Zoodles Blog Learn and Play Every Day

April 7, 2011

1 Million Kids Using Kid Mode!

Filed under: Zoodles Blog — Tags: , — Erin @ 7:00 am
Mark Williamson, CEO & Co-Founder of Zoodles

Mark Williamson, CEO & Co-Founder of Zoodles

Our mission at Zoodles is to create the best digital experiences for children across the world.  Children using a computer, phone or tablet should be treated as first class users and given the opportunity to leverage all the possibilities that these devices offer.  We believe our Kid Mode apps live up to this mission, and in the last few months we’ve seen a great response from families across the world.

Today is a proud moment for all of us here at Zoodles as we announce that 1 Million children are using our Kid Mode apps!  As the graph below shows, we’ve been experiencing tremendous growth recently, with more than 500,000 children joining just in the last few months:

Zoodles Growth

One of the things I love about the increased usage of our apps is that we can measure, in the aggregate, what children are learning.  Since launching Zoodles, over 3 Million hours of games and videos have been played, with over 1 Million of those hours spent in math and reading.  1 Million hours is more than 110 years of time!

This growth is directly related to the launch of our mobile offerings as well as the new family features that allow kids and relatives to stay in touch through digital storybooks and video mail.  There’s just nothing better than watching a child on Zoodles go from learning and playing one minute to connecting with family the next.

Reaching 1 million kids is huge for us, and when you combine that with crossing 10,000 fans on Facebook, our team has really been jumping for joy.  Stay tuned for more coverage on our celebration event!

Zoodles1MillionJump

We have a lot of work to do before we reach the 1.2 Billion children in the world who still don’t have Kid Mode.  But before we get back to work I want to personally thank all the parents and children using our apps.  We appreciate the trust you’ve placed in us.  I also want to thank the entire Zoodles team that has been building this product.  Rich, Michael, Jeff and Adrian (our engineering team) can build any concept that Dave (our designer) and Rachel (our product manager) can come up with.  Often the founders or the executive team get all the credit when it comes to the success of a start-up, but success in our case is due to the dedication of this team and the passion they have for changing the lives of kids.  So if you have a minute and love the product feel free to leave the team a note on our Zoodles Facebook page.

Best,

Mark
CEO & co-founder

April 5, 2011

Kid Mode now with Art and Storybooks

Filed under: Family Activities,Mobile Learning,Zoodles Blog — Tags: , , , , — Erin @ 6:28 pm

Today we’re excited to share that two of our most popular features — the Zoodles Art Studio and Zoodles Storybooks — are now available on phones!  Now all of our budding artists and eager readers can do more with their phones (oops, we mean your phones)  no matter where they are.  Whether they’re riding in the backseat, fidgeting at dinner, or lying out in the grass, Zoodles is there in full force with Art and Storybooks!

Since phones do have smaller screens, we’ve adapted both features to work a little differently than usual.  Let’s take a look.

Zoodles Art Studio

ArtTab

Here are some pictures of the experience on your phone.  The first thing you’ll notice is that there are now more “tabs” at the top of the screen, and the tabs don’t have labels anymore!  Your child can use these tabs to navigate to the different areas of our experience, just like with our computer and tablet apps.  They might need a little guidance at first, but let us know how it goes!

To get into the Art experience, all your child needs to do is tap on the Art tab at the top and then select the first thumbnail.

ArtStudio-Drawing

The Art Studio has changed a bit, but not by much.  There are fewer colors and we’ve removed the ability to toggle brush strokes, but it is all in the name of giving your child the most drawing space possible!

Every new drawing your child creates will automatically be saved to their Gallery and synced to your account.  All your child’s drawings — whether they’re done on the computer, tablet, or phone — are visible at http://www.zoodles.com/parent.   Be sure to star your favorites!

Zoodles Storybooks

Our Storybooks feature is just as exciting.  For the first time ever, we’ve made it incredibly easy for little ones to “bring their relatives along” on the next vacation or car ride.  Family will never be forgotten again!

All you need to do is have relatives record a reading for your child and the reading will appear in your child’s Books tab.  As usual, the recordings that your relatives make are shared across all our devices, so you and your child can watch them no matter you are.  Now Grandma can be a lifesaver without even being there!

