For kids, animals are endlessly fascinating. I’ve kept a number of apps for children on my iPhone just for my friend’s three year old daughter, and it’s been an interesting study in what works and what doesn’t. Animals, great pictures, and loud noises? That’s going to be a win.
Animals 360 is an app created by YED28 that mixes education with fun. As with most free apps, there is an advertisement bar running along the bottom, but I never had to deal with pop-ups or anything else. On the main menu, you can choose to view photos, take a quiz, do a tour, or play with a puzzle.
The images are beautiful, and the sounds are great too. In photo mode, you can swipe up and down to view different pictures of the same animal, or swipe side to side to view different animals. Tapping the list icon in the upper right corner allows you to find any animal in an alphabetical list, complete with picture thumbnail.
There are three “tours” available – farm, safari and forest. Each is a long panoramic with a beautiful background that features all of the animals found in that setting. The quiz is cute as well – you get the animal name you’re looking for, along with the sound it makes, and choose between four pictures of the animal. The only slightly clunky thing I noticed here was that I had to wait until after the animal noise stopped before it recognized my touch – something a child might find frustrating.
The puzzle was my favorite part. Any one of the dozens of pictures in the app appears, and you can select whether to divide it into a 12 or 35 piece puzzle. Once it’s scrambled, you can swipe the pieces around in order to form the puzzle again.
This one is a surefire hit with the kiddos – seeing as the price is right, I’d recommend giving it a shot!
Animal 360 [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.