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Tag: Apps (1-10 of 10)

Julianne Moore on the new app for her 'Freckleface Strawberry' series

Before Hollywood stardom, actress Julianne Moore was just a little girl with a mane of red hair and a face covered in freckles nicknamed “Freckleface Strawberry” by her playmates.

Since then, she’s turned her childhood memories into a bestselling children’s book series starring the spunky 7-year-old Freckleface Strawberry. In the first book, Freckleface tries desperately to erase her freckles and must learn to accept herself and her appearance. In later books, she learns similarly important life lessons through humorous — and touching — adventures with her friends.

The character’s stories have inspired a musical, as well as two apps (with Moore’s daughter Liv voicing Freckleface): Monster Maker, a mix-and-match game, and the just-released Dreamtime Playtime, an app that not only allows children ages 4 and up to play games, but also practice basic math skills like counting and matching. Moore also signed a five-book deal with Random House Children’s Books, and her Freckleface Strawberry series will enter the publisher’s Step into Reading program, aimed at children starting to read.

Moore talked to EW about Freckleface’s appeal, how her childhood experiences inspire her ideas (hint: dodgeball was a challenge), and how the new app attracts children to math: READ FULL STORY

'The Little Mermaid' returns to theaters with a new-millennium twist: iPads allowed

Now you can literally be part of Ariel’s world with Disney’s new The Little Mermaid app. The animated classic will play in select theaters beginning Sept. 20 with a new rule: tablets allowed.

Disney created an app called Second Screen Live especially for The Little Mermaid, in which viewers can “interact with the film, play games, sing along, find new surprises, and compete with the audience,” according to their website. It seems that Disney has caught on to the trend of how we tend to watch movies and TV these days anyhow — while constantly checking our devices. Apparently, viewers will be able to watch Ariel, Flounder, and Sebastian while playing against other moviegoers on their device. Now if only the app included Prince Eric’s phone number …

Here’s Disney’s trailer for The Little Mermaid Second Screen Live:
READ FULL STORY

Soleil Moon Frye on 'momtrepreneurs' and her new app

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Punky Brewster left TV screens 25 long years ago — but her can-do spirit lives on in Soleil Moon Frye, the actress-turned-business maven who won the role of Punky when she was just seven years old.

In recent years, Frye — best known to a slightly younger generation as Roxie, Sabrina the Teenage Witch‘s cynical college roommate — has reinvented herself as a professional parent. She’s currently overseeing her DIY parenting blog Moonfrye while simultaneously serving as Target’s “Mommy Ambassador,” writing books like this fall’s Let’s Get This Party Started: DIY Celebrations for You and Your Kids to Create Together, hosting OWN’s Home Made Simple, and regularly spotlighting fellow “momtrepreneurs” on Today.

Oh, and as she just announced this morning: The mother of two is having another child.

READ FULL STORY

Bill Nye: Listen up, millennials. The science guy is back with a new app!

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If you were a child of the nineties (or a parent of one) you understand the excitement that happens when you hear the chants of “Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill!” Whether you were watching at home or at school, Bill Nye the Science Guy was must-see-TV for a generation. The classic show that ran on PBS from 1993 to 1998 used outrageous experiments and plenty of corny jokes to teach kids all about the scientific method, the speed of light, the Periodic table, craters, dinosaurs, and so much more. And no matter what was the science-based topic, it was always clear that Nye was having a great time teaching kids to ask questions about the world around them.

So it’s no surprise that now, 20 years after the program originally aired, when speaking with 57-year-old Nye about anything — from his new brand-new science app for kids to his day job as CEO of the Planetary Society –  the conversation eventually finds him passionately expounding on something he wants you to learn: From South Africa’s new space program to how the dinosaurs likely died (a ginormous crater!), Nye will talk at length about how it’s all interconnected, and how there is so much more to discover. His excitement is still contagious, so it’s encouraging that a brand-new self-titled free app will help a whole new generation of kids do things like try some do-it-yourself experiments or check out a sun dial. “All the kids are doing it with their electric computer machines,” he explains with a laugh about why the time was now to create an app. “They’re fun. It’s a way to engage people and include people in a way beyond the 22-minutes they spend watching [a] show. Bring it on!” READ FULL STORY

'SpongeBob SquarePants' debuts new app -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Remember your childhood plans to live in Bikini Bottom and just hang out at the Krusty Krab all day?

SpongeBob Moves In is a city-building app that attempts to make those old dreams of living in a pineapple under the sea more of a reality by allowing players to build their very own Bikini Bottom. The best part? The game will allow players to unlock background stories on all the characters — so it’s your lucky day if you ever wanted to learn all about Sandy’s pre-ocean life. The app also contains a bunch of random short videos featuring Squidward, Patrick, and all the rest.

While learning more about Plankton, users also have to strive to keep the residents happy by fulfilling wishes and racking up “Jellyfish Jelly.” To keep spirits up, it might be time to break out some Slimy Dancing à la SpongeBob.

The app launches on Thurs., June 6. Check out the trailer for the app below, and a look at your favorite yellow sponge arriving in Bikini Bottom: READ FULL STORY

'NRA: Practice Range' app aimed at kids?

