“How do the tech toys measure up? This is not a typical “best of the year” list; rather, it is an attempt to make you — a busy parent or grandparent — smarter than a fifth grader, in 1,200 words or less, while pointing out a few noteworthy examples,” Warren Buckleitner reports for The New York Times. “No single device since the invention of the bicycle has altered a child’s wish list more than the iPad. If you don’t believe me, go to the mall and ask Santa, or note the number of mainstream companies making app-related toys.”
“Disney AppMates are matchbox-size cars from the “Cars” movies that you slide around on the slippery iPad screen, which delivers a set of self-scrolling roads with ramps. When the novelty fades and you run out of roads, you can buy another car for $10 to unlock a new “Cars” personality and another section of the map,” Buckleitner reports. “You can significantly improve an iPad’s chance of survival when it is slammed in a minivan door if it is encased in foam with Big Grips. The lightweight and easy grip makes the iPad 2 easier to hold like a steering wheel.
“For iPhones or the iPod Touch, HappiTaps turns the screen into an oblong-headed bear that you can clip to a stroller, to provide conversation or deliver a lullaby (there are different modes),” Buckleitner reports. “The Appfinity AppBlaster is evidence that game controllers can come in many forms, including a bright orange, two-triggered assault rifle. You snap your iOS device into a holder on the gun barrel, download the app and start blasting at creatures that are floating around the room, as seen through the camera on your device.”
Buckleitner reports, “If spending $500 for an iPad 2 is out of reach, there are other ways to give a child access to the ocean of apps in iTunes. An older, deactivated iPhone, which works essentially as an iPod Touch, is one route, or a new iPod Touch 4G is going for $190 or so at Wal-Mart (for the eight-gigabyte version).”
Prices, links, and many more (non-Apple) tech-related gift ideas are highlighted in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Whit D.” for the heads up.]
Disney intros Appmates Mobile Application Toys, lets kids use Apple iPad as virtual play mat (with video) – September 27, 2011