October 21, 2014 in Games (E)
[prMac.com] Esperance, New York - The trend towards children playing in virtual worlds is being taken on by a variety of apps and tools that start to mix "real world play" with electronic devices. These "hands-on" apps, as they have been dubbed, are becoming increasingly popular with educators and parents. They usually involve purchasing a new accessory for your tablet or phone to allow your children to interact in a hands-on manner, but not every hands-on app requires a new accessory purchase.
These apps aren't new to Andrew Smith, an independent app developer in Upstate New York. He has seen it first hand with the success of his Cash Register Toy in the Apple App store. The app uses items from around the house or classroom to enhance the age-old childrens activity of playing store.
Four years ago, when looking for ideas to create a new app, he asked his three children, and the idea from the youngest seemed the most obvious and simple to create.
"She wanted a Cash Register to help when playing store. She answered almost immediately." Smith said, while remembering the conversation. "The first version wasn't much more than a glorified calculator app, but it sold so well I saw that I had something. I worked with a designer to get a better look to the app, and eventually added different currencies that children can play with when using the app." The "Cash Register Toy" comes with currencies from three different countries, and the "Ultimate Edition" has currencies from over 10 countries.
As sales continued, more feedback came in-- and more enhancements have been made. A rudimentary bar code scanner is now in the app, and it works on both iPad and iPhone. Children use the app as part of their normal game play and if they are playing store, it fits in perfectly.
"I've been asked to add fake food, or pictures of customers, items like that, but I want to keep it simple so a child can use their imagination to take things in the real world, like their toys, and maybe raid the cupboards, and set up a store they can use this cash register for." Smith described how feedback from users helped mold the app into what it is today. "I even made an option to remove decimals, to help in using it as a math tool for younger children."
The cash register toy app sells for less than a tenth of what a similar teaching cash register physical toy would cost, and has many more options. Today the app has been downloaded over forty-thousand times in over ninety countries. A new version of the product is slated for release later this year, and Smith continues to solicit feedback from customers on what would make the game better. Where does he get most of his customer feedback "From my daughter, she is older now, but she definitely takes the role of product developer seriously."
Pricing and Availability:
Cash Register Toy is only $0.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Cash Register Ultimate Edition is $4.99 (USD). More information about both apps can be found at Pattrns online.
Pattrns is a Micro Independent Software Developer located in Upstate New York. They develop applications for Apple's iOS based products. Copyright (C) 2014 Pattrns. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.