This post is brought to you by Ubooly.
Have you heard the buzz about Ubooly? Ubooly is a furry alien who loves snails and going on adventures. When you combine the free Ubooly iphone ap with the orange fuzzy toy you get an educational interactive creature your kids are sure to love.
About the Tester: "K", boy, age 3
About Ubooly in general:
My son's favorite things to do with Ubooly (or "OO-ga-lee" as my son calls her) are to "go on an adventure" and "go exploring." You can tell he's having fun and I love that a toy running off an old phone has him moving around the house and stretching his imagination instead of teaching him to tap a screen.
You can program Ubooly to like what your kid likes and Ubooly is also supposed to learn your child's name and use it when talking to them. K's name is unusual so I guess I can't blame poor Ubooly for never using it but it was a little disappointing that she just calls him "you." She does, however, share lots of fun facts with K about dinosaurs - an interest I programmed into her in the Ubooly Lab (below).
UPDATE: The awesome folks at Ubooly let me know that Ubooly has now learned K's name. The goal is that going forward, any children's names that are not already programmed into Ubooly will be added to Ubooly's voice files within about a week of them registering in Ubooly lab.
If you have multiple children, you can program unique interests for each of them which Ubooly will talk about when they play together. This makes Ubooly super versatile! An 8 year old girl can have just as much fun with Ubooly as her 4 year old brother.
About the Road Trip Pack:
In addition to lessons, you can also download helper packs for Ubooly. I was excited to have the Road Trip helper installed for our trip from Oregon to Florida as well as our road trip to the Oregon coast.
On the plane to Florida, we pulled out Ubooly. You couldn't really hear her over all the ambient airplane noise. Luckilly I had a set of headphones which I snaked down inside Ubooly's body to help K hear her. She couldn't understand anything K said in the air, though. This isn't really Ubooly's fault so I'm not holding it against her.
Ubooly did much better as a car seat companion on the road trip from Portland to the coast - or at least for the first 45 minutes until K decided it was dark so she needed to "take a nap with the puppies" on the seat next to him instead of playing with her. I liked that the road trip pack keeps her from sending K to do things like "find a flashlight" or "sit on your bed" which, obviously, don't work when you're in the car.
K's words of wisdom regarding Ubooly on road trips is this: "Don't let her drive the car! She doesn't have any hands." Sorry, Ubooly. Guess you'll have to hang out in the back with the toddler and the dogs.
Overall, I like Ubooly. Ubooly does need to work on her listening skills and vocabulary. For example you have to tell her "yes" not "yeah" or she won't understand you. While she has a bit of a delay between you saying something and her responding it to it, I'm not sure if that's because Ubooly's brain is an old iphone 3GS or if it's because the ap could use some efficiency updates. UPDATE: I am SO excited about Ubooly's ability to learn unusual names (see update above).
The thing that's great about her being ap-based, though, is that all these changes are totally possibilities - I just have to update the ap if the developers improve it. No need to buy a new toy later - just upgrade the one you have. It's a green, low waste practice. I love it!
At the end of the day Ubooly is a fun toy. K loves going on adventures with her and I love that he has an interactive playmate since he doesn't have any siblings yet. I also really like that she's given new life to my old iphone 3GS that would have otherwise continued to languish in a drawer.
Ubooly currently comes in orange, pink and green and is available for about $30 online.
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Want to win your own Ubooly plush toy? Enter to win a classic orange Ubooly plush and $25 of Ubooly lab credits below. (please note you will need to provide your own iphone or ipod touch to run Ubooly)
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Disclaimer: This post and giveaway were sponsored by Ubooly. I was given an Ubooly plush to review and was compensated for my time spent reviewing the product and creating this post. All opinions are 100% mine and reflect my honest thoughts on the product. Please see my full review policy here.