Story Bug is a good option for staying in touch and reading together.
One of my favorite things about technological advances is our ability to keep in touch with loved ones better. If can be very difficult especially for traveling parents or families separated by states, to watch little ones grow up or simply just talk to one another. Luckily, services like FaceTime and Skype make it easier to see faces and hear voices. Now, there are even apps like Story Bug, that let us read together – even when apart.
Story Bug by Cricket Media, allows families to enjoy books and read together even when you aren’t in the same physical space. The app combines video chat with a shared reader that allows each party to read along at the same time. Some of the key features include:
- Dozens of books available from Cricket Media
- Synchronous, shared reader
- Interactive pointers that allow everyone to see where others are pointing
- Two free books
- Kid-friendly interface – certified by kidSAFE+ for COPPA compliance
I’ve looked at other apps that offer the same type of service and Story Bug has a very nice interface by comparison. I like that it comes preloaded with two books and that you can use the story-reading feature right after you load the program. Unfortunately, to take full advantage of the Story Bug app, you have to subscribe to the service. There are different types of subscriptions and several in-app purchase options. For starters, if you don’t create an account, you can purchase additional books for $2.99 a piece. Subscribers have access to the entire Cricket Publishing/Story Bug library at $4.99/month, $14.99/6-months, or $24.99/year. Even though I would much rather see a purchase price for the app than in-app purchases, without a subscription, you still have unlimited video call ability. One other thing I’d like to point out is that even though the in-app purchases are numerous, purchases are shared during a call. So, only one side needs to pay for premium book access.
I think Story Bug is a cute idea with easy execution, but wish it wasn’t quite so premium purchase based. If you are looking for a way to connect with loved ones, give Story Bug a try. It’s available for iPhone and iPad and is free to download. You do have to create an account prior to making a video call.
For more information, visit storybug.com.