The Flitlits iPad Apps Review

This week I have had the privilege of reviewing 3 new and exciting apps for the iPad titled the Flitlits.

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These are more than just book apps. The series includes main adventures that are supported by comprehensive educational content that aids young readers to improve their literacy skills. They were researched and created by curriculum content creator, Eiry Rees Thomas over a period of 3+ years with the support of the Welsh Government and in collaboration with educational enthusiasts. The illustrations are by award winning illustrator James Field and the apps have been developed by Chaos Trend Ltd.

App 1 titled The Funny Fair and it tells the story of a Fair coming to Fussbut, Seldom See. It follows Jester Bit and his friends on their adventures through the fair ground.

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App 2 titled A Ferry To Airy follows Jester Bit on an unexpected journey through the No Zone Space to the Island of Airy. At the Island of Airy he finds himself face to face with some Nutty Folk. Will Jester Bit’s uncle Doctor It take time out from dreaming up mistakes to help him save the day?

App 3 titled A Shine Show Shock sees Jester Bit trying to win the Star of Stars at the Shine Show. However a mixture of friendships and rivalries leads to an unexpected ending.

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The series of apps take you on a journey of language and discovery through the land of Fussbut, Seldom See. They are designed as a cross curricular resource and an educational guide is provided both in the apps and on the Flitlits website. This makes them perfect for use in the classroom or at home and encourage creativity, the study of language, script writing, roll play and much more.

Each app offers a choice of Welsh, English and US English versions of text and narration. The apps have been accredited by Mums With Apps meaning they have been checked for privacy and protections for children. The apps are priced at £2.99 each which makes them less than your standard book!

For a more in depth look please see my video review below.

To conclude I’d fully recommend these apps for the following reasons:-
– Appealing to both boys and girls.
– Cross curricular content aids the thematic approach to learning.
– The Flitlits offer valuable curriculum content.

Thanks for reading and your likes, comments and shares are much appreciated.

If you have an app you would like reviewing please get in contact and I’ll see what I can do.

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AirServer Review. Apple TV Airplay Alternative

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Following on from my Reflector Review I decided to spend the last few weeks trialling out Airserver on the PC. Airserver is another true alternative to Apple TV and in education where you don’t need the extra apps found on the Apple TV then it’s also a much cheaper option.

Installation
The installation process for Airserver is fairly simple but it does need iTunes or Bonjour installing first. This obviously means it uses some of these features to connect. After the installation you need to enter your activation code (you can get a 7 day free trial) and then it asks if you want all users to have access to the software. Selecting yes means who ever logs onto the machine can easily connect their iOS device. A bonus feature of Airserver is that it installs as a service. This means it can run from windows boot allowing it to be always ready for a connection.

Connecting the iPad
Connection the iPad to Airserver works in exactly the same way as if you are using a normal Apple TV. A quick flick up at the bottom of the iPad and you’ll find your computer name in the list under Airplay. Mirroring also works in the same way by selecting it under the computer name.

Video and Sound
Just like a normal Apple TV, Airserver outputs up to full 1080p HD video and 5.1 surround sound. What you actually gets does depend on your computer system and what app/video you are playing on the iPad. I’ve not had any lag issues with Airserver and if you have a slow network there is a an option to allow for this in the settings ensuring the connection doesn’t drop.

Other Features
Airserver works by displaying the iPad in a normal window. This means you can resize the output to fit with your work. Airserver also allows your to connect multiple iPads at one time. Airserver doesn’t have any recording features built in, however there are many free programs on the Internet allowing you to do this.

To find out more visit the Airserver website here.

Reflector AirPlay Receiver Review

Over the last month I’ve been trying out reflector as a way to get my iPad screen projected for the whole class to see. At first I was a little sceptical about using software to mirror my iPad screen but due to the difference in cost when compared to an Apple TV I had to give it a go.

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Reflector AirPlay Receiver

Installation
As with any software you need to install reflector first. It’s worth noting at this point I installed the 32bit version of reflector onto a 6 year old Windows PC with 1GB of RAM and a 1GB wired network connection. I felt if it worked on this machine it would work on anything. Reflector also comes in a 64bit Windows and Mac version.
The actual installation was very simple and quick. It’s not bloated with extra unnecessary software or wording. I think I only clicked twice during the whole installation! So this is a big bonus as no cables, usernames etc needed to be connected/entered before I could get started.

First Launch
The first time I ran reflector I was asked for a serial number. As I was only trialling the program I just clicked ‘Try’. I actually received this message every time I ran the software, but if you registered the software this wouldn’t show again. The trial version also only runs for 10mins before closing down. This was a little frustrating but it didn’t stop me having a good play with the software. Now the software is running and I have a little icon in my task bar which I can use to make any changes.

Connecting the iPad
This is where I thought the app would let me down but I’m pleased to say this blew me away! On the ipad I just dragged up from the bottom (ios7) and selected Airplay. Bang there was the name of my PC. I selected it making sure mirroring was turned on and my iPad screen appeared in front of me. It always connected showing a nice iPad frame which I wanted to remove and I found a quick right click gave me full access to the options allowing me to make it full screen and remove the frame.

Lag
To be honest I fully expected this to have some lag especially after using an Apple TV which suffered from it occasionally. However I’m pleased to report that so far after many hours of use. I’ve never experienced lag even when watching videos from YouTube etc. So another big tick for this software.

Video Resolution and Sound
Reflector allows you to choose the resolution using the options menu this means you can display at full 1080p as long as all the other hardware your using supports it! Also sound works really nicely without any lag.

Extras
As reflector displays your iPad on to the PC, this allows you to record your iPad screen using a screen recorder. Also reflector has the ability to display more than one iPad on the screen at a time. This is really cool as you can use it to compare things or have a video playing on one side and taking notes on the other etc.

Alternatives
There are only two main alternatives to Reflector and they are Apple TV and AirServer. Depending on your usage and setup would depend on which one you go for. However if you are happy to display your iPad on a screen via either a PC or Mac then reflector is the way forward me.

If you need more information or pricing then visit the reflector website here.

Using Apple TV with a Windows Tablet and AirParrot

This week I tasked myself with displaying a Windows 8 tablet on a projector wirelessly. The only problem I had was no money or time to buy anything new and very old projectors. Then I thought to myself I wonder if I could use the Apple TV in the Heads Office to wirelessly connect using Airplay.

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So a quick google search leads me to a piece of software called AirParrot. The first thing to note this software does cost money but you can download a free trial. The free trial gives you 20 mins of airplay time before closing. You then have to open the program again to get a further 20 mins.

After a quick download and install I was ready to give it a try. The program sits in your task bar and when you need to connect you just right click the little AirParrot icon and select the Apple TV you wish to connect to. A few seconds later and bang your windows screen is on your projector via Apple TV. It even lets you connect to an Apple TV which is pass code protected.

To be honest I was very surprised when I started trying different metro apps and programs. I was able to draw on the screen in Fresh Paint and it replicated on the projector without lag. I also tried watching videos and again no lag.

AirParrot also has tools to allow you to alter frame rate etc to improve performance if you do have trouble.

So if you don’t have a modern projector or TV with wireless then this bit of software with an Apple TV may help you out.