MyIphonics II, developed by MyiPhonics, Inc., is the next in line in the MyIphonics series of apps to teach children basic phonics. In a previous review of MyIphonics I, I mentioned my support for using technology like this to teach children.
My opinion of the design of this app is the same as before – I love the flashcards and think they’re a wonderful resource for pre-k and kindergarten students. I like the pictures in the Sounds menu, although I wish they were bigger, rather than having all twenty consonants on one page. I also think landscape mode might be easier for some children.
My only problem is that MyIphonics II, with the exception of the game, is the exact same app as MyIphonics I. As a customer, this bothers me because the iTunes page clearly states: “MyIphonics I teaches children letter sounds. MyIphonics II teaches children beginning sounds.”
This tells me the apps will each have a different focus. Instead, the Sounds and Flash Card pages are 100% identical. That means a customer will download a second app that is two thirds the same as the first. And the full game is not included in the price for either app – it’s an additional $0.99 each. Granted, this is spelled out clearly on the developer’s website.
I like the games in both versions, and I think kids would like them too. In MyIphonics II, three pictures with different beginning letters are over two pictures and one blank space. A three letter word is spelled out beneath. Kids are instructed to drag the picture that starts with the missing word to the blank space. It’s a cute concept, and I feel like it could be useful in helping kids learn.
But again, the game is only a preview – the full game is $0.99. And this bothers me because it is the only thing that makes this app different from the first, which most customers are likely to already own. Not a big deal considering the apps are free, but they both take up space you could be using for something else, and it’s implied that the apps focus on different concepts. The bottom line is this app will be a fun purchase for your child, but you probably can stick to one or the other rather than spending money for both.
MyIphonics II is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. It requires the iPhone OS 3.1 or later.