When the National Rifle Association put out an iPhone/iPad app called NRA:  Practice Range on Jan. 13, on the eve of the one-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, it wasn’t surprising that it would cause a considerable amount of outrage and concern. A lot of that had to do with the fact that it was apparently originally rated for ages 4+. The rating has since moved up ages 12+ due to “frequent/intense realistic violence.” The shooting app has incensed many who consider it grossly  insensitive to the victims of the Newtown, Conn. tragedy and their families, while others believe it to be hypocritical given the NRA’s stance on violence in video games as a factor in real-world violence.

The logline on the free app touts it as “delivering one-touch access to the NRA network of news, laws, facts, knowledge, safety tips, educational materials and online resources.” And there is plenty of info there on gun safety, gun news, gun laws, legislation, and hunting season. But there are also three different first-person shooting settings: in an indoor range while firing a pistol at those familiar coffin-shaped targets with a pistol, outdoors where you have an M16, and skeet shooting with a shotgun. You can also buy upgrades in weapons. And the start of each of the games is accompanied by facts and tips  like “NRA programs train over 750,000 gun owners each year,” or “Never use alcohol or drugs before or while shooting.”

This all falls well in line with the NRA belief that education goes hand in hand with the gun rights. And even though the remarkably simple gyroscopic or analog play settings are nothing special, as you shoot at non-human targets, it’s no less disturbing than the hordes of other first-person shooter games out there. But that in itself should mean something. So should anyone be surprised by this app?

For more on Newtown:

Lady Gaga wears gun bra in concert
PBS Shows to examine Newtown school shooting
FX President: High-capacity guns are a problem. Not TV violence

Follow Abby on Twitter at EWAbbyWest

Behind the scenes of 'Ice Age Village' app -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Since arriving last April, the family-friendly, freemium Ice Age Village app has seen some 35 million fans of the film franchise join the city-building fun. Thanks to regular updates, a focus on accessible, yet engaging gameplay and a continued commitment to its thriving fan-base, the one-time film promo (it was released out front of Ice Age: Continental Drift) has proven to be much more than another cog in the movie marketing machine. The following exclusive video introduces us to some of the creative folks — besides Manny, Ellie, Diego, and Sid — responsible for keeping the content coming and offers a sneak peek at “dinoworld,” a new area arriving next year. READ FULL STORY

'Wreck-It Ralph': Read the story, and play the racing game, in new iPad app -- FIRST LOOK

A Walt Disney movie is rarely just a movie. For generations, parents and kids have been gladly re-digesting Disney movies in theme parks, tie-in toys, and, most of all, illustrated storybooks. The videogame-based animated adventure Wreck-It Ralph, however, presented the folks at Disney with a unique opportunity. The film features three fictional games inside it: The Donkey Kong-esqu “Fix-It Felix,” the Halo-inspired “Hero’s Duty,” and the Mario Kart-ian “Sugar Rush.”

Producer Clark Spencer tells EW that the filmmaking team spent six weeks figuring out just how each of the film’s three videogames would work, from power-ups to level design. “The interesting thing is we show maybe a minute-and-a-half of that gameplay from the outside,” he says. “And then you’re into a story and then you never see that gameplay really again. But to us, we had to figure out the entire game, otherwise we wouldn’t know what we wanted to tap into or not tap into [for the movie].”

With the explosion in tablet computing over just the last few years, however, Disney realized that audiences could actually play those games for real. EW has an exclusive first look at the deluxe storybook app for Wreck-It Ralph, which includes both an animated storybook of the film, and a fully playable version of “Sugar Rush.” Check it out below:

READ FULL STORY

Alicia Keys launches 'The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee' interactive storytelling app

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Alicia Keys’ two-year-old son, Egypt, inspired way more than new lullabies from the Grammy-award winning singer. “I had just recently given birth, and I was like, ‘I really want to get into the children’s space,’” Keys told EW.com. “I was seeing the different things that I wanted to bring into his life — different DVDs or different TV shows that were on — I was realizing how cool it would bring to bring multifaceted, multicultural music and stories into his world. How cool could that be?”

Along with her colleague DJ Walton and his wife Jessica Walton, who had created original stories for their own kids, Keys envisioned The Journals of Mama Mae and LeeLee. The animated app centers around  a young New York City girl’s relationship with her wise grandmother — loosely based on Key’s own childhood relationship with her Nana — in an interactive format that encourages exploration through music, storytelling, writing, and games. READ FULL STORY

LeVar Burton on resurrecting 'Reading Rainbow' on iTunes and as an iPad app: 'Kids today, they're not watching TV'

If you’re a certain age, you probably know LeVar Burton best as Kunta Kinte in the groundbreaking 1977 miniseries Roots. If you’re younger, you may remember him better as Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Most recently, you can catch him as Dean Paul Haley opposite Eric McCormack on the freshman TNT drama Perception.

But who are we kidding? LeVar Burton is known to multiple generations as the host of Reading Rainbow, the beloved PBS series about the power of reading that launched in 1983. Contract renewal issues ultimately led to the show’s cancellation in 2009, but earlier this year Reading Rainbow relaunched as an iPad app, and this month, for the first time ever, the entire series is available to the public, on iTunes. (The app is available as a free download, with a subscription to a full complement of children’s books for $9.99 a month.)

As someone who was raised on the show, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to chat up the 55-year-old actor, who spoke with me after spending the day lecturing at the University of Michigan, where his daughter is going to school. That’s only fitting, given Burton’s lifelong passion for education. But you don’t have to take my word for it…  READ FULL STORY

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