First recommendations

  • 1. Think about your App story first before starting to lay it out: Make a plan.
  • 2. Organize it by pages and use folders to organize all the asset files (images and sounds). You might want to import the asset files page by page.
  • 3. Organize the activities or games and their links to pages before starting.
  • 4. Images should be *.png with alpha channel (if needed). You can also use TIFF or JPEG but without alpha channel. They should have the exact pixel size of the canvas size you have chosen to start with.
  • 5. Sound files should be *.mp3 files that are well trimmed and ready to be used. You can also use WAV or AIF (although mp3 seems to be the best in terms of memory used). Be careful with the size, this will impact a lot your global footprint of the App.
  • 6. Check out all our demo videos (on this page) before you start. It will take a few minutes and you will really get a good picture on how things work.

Test your App as you go

Testing environment
Testing your App is crucial; it enables you to see what the final result will look like and it also allows you to make adjustments and corrections as you go along.
You have 3 ways of testing your App:

1. Using the iPad, iPhone MAC simulator.
On the "test device" menu inside Kids App Maker just click on "built in simulator".

2. To transfer it to your iPad or iPhone, so you can test it on the device, you may use Wi-Fi, or a cable link. This looks like magic because you can actually see the app on your device or in several devices in seconds. This is the perfect way for you to check for the final result and also to show it to friends and colleagues. You can even to send it by email to another person to be able to test it on their device using itunes cable option.

You can download our tester app from the App Store to your iPad or iPhone and you will be able to see your projects as you make them using Wifi or cable.

Search the Store for: Kids Book Reader
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kids-book-reader/id531670954?l=en&mt=8

3. For Android devices you need to connect the cable to the Mac, hit the preview button and the app will be launched automatically on your Android device for testing purposes. Be aware that on the settings of the Android OS that you are using you must allow programmer privileges to access the device.

4. For Windows devices you need to download our tester App from the Windows phone or Windows 8.1 store, Connect to the IP that we provide on the option screen and you then can send the project direct to the devices for testing.

You can use this link in both the Windows Store and on the Windows Store Website:
http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/app/kids-interactive-app-tester/8d5a0160-da15-478a-a7ba-e1e833052461

Set menus, buttons, actions and languages

Set menus, buttons and actions
Menus and action buttons allow you to direct the flow of the story as you like.
You have "Pages" and "Activities" pages. Pages work in a normal linear page flow. They are to be used in a linear storytelling environment, where people swipe to turn the page, or use a next page command and the page will turn to the next one.
"Activities" pages are non-linear in nature. If you swipe there will not be the next page. So they are to be used in games, activities or extras. And you need to setup a menu system to navigate to them and from them.
Actions will allow you to make and control menus to move around the story, also it allows you to have links to external websites and also to add page actions that will enable you to send emails or save a page to your pictures, stop animations, restart the page or even to change language settings.
Multi-language
Kids App Maker allows you to make projects using several languages at the same time. No need to duplicate pages, graphics or binary files. We have simplified things for you, so it’s just one project, one file and the only thing you need to do is to choose the language.

It’s all done in 3 easy steps:
1.Setup the languages you want to have inside your project in App settings (you can also add your own language codes);
2.You will now see a language menu on the top bar - this is the language you are working with;
3.Change the text, synchronized text and sound and image components – these options can be changed for each language. All the other options are common to all languages.

Work with text and sound narration

Text components are dependent from language settings. You can setup several languages in the settings page and work in your project using several languages with just one project of the App. Once you declare in your settings that you are using more then one language you will see on the page always in which language you are working on.

You can use whatever fonts you like and have installed in your MAC. The Fonts are rendered to graphics once they go inside the devices, so you do not need to have the font installed inside the smartphone or tablet, just on the MAC.

Synchronized text, allows you to have a narrator and the text being highlighted word by word as they are read 100% synchronized in a very easy way.

Simple text

Use simple text, to introduce some text inside the pages, one or several times inside the page. It can be used inside group animations, so you can produce menus that slide and that can be translated. You can use copy/paste to introduce your text from a Word file.

Synchronized text

Synchronize your text with a narrator's voice so that it gets into a Karaoke type of effect that helps children to learn how to read. This feature also works with multi-language.

User voice recording

This component allows you to setup a special page that enables users to record their own narration voice, and together with the actions you can select to read the App with the personalized narration that was made by the user.



Text-To-Speech

Use the native OS text to speech technology to read your text loud and clear. Unfortunately iOS and Android have different behaviors, so you really need to test how they sound in each device.

iOS has already pre-installed dozens of voices to be used, and you can even use the word by word highlight. Android has fewer languages available and you may need to download a new one, in case the language you want to use is different than the one set in your phone or tablet.

This feature is disabled for MAC OS, since it does not support it well.

You really need to see the great quality of this component on the device, and use "pitch" and "rate" in order to adjust the voice’s quality.

The text that is spoken may not be the same as the text that is shown. You can use special characters to emphasize a specific accent, and even use the asterisk (*) symbol to make a pause in the narration.

Set animations

Kids App Maker allows many kinds of animations so we divided them into groups to make it easy for you.

Each animation component can be started by:
  • • A touch of a finger on the object, with or without considering the alpha channel (transparent parts of the object).
  • • Shaking the device.
  • • Automatically as you enter the page (or after a few seconds, or even at random time inside a interval).
  • • Based on a swipe from the object in a particular angle that you specify.
  • • Based on a event that was broadcasted by another object (so you can link behaviors from different objects - "if the user do this, then that will start").

Also for transformations and sequence animations you can have one object that can display several different behaviors based on different triggers in concurrence. So this way you can make really complex behaviors that are dependent on the type of user interaction to do different things in different priorities.

