Not surprisingly, the App Store is full of fun, yet educational opportunities for children. Mix 2 Color by Arsidian happily mixes both cognitive learning and enough fun to keep my wife and I, we consider ourselves adults, busy for about twenty minutes. Now, I don’t know what that says about us, but none-the-less, it is a perfect app to enjoy with the youngin’s.
Design and Functionality
Overall, the app is overwhelmingly simple to navigate. When opened, the user is simply asked to pick between drawing a picture or coloring an existing picture. The layout is overly colorful and tools are large enough to attract the shifting eyes of a small child.
In the “Color a Picture” mode, a blank drawing is presented on graph paper, with a thumbnail of the appropriate coloring in the left corner. The user is presented with blue, red, yellow, black, and white, but the user must mix two colors together in the ink well to discover non-primary colors. Tap the desired color and then tap the drawing where the color is required. Recognize the verb “tap.” Coloring within the lines is not required to successfully complete the drawing. Just touching anywhere within the lines will auto fill the spot. If the correct color is used a positive audible confirmation is chimed reinforcing success to the child.
“Draw a Picture” is less restrictive. Choose between a pre-drawn image to color it, or begin with a completely blank page and draw everything from scratch. Multiple paintbrush sizes are offered along with: 11 stamps, 12 colors; eraser; and “undo” tool, which only modifies the previous 3 strokes.
All the while a catchy and up-beat tune patters along in the background. It is a happy mix of Garageband music that becomes very repetitive at a rapid rate; however, I’m not sure a child would pick up on the redundancy as quickly. Soundtracks and sound effects can be toggled on and off at any time.
There is a camera feature that takes a snapshot of the whole screen, not just the image. Consequently, you get the boarder and tools in the shot, which is unfortunate if you are trying to print it out for the fridge. Also, there is not in-app picture storage. Using the in-app camera capture, it simply saves the screenshot to the Camera Roll. I was hoping for some form of album to celebrate my little tikes triumphant imagination.
Conclusion [rating: 4/5]
Mix 2 Color ($2.99, App Store) is a great learning tool for children. With 18 different pictures and 15 colors, there is a lot of fun here for kids. With an entertaining user interface, up-beat music, and easily navigated screens, I would definitely plop this one down in front of my child for a while. My biggest gripe is the “tap” to color in the “Color a Picture” mode. I much prefer actually coloring. It is certainly worth a look, but you might want to wait for a sale.
- Fun for kids and adults (at least my wife and me)
- Learn to mix colors
- Positive audible reenforcement for correct coloring
- No internal album
- Repetitive soundtrack