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Time Immersive

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Time Immersive App Poster Image
Hit-or-miss AR experiences on an equally shaky platform.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn more about threats to the Amazon rainforest. They can also learn about the lunar landing and the surface of the moon (more content may become available).

Ease of Play

The AR doesn't always recognize flat surfaces. Navigation/use could be more clear.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Some of the content is sponsored. A pop-up talks about the sponsor in connection with the content.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Time Immersive is an app from the magazine of the same name that allows users to explore content using augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). The app claims to work with Google Cardboard headsets (among others), but there was no virtual reality content available at the time of review. One of the two included experiences includes clearly sponsored content, although there were no in-app purchases at the time of review. Kids may need help navigating the app experiences and, in particular, starting the AR. During review, it refused to recognize a number of flat surfaces during the setup process. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

TIME IMMERSIVE is an AR and VR app designed to deliver Time Magazine stories via engaging experiences. The app comes with two augmented reality starter pieces of content. The first is "Inside the Amazon: The Dying Forest," narrated by Jane Goodall. In it, she explains the threats to the Amazon, including illegal logging. Kids can click on several hot spots in three different content areas to see pictures from deep within the rainforest. The second experience is a re-creation of Apollo's landing on the moon based on historical records and scientific data. Kids can ride in the capsule with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they land on the moon. Once there, kids can view the lunar module and even watch as Neil Armstrong plants the flag. Both content pieces require kids to point a device camera at a flat area to set up the viewing experience. 

Is it any good?

There's something pretty amazing about hitching a virtual ride in the lunar capsule, but the uneven content and glitches make this app an uneven experience. Time Immersive definitely gets one thing right: It confirms that history, science, and other educational topics are far more interesting and engaging when you can immerse yourself in them. This concept is highlighted in the "Landing on the Moon" AR experience, although it would be even more incredible in VR. The Amazon experience is less engaging. The content is primarily static, making it a poor use for AR to begin with. And Jane Goodall's narration, while educational, isn't exactly going to capture kids'  imaginations and interest. It was also disappointing to have the app refer to a VR headset, but then not offer any experiences in that area. Beyond the content, there are some technical challenges in the platform itself. The app refused to acknowledge a number of flat surfaces, even in well-lit settings. When it finally launched, it left the images at an awkward angle for viewing. Some kids will likely have trouble figuring out how to fully enjoy the app, as it isn't always intuitive. Time Immersive is a good start, but it needs some work to be the best experience it could be.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the Amazon rainforest after using Time Immersive. Why is deforestation a concern? How does it impact other parts of the world? Is there anything we can do about it?

  • Talk about the lunar landing. What would it be like to walk on the moon? Would you want to go into space? Where would you want to go?

  • Families can talk about learning with apps. Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why or why not? What can you learn?

App details

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