Lists for Writers 2.0 is here!

We are proud to present a beautifully redesigned Lists for Writers iOS app, available today in the App Store. l4w2-iphone The first thing you will notice is the new look. The list categories expand and contract with a pinching gesture. This new organization makes it easier to navigate the increased content.

Yes, we’ve tripled the content, going from 37 lists to 100+! We’ve got all sorts of new lists and we’re always interested in feedback about what lists you’d like us to add.

We hope you enjoy the new look and all the new content! Happy writing!

New Moms With Apps site and search

PRESS RELEASE:

First-of-its-kind destination launches giving parents the power to find best apps for their kids

Thinkamingo Inc of Tampa, Florida is a proud member

Tampa, FL, September 16, 2014:

Tampa, Florida – Thinkamingo Inc is proud to be a part of Moms With Apps – the first destination that makes finding great kid apps easy. The site, which launches today, has 1000 high quality apps from trustworthy developers and gives parents simple tools to find the right ones for their kids.

Thinkamingo can be found on the new site at http://momswithapps.com/thinkamingo. Co-founders Ann and Jon Adair are both passionate about technology, education, and kids.

President Ann Adair says, “I’m proud to be a member of Moms With Apps. I know first-hand how challenging it is to choose the best and most appropriate apps. This new site gives parents and teachers the power to make the best choices for their kids.”

Moms With Apps is designed, from the ground up, by parents for parents.  It starts with a tightly curated set of high quality kids’ apps from developers who are passionate about creating amazing apps for kids.  Moms With Apps then gives parents simple tools to find the right apps for their kids by age range, subject matter, privacy settings, and even whether the app works without an internet connection.

“With over one million apps to choose from, parents struggle to find the right apps for their family and find it even harder to know if the app their kid loves is one they can trust,” says Sara Kloek, director of Moms With Apps. “We are thrilled to announce the launch of Moms With Apps, the only resource for parents who want to find great, trustworthy apps for their children.”

Moms With Apps showcases apps from hundreds of top app developers. Just like nutrition labels help parents decide which snack is right for their kids, Moms With Apps also provides parents with information – in plain English – to help them decide which app is right for their kids.

About Moms With Apps

Founded by parents, Moms With Apps makes it simple and easy to choose the right apps for your child. Moms With Apps only features developers who commit to our high standards for protecting kids’ privacy and building great family-friendly apps. We make it quick and easy to Know What’s Inside every app we feature so that parents can decide if it is right for their kids. For more information, please visit momswithapps.com and on Twitter @momswithapps.

###

I’m going to DC!

washington-in-spring

On Sunday, I am traveling to Washington to meet with my elected officials and educate them about the growing mobile economy and tech innovation.  My company is Thinkamingo Inc and we make mobile applications for education and entertainment.

I’ll be joining up with leading entrepreneurs from across the country to participate in the Association for Competitive Technology Washington Fly-In. Around 50 of us will descend on the nation’s capital to help lawmakers recognize the incredible impact that small technology companies are having on our nation’s economy.

More than three-quarters of the most successful companies in the mobile software industry are small businesses – and apps are now a $68 billion marketplace. No one talked about apps six years ago, but now a whole ecosystem has emerged creating jobs for software developers, engineers, graphic artists, marketing professionals, and administrative personnel.

I am traveling to Washington to alert lawmakers about important issues including intellectual property and patent reform, data security and privacy, and regulatory obstacles to growth.  We also look to areas where technology and policy can combine to meet the needs of industry and consumers.

These are all important issues that the federal government is facing.  The outcomes really matter to me and that is why I’m making sure my voice is heard.  Hopefully, an informed Congress will allow companies like mine to continue to flourish.

Novel Writing Spot World Tour: Transportation Hubs

In my last blog, I wrote about people watching at Fast Food Restaurants. This time, let’s dive into Transportation Hubs. These are great places to get ideas for storylines!

How to get the most out of the experience:

  1. Locate a spot to camp out and watch people. You can do this conspicuously or inconspicuously.
  2. Use your dossier notebook to create characters inspired by the people you see.
  3. Look at luggage/purses, shoes, and coats. These are all high ticket items that reflect economic status fairly accurately.
  4. Observe groups of travelers: singles, friends, couples, families, social/school groups, business travelers.
  5. Are they coming or going?
  6. People who are waiting for passengers are interesting, too. Who are they? A romantic rendezvous? A distant relative? A chauffeur? The spouse of a soldier returning? An illicit affair? A business associate? A boyfriend?
  7. Where are they going? Where have they been?
  8. Business or pleasure? Or family emergency?

Here’s a checklist of transportation hubs to observe people. Which one is your favorite?

  • International Airport
  • Train station
  • Subway stop
  • Taxi stand
  • Bus station
  • Bus stop
  • Cruise ship terminal/port
  • Small regional or private airport
  • Airport concourse or restaurant

Novel Writing Spot World Tour: Fast Food Restaurants

I like to get outside my regular living areas to find inspiration and get some real writing. One key to success is to appear as though you are working very hard on your stuff so people ignore you. Being a creepy weirdo could get you kicked out of a prime place.

