Kids Stories October 10, 2016

We’re great fans of anything that inspires kids to get to grips with technology from an early age, noting recently the smarthome and Bluetooth LE kits added by LittleBits. Now a British company is aiming to bring even smarter technology to Lego, claiming that it’s the first physical product that can be programmed with Swift Playgrounds.

SBrick Plus is a brick that you can place into your LEGO® models so you can control them remotely using a smart device like a phone, tablet, gamepad or even Chromebook or PC. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though; SBrick Plus can use sensors from the WeDo 1.0™ family can be programmed in several languages, so it’s a perfect way to start your journey into programming and robotics!

On the Apple side, you can control SBrick creations with the iPhone 4s and up, any iPad from the iPad 3, modern Macs and even the Apple Watch …

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Kids Stories October 3, 2016

Kids electronics kit makers LittleBits have long used an iOS app to help kids build their own gadgets, but the addition of a Bluetooth LE module means that their creations can now be directly controlled by an iPhone or iPad.

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

Kids Stories August 2, 2016

Littlebits launches kids version of DIY smarthome kit

There’s no shortage of smarthome products these days, but for those who prefer to make their own, LittleBits launched a DIY kit back in 2014.  The company has today launched a $100 version aimed at kids, with components that snap together magnetically.

Kids Stories June 21, 2016

If you’re looking for something to entertain kids aged 8-12 over the summer, and the chance for them to learn some useful tech skills into the bargain, you may want to register them for this year’s Apple Camp. Apple holds annual workshops at its retail stores intended to help kids make creative use of technology. This year’s workshops are focused on coding & robotics, movie-making and story-telling.

Campers can work with visual blocks and solve puzzles while programming Sphero robots. They can learn filmmaking skills: storyboarding, shooting video, and editing soundtracks. Or they can create interactive books complete with their own illustrations and sound effects. At Apple Camp, kids and their creativity are the heroes … 

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Kids Stories April 14, 2016

Apple has announced that users can no longer setup iTunes Allowances for kids from today, ahead of a complete shutdown of the iTunes Allowances program on May 25th, 2016. iTunes Allowances let parents set up monthly credit for their kids to spend on App Store and iTunes Store purchases.

In the support note announcing the closure, Apple recommends families instead use Family Sharing to manage purchase and spending habits across family members. This does not impact the availability of iTunes Gifts — Apple customers will still be able to buy iTunes gift cards to give to friends and family as normal.

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Kids Stories April 12, 2016

BBC launches iPlayer Kids, a child-friendly version of its popular iPad app

British parents have long known that handing your kids an iPad full of children’s TV shows is a good way to keep them quiet for a while appropriately entertained and informed. The BBC has made that job even easier today by launching a special iPlayer Kids app. The iPad app, which has a user-interface suitable for young children, features only age-appropriate TV shows.

The new child-friendly app is safe and easy to use. With over 10,000 episodes being made available this year alone, it has all of BBC Children’s world-class content in one place, allowing kids to discover and enjoy both new and old CBeebies and CBBC favourites including Wolfblood, Blue Peter, The Dumping Ground, Topsy & Tim and Go Jetters.

Each child in the family creates their own profile, complete with their age and a cartoon character to represent them, and the app them automatically filters the shows offered.

Pre-school children (under five) are only shown CBeebies content, while children over five are shown both CBBC and CBeebies content (customised to be suitable for their age).

The BBC says it created the app in recognition of the fact that children’s programs are the most popular genre watched through iPlayer.

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