Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Amazon Appstore's Free App of the Day, 02/21/2012: Tracing ABC

Amazon.com has promised to make a paid app free every day in the Amazon Appstore, and today's app is Tracing ABC.

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Tracing ABC is priced at $0.99 in the Android Market. It is normally priced at $0.99 in the Amazon Appstore. As we've noted previously, prices sometimes differ between the two marketplaces.

Tracing ABC is described as follows:
Get your little one on track to perfect penmanship with the Tracing ABC app for your Android device. Ideal for children four years and older, the Tracing ABC app has a simple and engaging interface designed to help children print letters, numbers, and various shapes with ease and confidence.

It's as Easy as...

Choose among four practice options: capital letters, lower-case letters, numbers, and shapes. For the beginners with clumsy little fingers, the Guided Tracing Mode is a good place to start and Free Style Mode offers more of a challenge.

Just Learning

The Guided Tracing Mode displays a large, transparent letter on a chalkboard. A bright, green star indicates where your child should begin, followed by a path of fading yellow stars. To properly print the letter, your child will follow the yellow star path, beginning with the brightest, green star. If it's necessary to lift the chalk for a new line, a new bright green star will appear indicating such.

Guided Tracing Mode makes it impossible to go outside of the lines. It's best for simply familiarizing your child with the letters, and providing positive feedback and encouragement.

I Think I Got It

Free Style Tracing Mode offers a more organic writing experience when your child is ready for more of a challenge. While the star path is still there, the chalk line follows the exact path of your child's finger. If your little one gets sloppy, the line will turn red. Each effort is awarded one, two, or three stars. Children may also be encouraged to simply try again.

A is for Alligator

After successfully tracing a letter, the overhead screen is pulled down displaying a word and photo of something beginning with that letter. Likewise, children will see a photo which represents the numbers and shapes as well.
Tracing ABC has a rating of 4.9 stars in the Android market, and a rating of 3.3 stars in the Amazon Appstore.

When there's this big a difference in ratings, we take a look at the sheer number of ratings. There are only 13 ratings in the Android Market, where the app has a 4.9 star rating. In the Amazon Appstore, Tracing ABC has 56 reviews. There is a free version of Tracing ABC in the Android Market that has 48 ratings and a 4.2 star rating.

Our guess is this is somewhere around 4 stars overall. Among the negative reviews are about size, and at least a couple that are useless "posting negative reviews for the sake of posting them."

Those who are considering "buying" a Free Amazon Appstore app might want to consider what it means to developers.

Amazon.com opened up the Appstore despite a lawsuit by Apple, which has previously trademarked the term "App Store." Microsoft has filed an appeal against that trademark, saying the term is too generic. Amazon.com has responded to the lawsuit in the same manner.

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