2011 07/12

Your baby’s iPhone

When I got my first iPhone a few years ago, my oldest daughter was merely a toddler. And I remember sitting in the waiting room at some appointment and letting her play a game on my iPhone. The old lady next to me nosily chimed in, “That’s quite an expensive toy for a kid.” While wanting to tell her to mind her own business, I smiled and jokingly said it was worth every penny at times like these.

My iPhone has been my saving grace in so many circumstances with my kids. From waiting forever in the doctor’s waiting room to sitting through sister’s gymnastics class to standing in the grocery check-out line when they only have 2 lanes open, I have often handed over that expensive toy in an effort to keep kids entertained and quiet!

The catch has been that with each kid, they seem to want to play with my phone at a younger and younger age. Now I have 10 month old Talon who has been eyeing up that shiny black beauty for a few months now!

Lets face it, while my 3 year old can be pretty care fun with the phone, I do not expect my 10 month old to play with the same carefulness.  I’ve been lucky enough to find little apps with videos and characters that are targeted toward his age, but he’s not content letting me hold on to the phone while watching those little videos. He’s a bit of an independent spirit. And, after watching him drop my phone once and scratching the screen with his sharp little chompers…yeah…time to figure something out!

I’ve seen one or two solutions and quickly jumped on the chance to check out the HappiTaps™ Beary Happi from Infantino.

HappiTaps Beary Happi

The HappiTaps™ Beary Happi is a combination of soft toy, iPhone/iPod Touch case, and interactive app. Add that all up and you get super fun!

Honestly, when I opened the box with the HappiTaps™ Beary Happi, I was a bit skeptical. But, giving it a shot, I downloaded the HappiTaps app and placed my iPhone into the Beary Happi.

Instantly my mind was changed! The little plush bear came to life! The animation of the bear’s face {on my iPhone} was so cute. And this realistic quality to it. Meaning it wasn’t cheesy. Not something you typically find in apps made for the littlest users.

Cool Factors:

Interactive — The little bear becomes interactive as soon as you start the app! It winks, laughs, eats, sleeps, etc. It reacts when you rub it’s face and, using they built-in gyroscope of the phone, it reacts when dropped or swung around! I was taken back when my son dropped the bear {and phone} and it said, Whoa! Careful! When you swing it around, it proceeds to say things like I bet you didn’t know bears like to swing! LOVE that they are utilizing the built-in technology of the phone!

HappiTaps Beary Happi

Games and more — The app comes with stories (fittingly Goldilocks & The Three Bears), games like Peek-a-Boo, songs, jokes and more. Lots of options to keep your little one entertained.

Toddler mode — By enabling the Toddler Mode, the app goes through a variety of activities without having to enter the navigation menu.

HappiTaps Beary Happi

Settings & Menues — The menu is easily accessible as a pull down menu but not so easily accessed by your little one. Honestly, some times it was tricky for me to get to it (which is good because I know the baby can’t get to it). But it is accessible and my older girls can get to it when playing with it.  Now, here’s my favorite part….within the settings you can disable in-app purchases! {I’ll get to those in-app purchases in a minute.} This feature is so nice because you don’t have to worry about baby or toddler purchasing upgrades to the app or at least trying to! I’ve found this to be a problem in other apps.

Volume Control — Unlike a lot of children and baby toys, because the HappiTaps Beary Happi is actually using your iPhone, you have complete control over the volume!!! YAY!

The Beary Happi case — Besides being cute, the Beary Happi case helps protect the iPhone {when baby drops it} and hides the ‘home’ button so baby can’t exit the app.  The case, however, does still allow for the sound to come through clearly as it has small holes near the speakers.  The size is perfect for little hands. Of course Talon still decides to try to chew on it but most of the time he gets the furry ear or foot in his mouth!

HappiTaps Beary Happi

Shortcomings

In-app Purchases — While the app comes with a good number of features, of course there are always the upgrades. My son could care less about that at this point, but my 3 year old and 6 year old {who can’t keep their hands off the Beary Happi} want to pay to upgrade so they can get the other stories, songs, and the ABC games.  Now, the upgrades are typically $0.99 each, but that can add up when you’re purchasing books, songs, and other features.

Nighty Night feature — The app has a feature that allows you to play lullabies and other features for your child’s night time routine. However, this is one of those in-app purchases.  So I can’t really tell you if it’s cool or not.

Overall, I would definitely recommend the  HappiTaps™ Beary Happi app and case! The manufacturer recommends it for ages 18+ months but Talon is 10 months and really enjoys it! When he can tear it away from his 3 year old and 6 year old sisters!

HappiTaps Beary Happi
HappiTaps Beary Happi

You can purchase the HappiTaps™ Beary Happi cover online for $19.99 and the download the free HappiTaps App from the iTunes App Store. A perfect Stocking Stuffer gift!!!

You should know…I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Infantino HappiTaps and received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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