession comes with its own set of tools, kids won't learn a lot about each job on their own. The pairing of different emotions with music is more interesting, as it might resonate with kids on more than one level.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about professions in the community -- firefighter, police officer, nurse -- and the tools they use. Why does a police officer need a siren? What tools does an artist use?

  • Ask your kid to change the character's emotion. What changes about the face? How does the music change?

  • Have your kid record the same sentence using different emotions. For example, change the emotion of the character and record "I want to see my friend" in a voice to match the emotion.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Skills: Creativity: imagination, making new creations
    Emotional Development: identifying emotions, labeling feelings
    Communication: speaking
  • Price: $2.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: January 21, 2015
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 80.80 MB
  • Publisher: Bubl
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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For kids who love open-ended games

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