Zoodles Blog Learn and Play Every Day

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!

October 27, 2010

Connecting Kids and Family Members through Video Mail and Storybooks

Mark Williamson, CEO & Co-Founder of Zoodles

Mark Williamson CEO & Co-Founder

One of the challenges that parents face is ensuring their kids build meaningful relationships with their aunts, uncles, grandparents and other family members.  This can be especially hard for families that are spread across the country like mine is.  While we live in California my daughters have aunts & uncles in Denver, Columbus OH, and Bethlehem PA while their grandparents are in Seattle and Columbus OH.  This means that they only get to see some of these family members once a year and with time zone differences it is close to impossible to Skype with them.

Since we build software that puts computers into Kid Mode, we thought we could improve the lives of families by enabling kids to connect with distant relatives.  Today we are announcing two new features that do exactly this:

Video Mail:

Finally, the most common activity online for adults – communications, is available to kids of all ages.  Zoodles Video Mail enables kids and family members to easily record and exchange video messages.  After a parent invites a family member to connect with their kids, that family member can record a message using a webcam, and that message is delivered directly to the child inside of the Zoodles computer app.  When a child clicks on their Mail tab, their new messages will immediately start to play as the picture below shows.

video_mail

A child can easily reply to any video message and it is so easy that my soon-to-be 3 year old daughter can do it too.

sam_vm

Storybooks:

This feature was inspired by a conversation with a grandma in Texas who recorded herself reading books on mini-cassettes and mailed them to her grandchildren in California.  She was looking for a way for her grandchildren to hear her voice before bed so they could stay connected.  With Zoodles Storybooks she can now select one of the Zoodles classic storybooks to record for her grandchildren and they will automatically receive the recording in the Books tab inside the Zoodles computer app.  As the picture below shows, the experience is really compelling for kids:

storybook

We hope that Zoodles can play a meaningful role in connecting families across the country, and we can’t wait to see how families use these new features.

Mark Williamson
CEO & co-founder

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