Our first stop on the world tour is fast food restaurants. For my purposes, fast food restaurants are places of low commitment to food as a culinary experience with a focus on speed and expense. Patrons do not typically stop in for a leisurely luxury lunch here. They are usually in a hurry or have limited time and/or budget.

How to get the most out of the experience:

  1. Sit where you can observe employee activities (hostess station, drive-thru, counter help, etc.)
  2. Observe employees. Imagine what has brought them to work at a fast food restaurant. Who is in charge? Is there evidence of teamwork or is it a broken system?
  3. Identify individual quirks of the workers.
  4. If you are lucky enough to be able to observe the same set of people repeatedly, try making a notebook of fictional dossiers of the players. Include a rough sketch, habits, dreams, realities, physical descriptions, personality traits, etc.
  5. Observe patrons. Why are they there? Habit? Circumstance? Laziness? Guilty pleasure?

Here’s a checklist for the most popular fast food restaurants! Which one is your favorite for people watching?

Camp NaNoWriMo 2014

It’s that time, again! I’m buckling down and getting some real writing done this month with encouragement from the good folks at Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m using all of our writing tools: Lists for Writers, Story Spark, Story Dice, Name Dice, and Spooky Story Dice.

Story Spark

My goal is 50,000 words this April and a complete first draft of a novel. We’ll see how that works out. I’m using a handy web tool call Word Counter to analyze my writing. The writing analysis tool is just one reason to visit their site. You will find a lot of helpful writing advice on their blog, too!

Another thing I’m trying is camping out at new places to write instead of my dining room. Right now, I’m writing from a local gaming store. I’m a huge fan and frequent customer here and they are very generously allowing me to hang out and work at a table today. I think I might have to make this a regular thing. It’s very peaceful here. If there were a lot of gamers here right now (middle of the day) it would be a temptation, but right now, it’s just a great place to concentrate on what needs my attention.

Take the title of “Camp” very seriously and get out of your normal surroundings to boost your creativity!

Happy camping!

 

 

 

Name Dice for iPhone / iPad updated to 1.4

We’ve updated our Name Dice app for iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch. This is an app that helps writers come up with character names and ideas for fictional writing. It’s very popular with writers from middle school / high school language arts classes to adult novelists and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) competitors.

Name Dice now includes a new history feature where you can swipe backwards to view the last dozen rolls. We also updated the UI to improve the appearance on iPhone 5 and iOS 7 devices.

Name Dice on iPhone 5

Story Dice 1.5 Update

We’ve updated the iOS version of Story Dice with 30 new die faces, a history feature, and improved its appearance.

Story Dice iPhone 5

The top request we’ve received for Story Dice is to add a history feature to see previous rolls. Done! We’ve added it so you can see the previous dozen rolls! To see a previous roll, just swipe backwards until you get to the roll you want. To roll again, just tap the screen. Voila!

We’ve also added 30 new die faces for a whopping total of 170 pictures! Awesome!

Thinkamingo Celebrates 2014 Data Privacy Day

Thinkamingo of Tampa, Florida, a leader in the online privacy arena, celebrates Data Privacy Day on January 28

The app developer members of the Know What’s Inside™ program, including Thinkamingo Inc of Tampa, Florida, extend support to Data Privacy Day, an annual event promoting data privacy education. Members of the Moms with Apps Know What’s Inside™ program are thrilled to participate in the effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy online.

Know what's inside - Moms with Apps Member“Making apps for kids is a lot of fun, but it is also very serious business. I take the privacy of the children that use my apps as seriously as my own child’s privacy. My job as a parent and an app developer is to protect the privacy of our users as if they were my own kids,” said Ann Adair, co-founder of Thinkamingo. “In the current climate of data management missteps, I congratulate the efforts surrounding Data Privacy Day. As a Moms With Apps Know What’s Inside™ member, I pledge to continue to protect the privacy of my consumers and to be completely transparent in regards to my policies and data collection in my apps.”

“Moms With Apps members are excited to celebrate Data Privacy Day. Our members have pledged to take online privacy very seriously,” said Sara Kloek of Moms With Apps. “Their apps are designed especially for children with special attention to online privacy. A lot of our members are parents themselves. They believe in the importance of protecting their children’s privacy, but also educating others on how to provide the same protection by being transparent about their apps and their data collection policies.”

Moms with Apps is the largest community of family friendly app developers in the world. Moms with Apps and the Know What’s Inside™ program are a part of ACT | The Apps Association, and are dedicated to helping family-friendly app developers implement best practices around privacy and comply with privacy rules, including the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). The program provides developers with guidance on best practices, and requires each developer to implement those best practices in order to display the Know What’s Inside™ seal on their apps. For more information, visit momswithapps.com.