BooksTabOur Books interface on the phone is very similar to what it looks like on other devices.  We give every child an example recording of Mark and his kids reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and the rest of the books available are displayed alongside it.

BookViewerOnce a reading has been recorded, your child can tap on its book cover to have the story read to them.  Again, with such limited screen space, you’ll notice that the illustrations are slightly smaller and that in lieu of text, we decided to include the relative’s video instead.

All in all, we couldn’t be more proud of our team’s efforts to bring these features down to phones and make the Zoodles experience better and better across all devices.

We’d love to hear your feedback, so please do leave us a comment or shoot us an email at feedback@zoodles.com!

March 10, 2011

Zoodles makes the Top 25 Android Apps for Moms list!

Babble's Top 25 Android App Badge

In an effort to kickstart this blog back to life, we thought we’d share some great news.  We’ve been recognized by Babble as one of the top 25 Android Apps for Moms!  Reaching over 6 million moms a month, Babble is a parenting site for “a new generation of parents.”  Their editorial crew sifted through tons of apps and highlighted our Kid Mode app as the #2 app for “Best Family Fun.”  Awesome!

kid-mode

Here’s what they said about us:

When that 10-minute restaurant wait turns into 20 and the coloring book that you brought along just isn’t up to the task, what’s a mom to do? Hand your kid your Android phone, of course. But before your toddler starts e-mailing your boss or updating your Facebook status, be sure to install the Kid Mode app that protects your phone by locking the Home button and then provides your kids (ages 2 through 8) with a selection of fun, educational games and videos geared specifically to each child’s age.  See the full article.

Check out the other winning apps at http://www.babble.com/products/mom-products/25-best-android-apps-for-moms/

Big thanks to Babble for highlighting our hard work and putting us in some great company!  To all of our Zoodles families, we just can’t say it enough.  Thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement – we would not be here without you!

January 10, 2011

Back from the Desert!

Filed under: Zoodles Blog — Tags: , , , , , — Erin @ 7:55 pm

Phew! We’re back from CES. (Alive!)  This year, Mark and Rachel served as Zoodles ambassadors and ventured bravely out into the tablet and 3D fray.

Of course, we were so busy working (and playing craps), we couldn’t document everything, but here’s the gist of our trip through pictures.

On our first night in Vegas, we attended a press party at the top of the Cosmopolitan. Check out the view!
Press Party

Early the next morning, we showed up at the Motorola booth, where we were slated to demo our Kid Mode app!
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Motorola had LOTS of foot traffic.
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Speaking of (sore) feet, isn’t Rachel doing a good job keeping a smile on her face?
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(It’s the awesome company polo.)
IMG_20110106_132735

Panasonic, like most of CES 2011, was very focused on TVs.
photo(37)

3D TV’s in particular. (Whoa, a sand castle! With 3D glasses, it’ll look 3D!)
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In case you didn’t detect the sarcasm, here are Mark’s thoughts on 3D technology…
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“BUT IT’S THE FUTUUURE!”
IMG_20110106_173009

Later that night, we attended a Lenny Kravitz concert hosted by Motorola!
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At the concert, we were able to meet up with our good friends from Pulse, Akshay and Albert!
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The photojournalism ends there, but rest assured that the ambassadors of Zoodles had an amazing time at CES.  We couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to demo all our team’s hard work, and it was great to be met with so much support.

Thanks to all our Zoodles families for keeping the dream alive!  Next year we’re hoping to bring the whole team, so look forward to the 2012 edition of Zoodles@CES, where more hilarious (and undocumented) stories will ensue!

December 7, 2010

Introducing Kid Mode for Google Chrome

We believe that every device a child interacts with should come with a Kid Mode… a simple, safe, fun way for kids to interact with age appropriate games and activities.  Today we are excited to announce that one of the most popular browsers on the web, Google Chrome, can now be put into Kid Mode!  So parents who use Google Chrome as their web browser can install our Kid Mode app from the Google Webstore.  Once installed there will be a simple icon that parents can click to put their browser into Kid Mode!

Here is a great video that highlights all the great features of our Chrome App:

We are looking forward to hearing about how we can improve this app so please be sure to send us feedback:  Support AT Zoodles.com

Best,

Mark
CEO & Co-founder of Zoodles

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