The Everything Machine by Tinybop

App review by
Chris T., Common Sense Media
The Everything Machine by Tinybop App Poster Image
Innovative tinkering tool for serious or silly invention.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about inventing and use problem solving to realize their vision. As they learn about what each component does and figure out how to combine them into a working machine, kids will have to break goals into pieces, work step by step, and use trial and error to work out issues. Because of the sheer number of features, kids will have lots of opportunities to revisit creations and start from scratch to build more and more complex machines. With The Everything Machine by Tinybop, kids get to imagine, create, and iterate as they have fun.

Ease of Play

Drag-and-drop interaction is completely intuitive, and video tutorials require no reading, but adding a new feature means taking machine apart.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Everything Machine by Tinybop is a sandbox tool with lots of parts that fit together into a virtual electronic device. Kids can get started through trial and error, but video tutorials and a written guide are available in multiple languages. With all the features, it's possible younger kids will get overwhelmed, but most will just try things out until they work. In the manual are instructions about how to use the app to play pranks on people, mostly through making fart sounds or setting a sound trap if someone moves something, such as a cookie. To find out about the types of information the app collects and shares, read the privacy policy.

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What's it about?

THE EVERYTHING MACHINE BY TINYBOP is an app for building almost anything. Kids begin by selecting an icon and adding a name. Start screens open with five premade machine examples (ordered by complexity), each with some components laid out and a coordinating step-by-step video. You can create what's modeled or go your own way. Touching the "+" on the start screen creates a new "blank" machine (only the battery). Progress is saved between visits, and both preloaded and created machines can be reworked or deleted. Intuitive to even little ones, tinkering is a drag-and-drop process, and pieces are easily linked and separated. Icons along the bottom organize components such as inputs (the device's camera or mic), detectors (for faces or motion), modifiers (kaleidoscope), and outputs (lightbulb, speaker). Some outputs require access to your photos, videos, and the like.

Is it any good?

This sandbox tool is an awesome opportunity to create and problem solve, but it may take a while to learn what each component does and how to use it. Imagine kids recording a kaleidoscope video of their actual artwork, playing a greeting on someone else's iPad, or setting the device to make a camel sound when someone opens the closet door and the app detects light. If your kid is into playing pranks, this app will be a dream come true, but it might warrant a conversation about what's appropriate, what's funny, and what's not.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about similar "real-world" machines, such as motion-sensitive cameras used to photograph animals.

  • Talk about how to be a lighthearted prankster and a good-humored recipient. When is something funny? How do you know?

  • Discuss how actual electric circuits work (and play around with real bulbs and wires) or even explain what's "wrong" with the app's imagery.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love building and making apps

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