Tuesday, October 15, 2013

iPad Essentials: 4 Tricks to Find Apps

The App Store is huge and overwhelming. It's important to have some strategies to find apps; here are some I commonly share in workshops and thought you all might like to know about!

1. Make sure to look at iPhone apps in the App Store App, if you can't find the app you are looking for.

At times people hear about an app and become frustrated because they cannot find it in the App Store. This could be because it is an app made for iPhone, not iPad. iPad (or "universal") apps are more ideal as they are designed for the screen, but apps made for iPhone still are usable on iPad in what is called "compatibility mode" (tap the 2x in the lower corner of the screen and it will enlarge to almost fullscreen).

When searching for an app, if you see a "no results" message, tap "iPad only" and then choose "iPhone only" to check if there is an iPhone version available (in iOS7). If you are still on iOS6 you can toggle from iPad apps to iPhone apps at the top-center of the search results page in the App Store app.

 In iOS7

2. Search for the app using your Safari app

Google is more forgiving about mistakes as you are searching for app names than the App Store. If you search in the Safari app for the app name using Google, often the direct link to download the app will come up.

Look for the result that has an iTunes.apple.com address and tap on it. This will open up the App Store app and link you directly to the app.

3. Be aware of app sales!

There are a number of resources that inform us of app sales:

Apps Gone Free- is a free app from the folks at App Advice, an excellent blog. You can check it each day and it lists apps that have become free for a limited time. The apps usually are priced higher than free, and are required to have a 3-star or greater rating in the App Store, so they generally are of good quality.

Moms With Apps' App Friday- each Friday, family-friendly apps are set to free or reduced price. Check the Download Center to find out which apps are participating.

Smart Apps for Kids- this website also provides information about daily "Good Free Apps" and is a great source of app news in general, having SLPs and educators directly involved. You can view their page directly or follow their Facebook or Twitter feeds.

4. Use other App-Finding Apps.

Kindertown and Autism Apps are both free, educator-moderated resources of apps within certain subject or goal areas. 

Do also watch out for updates on the ultimate app-finder for therapists: Yapp Guru! This website is currently in beta, but the SLPs behind it keep an active and helpful presence on Twitter and Facebook, so follow them for news on what's to come!

The resources in #s 3-4 present a good opportunity to do a quick FIVES criteria analysis in your head before downloading. Happy Hunting!

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