What is an iPad App? How do we purchase one? What do WE think about when considering whether an App makes it onto our iPad? In this journal entry we discuss the steps iPad Family takes when evaluating whether an iPad App sounds and looks good enough to download and install. We've installed over 1400 apps so far, and many of them are removed within a day or so. How to make sure your iPad App purchases are satisfying...
An App is the short version of the word "Application" - basically it means the "Application" or software you will use on your iPad. Apps can be downloaded and installed from the iTunes Store on your computer or by using the "App Store" App installed on your iPad. You will see the iTunes Store icon (called App Store) on your iPad home screen when you turn it on. Tap it to access the iTunes Store where you can purchase and install Apps on your iPad
There are so many apps to choose from (over 250,000) that it can be a time consuming process to find and purchase the right ones. It is very easy to spend lots of money and simply justifying it to yourself because of the small cost of each App (usually), but it doesn't take long for the total to mount up, especially if you buy a more expensive app or two!
We've reviewed over 1400 Apps to date - and even at $1 each, that's a hefty bill!
We've now got a well-rounded approach to reviewing iPad Apps, given that we test them out on each family member and get a family concensus. Choosing the right Apps for you and your family can make all the difference to your iPad experience.
Read before you buy!
We choose our Apps by visiting the iTunes App Store which you will find by tapping the icon on your iPad or opening the latest version of iTunes on your Mac or PC.
You do need to create an iTunes Store account, and once you do you can pay for your purchases either by credit card or redeem an iTunes Gift Card.
FIRST: Read the full description of the App and look closely at the screen shots to ensure the pictures are not too crazy or confusing or bland. Once the App passes our this level of scrutiny, whether it's free or otherwise we'll then consider evaluating it.
NEXT: Read in detail the full description and CHECK FOR IN APP PURCHASES. In the iTunes Store there is a TAB for it (see inset picture below). While we always ensure our child's iPad has In App Purchases Disabled (read: Setting your Child's iPad Restrictions), we're not fans of In App Purchases.
In App Purchases are things you can purchase for REAL MONEY from within the App. These can sometimes be valid add-ons (like Adobe Ideas layers panel), but most often are simply purchases for 'gooble berries, flingo gems, bargle packs, or flimby gems. Yes, I am making fun of the names they call them! This is where to look for in-app purchases in the App Store:
These additional purchases are simply ways for the developers to make money selling nothing... selling digital gooplas!! We are advocates of having all features TURNED ON in the App when we buy it. The number of people we've heard from who's children have inadvertently purchased these JUNK ADD ONS is significant. I, iPad Dad, think this is a bit cheeky, and I feel should not be allowed, particularly on children's games or in Educational Apps. Also, I DO NOT LIKE acclimatising my children to purchasing digital-nothings for real money - a BAD HABIT to get them into thinking is acceptable. That's my two cents!
NEXT we look at the Ratings for the App. Usually if lots of people have reviewed it, it's easy to see if the App has any faults or down-sides. The more ratings, the more accurate the ratings seem to be. If YOU like an App that you've purchased, we recommend going back to the iTunes Store and rating it - it helps everyone! Just next to the DETAILS tab on the App you'll see RATINGS and REVIEWS. Check them out.
Once we've seen whether the Apps is a beautiful, productive, educational or entertaining App, we will then consider the price.
FINALLY: If the price is right, and the App has passed all the other tests above, we tap on the PRICE of the APP, which will change the button to a PURCHASE button (see image, right). Tapping again will purchase the App. You will be asked for your iTunes Store Password to confirm you wish to purchase the App.
Do this, and your App will begin downloading to your iPad and will be installed in no time!
Tap the App when it's finished installing to enjoy!
We hope that helps you purchase your iPad Apps, and remember to come back to our website to find on the BEST iPad Apps that have been reviewed and evaluated by our whole family. Only THE BEST make it to our site...