1. Transformation animations

This will work only with one drawing object and will transform it (allow to zoom in and out, move around the screen, fade in and out, rotate both ways, skew/distort on X or Y, jump or flip). So you are able to perform 7 very different visual effects on your objects based on this animation component.

This component allows you to establish different behaviors based on different and concurrent triggers.

2. Drag and drop

This will enable you to place one or more objects that will be able to be moved around a specific space using your finger to drag them. The software enables multiple drags, as well as several draggable objects in each space, or even several spaces in one page.
Also it enables you to setup a magical feedback effect based on particles.

To setup a space you need to put this component inside group animations and to restrict its movement to the father space.
Also you can set it up to have a stickers effect.

3. Sequence animations

This will enable you to play in a determined space during a specific number of seconds a certain amount of frames as a sequence of animated frames. This can be used for complex character movements, using different frames pictures made by the artist. This component is the base for frame-by-frame animation but requires the designer to have all the assets to do it.

This component allows you to establish different behaviors based on different and concurrent triggers and can be used inside group animations for producing even more complex movements.

4. Use physics spaces and physics objects

Physics space enables you to setup up one or several areas where physics rules will apply to objects. Each object can be setup so that it has different physics properties (density, friction and restitution) so that it can interact in different ways with other objects in that space. You can setup up different spaces in the same page and choose the amount of gravity to apply to each space.

5. Spawner

Spawner component allows you to make appear from nothing different animated objects that will be moving in a determined line, or even at random across the screen. This component is normally used for creating throwing objects, bullets, bubbles, passing characters at a repeated time.

6. Trigger Events

Triggering events can be incredibly powerful, in order for you to link animations in your pages in a complex way. One object can be triggered to do an action at the beginning, or at the end of the animation of another object. Each object will be broadcasting status events every time it will produce a important actions, like start, finish, collide, get out of screen,… So you can have another object to pick that event up and start another action based on it.

7. Particles

Particles component allows you to build in a very easy way magical effects from a set of 24 embedded models that we supply. You can choose one, and then customize the duration as well as the texture you want to use for it based on your story. If duration is set to zero seconds, then the time will be for ever.
Also you can use Particles in drag and drop, or even at page settings for some default touch feedback - check it out, it gives very cool magical feedback to touch events.

7.1. Particles Advanced

In case you need to invent other "magical and cool" effects you can use an external App to create particles, export the files in Plist format and incorporate in KidsAppmaker right folder, and they will be added to your list of available effects in particles. For this advanced mode we suggest you to use the App on your Mac – Particle designer (http://www.71squared.com/en/ particledesigner), so you can add more particle effects to your library, just by pressing add file and choosing the Plist format that particle designer exports.

8. Group Animations

Group animation is one of the most complex and more powerful animation components. It allows you to build complex animations by grouping other animations inside.
You can setup a group of animations that will perform specific events like in the transformation animations and inside you can add: sequence, transformations, particles, image and sound, actions, text, video, drag and drop components. So you can use it to build complex movements of characters, moving menus, text that get in and out of the page.

Augmented Reality

We have integrated the Vuforia Augmented reality SDK into the KidsAppmaker, so that you can enjoy this technology in an easy way.

1.You need to go to Vuforia’s website (https://developer.vuforia.com/user/register) and create a free account. Then, just submit the images that you wish to use in the recognition process. In order to get more knowledge about what results can be achieved and for the images to be easily recognized, please check Vuforia’s resource guide - https://developer.vuforia.com/resources/dev-guide/natural-features-and-rating

Vuforia’s website allows you to submit JPEG files and gives you back the files you need to submit for recognition. It creates a zip file, which you need to unzip and then import the 2 generated files to the KidsAppmaker. The KidsAppmaker will recognize them and put them inside the AR tab for you to use. Vuforia classifies how easy it will be to recognize your image based on its uniqueness. Please try to generate an image that has at least a 3 stars rating; moreover, images need to have a minimum of 320 pixels in width.

You can submit a maximum of 5 images per Component. They can all behave the same way or they can be set to trigger different behaviors depending on the image that the camera finds.

2.Two different events will be created for each image placed in the augmented reality component (one when the camera captures the target image for the first time and another when the camera is away from the target.)

You can decide if either the component shows the image from the live camera or not. However, we advise you to show it, in order for the user to understand the process, by pointing the camera to the correct target image.


Create games and activities

Learning activities and games are components that can be used in normal pages during the storytelling or in special non linear pages, that we call activities.

You can create games freely by the different interactions of the different components, but we also provide you with a easy way to setup some of the most popular game dynamics.

Each game is easy to setup, check out the videos for a fast setup.

1. Memo Game
2. Web component
3. Paint Activity
4. Free Draw Activity
5. Erase Activity
6. Photo Grabber and Placer
7. Comparison Draw
8. Puzzle Game
9. Draw and Place
10. Maze
11. Word Game
12. Timer and Score
13. Connect the dots
14. Videos
15. Whack-A-Mole




Want to see some final results?

Check out some final projects made by publishers, life on the store to better understand the power of the solution.

1. Pinocchio - The Cool Tale
Available on
Amazon Store AppStore
2. Maddy Goes to London
Available on
Google Play Mac App Store
3. Paper World - Colors & Shapes
Available on
AppStore Windows Phone Windows
4. The best Christmas present ever!
Available on
AppStore
5. Horacio y los Plasticines
Available on
AppStore
6. Letterland - Rainbow Writing
Available on
Google Play AppStore
7. Paper Sounds
Available on
Google Play AppStore Mac App Store Windows Phone Windows
8. Complete it
Available on
AppStore
9. Paper Smash
Available on
AppStore Windows Phone Windows