PLAYGround Digital announces that PLAYMessenger is the only app for iOS and Android that provides children ages 4 and up with the tools and safeguards that enable them to chat safely online. The app, which is leading the way in the relatively new territory of mobile communication for kids, lets children talk with their friends and family through SMS, email, and group chat – under the strict supervision and approval of their parents.
PLAYMessenger is a versatile communications tool built from the ground up with the needs of kids and their parents in mind. Like other messaging apps, users can send texts, photos and voice notes to the people who are important to them. Where PLAYMessenger really stands out is through its layers of security features that ensure kids are kept safe and preserve parents’ peace of mind.
While anyone can sign up, users are unable to share information that identifies them personally, such as email addresses and phone numbers, which safeguards children from predators. Parents can review, approve or block any of their child’s contacts through the PLAYMessenger MyKids section, as well as monitor all messages that have been sent and received. Using the app’s Trust Mode, parents may turn any aspects of the chat on or off, depending on the level of freedom they wish to grant their child. Additionally, AI-powered language filters can detect inappropriate language, instances of bullying and stop this negative content from reaching the user. It also notifies parents if their child repeatedly attempts to send bad language. A report button allows children to register inappropriate or bad behaviour directly from the chat screen.
Moreover, users can only send photos, voice messages and texts if they have been verified through a third-party children’s online privacy company PRIVO–a PLAYGround Digital partner. PLAYMessenger comes with a bank of approved words and phrases, which limits communication between users who have not been authenticated by the company.
Despite the fact that 56 percent of children between the ages of 8 and 12 own a smartphone, most chat apps are not appropriate for children to use. Popular messaging app Kik, for example, is aimed at users 17+ and photo messaging app Snapchat is only recommended for users over the age of 13. Neither app has safeguards put in place that would allow young children to use them safely. PLAYMessenger is the only PRIVO partnered, COPPA compliant app option that prioritizes children’s safety.
“There is a major concern among parents that children using messaging apps like Kik and Snapchat are vulnerable to outsiders,” said CEO and PLAYGround Digital Co-founder Danish Ahmed. “Frighteningly for parents, there are numerous cases of kids being asked to meet up with Kik users, and it’s all happening without their knowledge and outside their control. We realized when parents complained to us about the problems and concerns they have that a solution did not yet exist. It’s exciting to create solutions that actually are useful and can have a positive impact on society.”
Moreover, as part of the app’s educational experience, PLAYMessenger has partnered with “McGruff the Crime Dog” to provide children with McGruff emojis and safety advice within app.
“The company’s objective is not only to provide parents and children with a safe way to communicate online, but also to educate children to the potential dangers of instant messaging, and to provide them with the tools they need to become informed digital citizens,” adds Ahmed.
PLAYGround Digital was co-founded in 2014 by Danish Ahmed. The company is creating digital training wheels for kids and ensuring that parents and children have the educational tools to grow up with technology safely and to become responsible digital citizens. PLAYGround Digital’s unique innovations and partnerships place them at the forefront of an industry in its infancy: communication apps for children.
NEW YORK, August 14, 2015, Newsmeister announced today that it has reached the 15,000 user milestone in less than three months. The trivia app presents users with three-minute long games that keep them both entertained and up-to-date with current events.
In today’s fast-moving, mobile world, Newsmeister provides a fun and convenient way to stay on top of political and social news. The startup’s goal is to engage people in current events whenever they have time, whether they are on the subway, on their coffee break, or relaxing on the couch at home. Since launching in May, Newsmeister’s user base has grown rapidly in the U.S., as well as in Canada, the U.K, Russia and Italy.
In the app, players battle against the clock to answer questions based on trending news stories from around the world. The quizzes are updated daily, so even the most avid newsreader remains challenged and informed. Gone are the days of answering pub quiz questions about 1980s football champions — Newsmeister tests users’ knowledge about the world around them in real time, and with the added fun of friendly competition.
In addition, Newsmeister provides brief contextual information about each question topic, as well as a link to a related article once they submit an answer. This enables users to conveniently dive deeper into the stories that interest them.
“Reading the news is critically important because it’s how people stay informed about what is going on in their communities and the world,” said Tim Holmgren, CEO and Founder of Newsmeister. “There is this widespread idea that Millennials are not interested in current events, but this is inaccurate. They just have different ways of consuming it. Newsmeister was built for this new paradigm.”
