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Tag: iPad apps

Apps Teens Love

photo courtesy of Flickr user William Hook
photo courtesy of Flickr user William Hook

We all have our favorite social media apps. According to the 2015 Pew Center report on teens and technology, 72% of all teens spend time with friends on social media.  Of these teens, 23% do it daily.  Texting is still the top activity for teens, but messaging apps are also popular with 42% of teens using apps such as Kik and WhatsApp and 14% use these types of app every day.

Since Teen Tech Week will be celebrated March 6-12, I asked some of the youth services librarians in my area what apps the teens in their libraries are currently obsessed with. I know their tastes change pretty quickly so what’s popular now may not be popular in six months. Therefore, I was a bit surprised to find that they are using a lot of the same apps that have been popular for a while now but I also learned about some new ones too.

In my request from my colleagues, I didn’t specify what kind of app suggestions I wanted so, unsurprisingly, more of the answers fell into the texting or micro-blogging category, when what I really wanted was gaming apps. I admit I haven’t spent as much time as I probably should playing gaming apps so, a number of these were new to me, although they may not be to you.

Gaming Apps

The most frequently mentioned gaming app that seems to be all the rage right now is Stop. It’s a fun categories word game app you can play against others. You randomly select a letter to start and type a word for each of the 5 different categories that start with that letter. The player that gets most correct words wins. There are categories for Star Wars, superheroes and many others.

A number of librarians said that they and their teens were obsessed with Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector, the Japanese cat collecting game. The game’s very simple. The goal is to leave food and toys in your virtual backyard to attract cats – over 40 of them – all with their own unique looks and personality. Most of the cats are ordinary cats, but there are some rare cats too, but in order to get them to come, you need to lure them with special items. I first saw a colleague playing it last year and, although I prefer dogs to cats, it looked so adorable that I began playing it too. It’s quite addictive. In Japan they’ve had live-action recreations of the game that you can watch on YouTube.

Another popular Japanese game is the free Alpaca Evolution app. I’ve never played it but it sounds fun, although very strange. You are an alpaca that mutates and consumes other alpacas. As you consume other alpacas you evolve and mutate into something stronger and stranger. Every time you evolve you get a new description of your new form. It doesn’t require a lot of skill, but it’s a lot of fun seeing what disturbing alpaca monstrosity you evolve into next. An in-game encyclopedia explains each of your new forms in bizarre detail, rating your strength and giving you a bunch of useless vital statistics.

Report From the YALSA YA Literature Symposium: Inside the E-Book Book Discussions

Subtext iPad app logoOn Saturday, November 3, attendees at the YALSA YA Literature Symposium had the chance to talk about book discussions that take place from right inside an ebook. That’s right, you can talk about books from right inside the book. No more going to a website like GoodReads or Twitter or Facebook to have your discussions.

The app most talked about for these inside-the-ebook book discussions was Subtext. Subtext is a free iPad app with a lot of features which make inside the ebook book discussions easy to do and fun, too. The two screencasts below give you an overview of how Subtext works and how to get a copy of Steve Hamilton’s Alex Award winning title The Lock Artist (free from Subtext) to read with others to see how inside-the-ebook book discussions (and Subtext) work.