Animal TrackHD is an adorable preschool iPad app designed to engage small children with animals, enabling them to make associations between the animal, its sound, and its track (footprint). Kids follow one of two navigation modes: by animal or by track image. Either way, they end up on each animal’s info screen, which includes the cute rendering of the animal, its track in all white, and sound images that reveal each animal’s call and name. This is one app that is designed to have audio turned on.
Animal TrackHD has a clean, uncluttered design with simple navigation. Even the youngest users will be able to make it work with minimal instruction. This simplicity can be refreshing, but it is also a criticism. The app is rated 4+, but for children older than three, this app will become limited very quickly. It is not scalable for older children. The 12 animals profiled are the only ones available, and no games or customizations are offered.
A similar, but free, choice is Animals Zoo – Interactive Flash Cards. Developed by TabTale, LtD, this flash cards app is formatted for iPhone or iPad. Although not quite as adorable, Animals Zoo is still cute, and provides many more animals than AnimalTrackHD, without the tracks. Of course, as with most free apps, be on the lookout for the up sell: A book icon at the bottom of the screen will lead you to “more tales,” which is a catalog of more content.
AnimalTrackHD is certainly cute and engaging – and delivers exactly what it promises. For $0.99, you can have an easy way to teach your toddler the names and sounds of the most common animals. Although you could do just as well with an actual book, the book will be more expensive.