Reflection Journal - December 2012

Today is a special day for everyone, because it's the start of a new year. Many people are reflecting on what they have achieved in the past year and are setting up goals for 2013. What a beautiful day indeed.

As always, I will try to reflect on our journey in December 2012. Both Camila and I were busy trying out many Christmas apps and reviewing some of them. We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and enjoyed the Christmas apps that we reviewed.

Today, I will group the remaining apps according to the main focus of our site, i.e. apps for juniors, stuff for geeks and games we play.

A Christmas story.Moving Christmas is an excellent Christmas-themed storybook that makes a great read all year round.

Storybook Apps

Continuing our interest in storybooks, in December we reviewed six of them. These range from the emotional Wince - Don't Feed the Worry Bug and I Love You All the Time to the fun and rather mythical Pete and the Secret of Flying and Grimm's Puss in Boots. I believe that these are great stories that you can read along with your juniors.

Two storybook apps that impressed me were Rounds: Franklin Frog and Moving Christmas. Franklin Frog is the first app in the Rounds series of non-fiction storybook apps that were designed to teach juniors about the life cycles of animals. Moving Christmas is an app with Hollywood-level production values that cleverly wraps global warming issues in a funny story with loveable characters. Despite its Christmas theme, the story is actually relevant whole year long.

Unleash your creativity.Toca Hair Salon 2 helps aspiring hair artists anywhere unleash their creativity.

Toy-like Apps

I am a huge fan of Toca Boca's magical toy apps. My 1-year-old son, Noah, really enjoys playing with them, especially their latest release, Toca Hair Salon 2. He can't resist to giggle each time he curls the model's hair and goes to wash them. If there's any app worth collecting, it's certainly Toca Boca's.

We have also seen other developers develop toy-like apps. One of them is Wombi Apps whose two apps we reviewed this month. While their apps still need a bit of polishing, they are creative playgrounds for your juniors. I suggest you read Camila's reviews on Wombi Toys and Wombi Ice Cream to see how fun these apps are.

Lights and clockwork.Robots for iPad is the most complete guide to the world of robotics available on the iPad.

Other Notable Apps for Juniors

During the month of December, we have also reviewed three other notable apps for juniors: Robots for iPad, Splash Money and Monkey Word School Adventure. Robots for iPad is an in-depth guide to the world of robotics and is perfect for your juniors who are starting to embrace the science and technology subjects in their formal education. Splash Money is a great app for introducing your juniors to US coins and bills, whereas Monkey Word School Adventure is a solid app for your younger ones to learn about the basic reading and writing skills, such as letters, sight words, phonics and spelling. My 3-year-old, Philip, is starting to learn sight words and I believe apps like Monkey Word School Adventure is a great app for juniors his age.

Cut here to begin.Create your own paper creatures with Foldify.

Stuff for Geeks

This month, we witnessed the release of Foldify for iPad, a great app that allows you to easily create beautiful and personalized 3D figures. Simply choose a model template, draw your illustrations on it and then print it out to fold. It is one of those rare apps that suddenly make you eager to have your own color printer at home.

Another app that I reviewed is Game Your Video which is one of the best video editing apps on the App Store. It allows you to easily apply motion effects, audio transformations and video filters to your video in a really fun way. If you have an iPhone, you must have this app.

Fun for everyone.Stone Age is a fantastic board game for the whole family.

Games We Play

I was fortunate to be able to play three new games this month. Two of them are board/card games that have been ported on the iOS platform and the other is a new pure digital trading card game that boldly enters the online mobile gaming platforms.

The first game that I reviewed was Stone Age: The Board Game. Stone Age is a beautiful family board game for 2-4 players that was successfully ported on the iPhone. I was fortunate enough to be included in their beta testing and now, I am looking forward for their port to the iPad.

The second game was For The Win, an excellent new tactical game that has the potentials to become a classic like Chess and Go. If you love deep-thinking games, you will love For The Win.

The last game that I reviewed just before the end of the year was SolForge, a brave new trading card game that embraces the online mobile gaming platforms. Even though the Beta version is planned for release in Q1 2013, we can already play the free preview version on the iPad.

Ideas begin on Paper.Paper, a simple but beautiful sketching app for the iPad.

Best Apps for 2012

A couple of weeks ago, Apple released its list of best apps for 2012. We are delighted to see some of the apps that we have reviewed (and use on a daily basis) included in the list. If you want to learn more about what we think of some of these apps, I have added the links below for you to easily access our reviews.

  • Day One for Mac, selected as the Best Mac App
  • Tweetbot for Mac, selected as one of the featured Mac apps
  • Paper for iPad, selected as the Best iPad App. Even though we haven't formally reviewed the app, you can definitely see Camila's illustrations throughout the website. All of them, including our banner, were made with Paper.
  • The Room for iPad, selected as the Best iPad Game
  • Tiny Wings HD for iPad, selected as one of the featured iPad games
  • FingerTied, selected as one of the featured iPad games
  • iA Writer, selected as one of the featured iPad apps
  • Letterpress, selected as the runner-up for Best iPhone Game
  • Game Your Video, selected as one of the featured iPhone apps
  • Nihilumbra, selected as one of the featured iPhone games

All of them are great apps and games. If you missed out on any of them, feel free to check out our reviews. We can't wait to see what great new apps 2013 will bring.

Birds of a feather.Realize your dreams of flying in Ting Wings HD.


Both Camila and I are very grateful over what we have achieved not only throughout the month of December, but also throughout the year. We can't wait to give our best for the new year. I personally consider the year 2013 to be the year of focus; I even quit one of my businesses so that I can allocate more time to review apps here. I believe by dedicating more of our focus, time and attention to Geeks with Juniors, we can give you better values for the time and attention that you have given us.

Happy New Year, everyone! May it be a fantastic year for all of us!