Reflection Journal - October 2012

Another month has passed and many things have happened throughout October. I'm glad that I chose to write these monthly journals, because they help me review what's really important for me and improve my daily workflow for the upcoming month. Last month, many new apps were released on the App Store and some of them have already found their place in my daily workflow, such as Tweetbot for Mac, Letterpress and Netbot for iPhone.

Today, I will use the same approach as I did for last month's reflection journal. I will share about three core things that we do here at Geeks with Juniors, i.e. Notable Apps for Juniors, Apps for Geeks, and Games We Play.

The Going to Bed Book is an adorable storybook app that mimics the look of a traditional board book.The Going to Bed Book is an adorable storybook app that mimics the look of a traditional board book.

Notable Apps for Juniors

Camila and I love storybook apps - we simply can't get enough of them. In the past month, we reviewed two apps: The Going to Bed Book which features cute animals in pijamas displayed in the typical hardcover books for toddlers, and Bartleby's Book of Buttons vol 1: The Far Away Island which features an adventerous man on a journey to collect buttons from a far away island in an app that has great AirPlay integration with the Apple TV. We highly recommend these two storybooks as they are of great quality and are unique in their own ways.

We also reviewed three excellent apps with unique themes that we thought were suitable for your juniors. The first one was GazziliScience which features six basic science concepts wrapped in step-by-step workflows that match real world activities. The second one was Faces iMake - Right Brain Creativity, an app that lets your juniors to creative with their foods in a nice and safe way. Last but not least, Camila recently reviewed Grandpa's Workshop which features a cheerful Grandpa as its main character to introduce various activities in a typical workshop. All of these are great apps that you can use to trigger discussions with your juniors and would help them grow their creative minds.

Finally, we had two great Toca Boca apps. You probably already know by now that I am a big fan of Toca Boca and many of their apps. In addition to the newly released Toca Tailor which lets your juniors role-play as a professional tailor, I also reviewed Toca House which is a perfect app to introduce household chores to your juniors. Each time someone asks me about apps that I'd recommend for their juniors, I would definitely refer them to the great collection of Toca Boca apps. They really are that good.

Toca Tailor, the latest addition to Toca Boca's impressive range of toy apps, lets your juniors play as a professional tailor.Toca Tailor, the latest addition to Toca Boca's impressive range of toy apps, lets your juniors play as a professional tailor.

Apps for Geeks

As a geek, I received some great treats this month. Great new apps were released that have found a special place on my home screen and in my daily workflow. Despite its relatively high price, I immediately embraced Tweetbot for Mac as soon as it was available on the Mac App Store. Tweetbot for Mac has been an indispensible app for me. Despite having a copy of Tweetbot on each of my iOS devices, I still prefer to browse through the in-tweet links on the desktop.

Another app that has been competing for my attention is Netbot for iPhone. Both the release of Netbot and the recent pricing changes have enticed new users to join the service and existing users to become more active. Last week, Netbot released an update that included the long-awaited push notifications and full-text search features. Another client for the iPhone that I would recommend is Felix. In addition to releasing new features such as Twitter cross-posting and callback URLs to be used inside Launch Center Pro, the developer of Felix has been releasing innovative features such as starring an entire conversation and integration with Text Expander. I expect a lot of great apps will come out of the developer community in the near future.

This month also marked the release of The Magazine, a new Newsstand app from Marco Arment, that tries to utilize all the great features of Newsstand in iOS without all the large images that you typically find in a traditional magazine. The Magazine features articles written by great individuals with contents that are likely to interest geeks like me. The app is also nicely designed to deliver a wonderful reading experience. With a $1.99 monthly subscription, you get to read at least four articles in each issue that is released every two weeks. It has a 7-day free trial subscription that should be enough for you to read one full issue. If you want to learn more about how it works and what kind of contents you can expect from The Magazine, you should read the Foreword from Marco.

Finally, we had two awesome guest posts from Ray Pello this month, about apps that are appropriate for people who love to write. The first one was Day One, an excellent journaling app that is available for iOS and Mac. The second one was iA Writer, an excellent Markdown writing app that Camila also uses for writing blog posts on her Mac. Ray wrote wonderful posts on how these apps fit his daily workflow, both on iOS and Mac.

The Magazine, Marco Arment's latest venture, delivers quality content for tech geeks everywhere.The Magazine, Marco Arment's latest venture, delivers quality content for tech geeks everywhere.

Games We Play

Unlike the month of September where I basically only played a single game, i.e. Flight!; I was very fortunate to have played many games this month. Three games that I played personally are Finger Tied for the iPad, Theme Hospital for the Mac, and Letterpress. With GOG repackaging excellent old games as Mac apps, I will be playing more games from now on.

The other games that we have reviewed last month include Symmetry Shuffle, a nice geometry puzzle game that has you to thinking to rotate and mirror images; Chasing Yello, a fun endless running game where you try to help Yello the fish escape from her hyperactive owner, Mathilda; and Beyond Ynth HD which was the most-played game last year for my 3-year-old son, Philip.

From all of these, the one that has really stuck in my daily workflow is Letterpress. My wife and I, as well as Camila and Ray all love the app. In fact, I may be writing another strategy article based on my experience in playing the game.

Letterpress is a new strategic word game that has got all of us at Geeks With Juniors addicted.Letterpress is a new strategic word game that has got all of us at Geeks With Juniors addicted.


Writing reflection journals like this is a good exercise for us to find what our passions are and whether they are aligned with our goals or not. Camila and I created Geeks with Juniors to help other geek parents who are trying to find the best apps for their juniors. On the other hand, as geeks, we also believe that you might be interested in other apps that are designed for you (instead of your juniors) and games that you may want to play to cool your heads off.

We love to hear what you think about the contents that we have written on Geeks with Juniors. You can always reach me on email, Twitter or You can also reach Camila on her Twitter account. Until next time, have a great November!