It’s a well-known cliché that only people without kids, give kids noisy toys. so I should have known better. I can only assume that the app inventors at Apple are all childless or they may have known better too.
Anyone who knows me, will know what a huge Apple fan I am. But, like most inventors, they clearly don’t put their apps to test where it counts. I’ve long been a believer that if you really want a product to show it’s true worth, it needs to be tested by kids. All that “no stain fabric” business? Means nothing till it’s gone through the short person household wreck test. And bold statements like “durable under soles” are big fat load of lard till they’ve actually been put through the mill by real, live children. (FYI, the skateboard/ substitute-bicycle-brake test is what’s called for here.)
But back to Apple. As another means to get our kids even more addicted to technology, we decided to download some “fun” apps on the iPad. Talking Tom was a winner - mostly for me. I mean have you made him sing “Copacabana”? Talking Roby (short for robot) was less funny, though typing in words like “bum” (which Roby then robotically repeats) made the kids fall about laughing. I suppose I should be grateful they didn’t type in “arse”. (Er, actually they did, but I can hardly admit to that, now can I?)
But here comes the word of caution. Do NOT, under any circumstances be tempted to download “Sound Effects”. Because it’s not just about the sounds, which in real life are irritating enough. It’s about the myriad of irritating sounds you can make when you either a) push them quickly one after the other (Burp, Scream, Raspberry), or b) push one repeatedly before it has the chance to finish (e.g. Scream becomes Scr scr scr scr scr scr scr scr scr….) See what I mean?
And don’t think that innocent sounding Doodle Sound is any better. It has noises that imitate things like “bottle blow” (because that’s not an irritating sound at all). Predictably, the sounds “Fart”, “Burp”, “Slamming door” and “Retro alarm” live up to their expectations. And finally, to keep things colloquial, there is “Hi Sexy” (all 6 year olds have opportunity to say this, after all), “Shut up”(which God knows they should never be taught) and “Get out, get out now” (which is kind of how I feel sometimes but still – you just can’t say it.)
I’m back to wearing my iPod all the time.