Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays! From Artgig Studio



Know what I forgot?

A card!


Don't worry - we've got your back, with the Artgig Holiday Card Generator.

Now you can make your own custom e-card, featuring the cute and quirky characters from our Alien Buddies App!

And you can do it in your browser or, on your iPad.

Look here - no Flash up our sleeve.


(Standing there, mouth agape, amazed)


So, Happy Holidays from us, to you.

(Drooling a little)


Okay fun!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Alien Buddies Have Landed – On Cafe Press!

This Just In:

The Alien Buddies have landed on Cafe Press!

That's right, we're having so much fun with our cute and quirky App Store friends, we decided to open a store to share and wear them!

Have a "New and Noteworthy" baby to shop for?

No problem!

Or maybe you just want your BFF on a shirt!

If you're looking for your favorite Alien Buddies on a plethora of products, we've got you covered!

Just look for Artgig on Cafe Press and follow the signs.

And it's 20% off right now with coupon code NOEL20.

As our Alien Buddies are fond of saying...


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shake-a-Phrase App v.1.3 - a Peek Under the Hood & a Party Invite!

Our latest Shake-a-Phrase update, v.1.3, went live in the App Store yesterday.

What you get:
Improved vocabulary and a better Starter theme!

(You can stop here, or read on if you want a peek under the hood and a party invite...)

When we first came up with the idea for Shake-a-Phrase, we thought the content would be relatively cheap - we were wrong.
We started with an open source dictionary but the definitions were lousy and not age appropriate so we ended up rewriting all of them.
With each update and testing, we take a good hard look at the overall quality of the phrases generated, along with user feedback, and make improvements where we can.
If someone is offended by a phrase due to a word in the mix like "drunk" (adj) - we take note and edit the dictionary for the next update.
We've been adding words, tweaking definitions, and deleting words to keep the fun, random silly stuff, but minimize the completely nonsensical phrases so you get a higher percentage of quality phrases.

Since Shake was released, we've been going theme-by-theme to tighten up, and make each theme as strong as it can be.
We updated Monsters for Halloween, and Fairytales for Thanksgiving.
The Sports theme was a big effort because many of the words in our dictionary take on a different meaning in the context of sports - so we gave Sports a separate dictionary.

For this update, we overhauled the Starter theme.
It's been long overdue - the Starter theme has been a bit like the wild west with lots of object nouns in the mix.
So we reclassified some words to make them location nouns ("on the bike", instead of "with the bike"), deleted some words, and we added a whole bunch of new people nouns for more human interaction.

It's not the kind of thing where you can easily point to any one thing and say "that changed" - but rather an overall sense that things are just better.
That's quality.

And tomorrow, you can download Shake-a-Phrase for just .99 (50% off) for the Appy Holidays Party.
We'll be there with Benny and our Alien Buddies hanging out under the mistletoe, giving away promo codes and getting into the punch.

Stop by for great app deals and giveaways from lots of fantastic developers:


Monday, December 5, 2011

Alien Buddies Educational App Review

Last week was a bit of a blur with the app launch and our Friday Moms With Apps promotion and I wanted to hold off on posting this to give the review some breathing room.

Diane was one of our Alien Buddies Beta testers and she was nice enough to also write a review of the app for the blog.

Alien Buddies - reviewed by Diane Darrow

The Aliens are coming, and they are cuter than ever! Alien Buddies is an adorable new app that helps young children identify colors, shapes, letters and numbers. The goal of the game is to load an alien into the correct spaceship so that they can happily fly away. In order for this to happen, children must first correctly match the symbol on the alien to that on the spaceship. Each time they run a successful mission, they earn a virtual sticker.

What is unique about this matching game is the wonderful way it offers various levels of challenge At the introductory level; the youngest child merely looks for a visual match. While busy making these matches, they hear the names of shapes, colors, letters and numbers called out. This subtle background experience is preparing the player for the next level, where the spaceship will only speak the name of the item the child must visually locate.

Alien Buddies moves beyond just basic letter and number recognition. A child can choose to practice matching either upper or lower case letters separately or together. Once they can identify numbers to 10, the player can move onto the learning numbers to 20 or even 50. Tiered challenges such as this within an app, is a valuable asset for any pre-school or kindergarten teacher looking for ways to differentiate learning in their classroom.

"Aliens Buddies is a charming app that offers a clever and engaging way for a young child to learn basic skills necessary for reading and math. "

If you ask a child why they are enjoy playing with Alien Buddies they will most likely comment on how much fun it is to interact with the characters.  The opportunity to earn creatures and objects for a sticker book is very motivating.  Children love playing with the reward stickers and if you listen closely, you may even get to hear the stories that their pictures are telling.  All of my small friends have thoroughly enjoyed watching the humorous way the aliens shuffle along the loading platform, and often giggle at their silly exclamations. Aliens Buddies is a charming app that offers a clever and engaging way for a young child to learn basic skills necessary for reading and math.

Diane Darrow is an artist, Reading Recovery teacher, and library media specialist at Bel Aire Elementary in Tiburon, CA. You can follow her on Twitter at @dianedarrow.

Thanks Diane!