Tinkerblocks

A BRIGHT, COLOUR­FUL COD­ING APP FOR KIDS. $4.49 | urb­n­pock­ets.com

TechLife Australia - - DISCOVER - [JO MEMBERY]

Every time a new cod­ing app for kids gets re­leased, we wonder if this will be the one to re­ally get them en­gaged. On the right are a num­ber of ba­sic starter projects: tap one to see the bare bones, or use the sty­lus icon to edit. The op­tions are pretty im­pres­sive.

You can add in­put/out­put con­trols (im­age, video, text), con­trol fea­tures (count­down/ timer), an im­pres­sive set of sen­sors (lo­ca­tion, tilt, shake, face and mo­tion de­tec­tion, and more) and a few ef­fects (such as pre­set graph­ics, text and sounds). If the icons are not ob­vi­ous, you can press one to find out what it does, then drag one over to the list of ac­tions. It’s easy to change or­der us­ing drag-and-drop, and easy to delete an ac­tion by drag­ging it left un­til the trash can ap­pears. We found the im­age tool a lit­tle frus­trat­ing, though.

There’s def­i­nitely a learn­ing curve to the app, and par­ents will al­most def­i­nitely have to as­sist young ‘de­vel­op­ers’. Once com­fort­able with the con­cept, though, the re­sults should keep your kids en­gaged so they en­joy tin­ker­ing with­out su­per­vi­sion. And it’s easy for them to share their cre­ations.

So in all, there’s a lot to take in, but also a lot on of­fer once your lit­tle coders get the hang of things.

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