Popular Doodle App Draws on Social Media Support

New update for free 'Doodle.ly' adds extra features

Popular Doodle App Draws on Social Media Support

In case you’ve never heard of Doodle.ly—dubbed the “social sketchpad” app—you can use your fingertip or stylus pen to doodle something on your iPad and then share your handiwork with others.

With a new update, the free Doodle.ly has added the ability to create your own user profile and follow someone’s drawings or they can follow you—not unlike the popular Instagram photo app.

To get going, simply pick from one of several pens, coloured markers, pencils, highlighters and an eraser to create something on the white canvas. It could be a caricature of a celebrity, humorous comic strip, sketch of new clothing fashions or an artsy bowl of fruit. You don’t need to have any skills to draw and share your doodle with others, see what your friends are working on or follow those talented types with something of interest to you.

When you open Doodle.ly you’ll be immediately taken to your palette of tools and white screen, but you can also tap on icons at the bottom, such as Latest (the newest doodles from the community), Popular (see which ones are trending) and Following (the Doodle.ly people you’ve subscribed to, with their works displayed in a chronological timeline).

Be forewarned you’ll see some pretty weird stuff, too, such as a pensive pimply face girl, tributes to the boy band One Direction and talking wedding cakes—so you never know what you’re going to get when perusing what’s doodles are out there. Parents should be relieved there are no inappropriate images here—well, not that I saw in the week I spent with the app.

If you like what doodle you see, you can choose to share it (email, Facebook, Twitter and others), Like it (think Facebook) or follow the person by tapping on their name. Too bad there’s no room to post comments like you can with Instagram, but perhaps that’s coming in a future update.

Overall, this free app is ideal for those who like to draw and share their creations, or for iPad owners who’d like to follow artistic types.


New ‘Spider-Man’ App Fuses Book, Activities

Disney’s digital download ideal for Spider-Man fans

New ‘Spider-Man’ App Fuses Book, Activities

Disney is celebrating a major milestone at Apple’s App Store: they currently hold the no. 1, no. 2 and no. 3 spots, for “Temple Run: Brave,” “Where’s My Perry?” and “Where’s My Water?,” respectively.

And while it’s not a game, per se, Disney has a new offering that’s climbing the charts, too.

Based on the blockbuster feature film, Spider-Man AR Book ($2.99) is a digital book and collection of interactive activities for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

t its core, the book follows the same story as The Amazing Spider-Man movie, including still photos from the film to accompany the text. The book is narrated by default, and kids can either swipe to turn “pages” or, for younger children, parents can select for pages to turn automatically. Kids can also read the book themselves or parents can read to them. There’s also an option to take out the sound effects and background music.

Kids can flip back and forth between pages at any time or tap one of 37 small thumbnail images at the bottom of the screen to jump to a particular part of the book.

Unlike other digital books for iPad, there is no option for kids to record and playback their own book narration, however. This would’ve been a nice addition.

At the risk of spoiling the story, the book—like the movie—is a retelling of how Spider-Man acquired his superhero powers while still a high-school student. The story also sheds a light on Peter Parker’s father, who disappeared mysteriously, and his research work with fellow scientist Dr. Curt Connors at Oscorp.

At certain parts of the story, you can play one of six “augmented reality” (AR) experiences tied to the tale. For example, when the narrator tells of how Parker was influenced by a wrestling poster to create the Spider-Man mask, simply tap an icon to see a red Spider-Man mask superimposed over your own face—and you can move around and the mask stays on. AR refers to a live view of a real, physical environment—seen through the camera lens of your iOS device—but what the user sees is augmented by virtual, on-screen information, images or sounds.

If you don’t want to stop the story, all half-dozen AR activities are accessible from a separate section within the app. You can try oun Peter Parker’s eyeglasses, tap spiders crawling on your face before they can weave a web, take a photo as an Oscorp employee and type your name on the badge (before saving the photo, printing or emailing it), and more.

Some experiences are better than others, of course, such as the fun Crawling Spiders AR game over the disappointing Spidey-Sense AR activity. This Spider-Man AR Book was designed and produced by Total Immersion, best-known for last year’s free SkinVaders app with AR games.

For $3, there’s a lot to like about the Spider-Man AR Book—especially for Spider-Man fans or those who enjoyed the movie.
Coming soon: Support for a number of languages via a free downloadable update, says Disney, including audio and text in Spanish (Latin American and Castilian), French, Italian, German, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese Mandarin, Korean and Russian.