Millennials are voracious consumers of the news. Eighty-five percent of Millennials say that keeping up with the news is at least somewhat important to them, and 69 percent say they read news everyday. According to the American Press Institute, “This newest generation of American adults is anything but “newsless,” passive, or civically uninterested, although their reading habits are ‘strikingly different’ than previous generations.” Unsurprisingly, Millennials lead other age groups in media consumption on smartphones, and they prefer to read the news in “discrete” sessions that are woven throughout their day.
Newsmeister was built with these habits in mind. Moreover, Newsmeister delivers a social experience, as social media’s influence over what people read continues to grow. Users can invite their family and friends to compete via Facebook or email, or play with other members of the Newsmeister community. To show how you stack up, the app shows a percentage of how many players worldwide answered the question correctly.
The app is available for free download on iOS and Android. The Apple App Store rated the Newsmeister app with 4.5/5 after minor beta launch glitches were rectified.
Founded in 2015, Newsmeister urges users to “Read the News. Play The Game. Learn Something New.” Showing the door to boring, outdated trivia questions for which you need an encyclopaedia to answer, the trivia app deals only in current events happening in the world around you right now.
Ontario-based FreeFly881 announces the launch of its app for Android phones and tablets, aims to reshape global communication by removing international calling charges on all devices.
Building on its recent iOS App launch last fall, the FreeFly881 team have now developed an app for Android users — individuals and business people alike — that will keep them connected with contacts and clients anywhere in the world, for free.
Driven by its slogan of “One World. One Call.”, the FreeFly881 virtual phone system, which can be applied to smartphones, VoIP phones, and tablets, has created a network that has broken away from the strict parameters of traditional communication companies.
With the release of the FreeFly881 Android app, available January 12, 2015 through Google Play for both phones and tablets (requires Android 4.0 and up), FreeFly881 aims to expand its network and build a community of users who can enjoy the benefits of unlimited free calls.
“The iOS release was our first big step in efforts to create a virtual phone network that is unique and beneficial for everybody who needs to be contacted regardless of the country they are in,” says FreeFly881 Communications Inc.’s CEO Raymond Kwan. “The Android app now adds a new level to the number of people in the ecosystem and the overall reach of the app across the world, especially in countries where iPhones do not have a large market share,” he adds.
The Android app, Kwan adds, will have all the same features as the FreeFly881 iOS version, which includes its availability in over 30 different languages.
For the user, the app interface is simple and easy to use. After downloading, the user only needs to register their phone number, which will be preceded by 881, for the service to be activated.
Once the service is activated users only need an active Internet connection to call other FreeFly881 numbers and VoIP phones. Unlike other calling apps, users of FreeFly881 do not need to add or accept contact requests; they can just open the app and dial.
For business people on holiday or on international business trips, the service can be an invaluable tool as they will be able to make and receive calls from anywhere on their mobile device completely free of charge.
Additionally, FreeFly881 features a global directory that incorporates all registered users of the app. With this tool, individual and business profiles — which can be easily customized — can be searched for by anyone using the app.
For Kwan, the global directory coupled with the new Android app will give businesses an unparalleled international presence, where customers can easily access the desired contact, information about the contact, and website business details.
“Potential clients that are based overseas who don’t have the resources to make calls to a particular business now do not have the barriers of international calling charges imposed on to them because of the FreeFly881 app,” Kwan explains. “The Android app, which complements the biggest smartphone market share in the world, gives businesses that exposure and an opportunity to grow their customer base,” he adds.
By applying the FreeFly881 app to their business and marketing strategy, entrepreneurs can now be contacted by the growing number Android users that, according to research firm IDC, account for nearly 80% of the global market share.
Through a localized communications platform, its Global Phonebook — which is still in its preliminary stages of development — combined with its focus for both consumer and business users, FreeFly881 is set to disrupt the communications industry through its free calling network.
Handwrytten announces the release of their innovative app and service for Android, which aims to bring back the lost art of letter writing in a new and innovative way. Combining old world charm with new mobile technology and robotics, Handwrytten allows you to send an array of beautiful, finely crafted, letterpress and print cards with your message penned in the handwriting style of your choice.
Greeting cards available through the app start at $3.50 and include tax and postage. Additionally, users of the app can now include a gift card with their message.
Following its iPhone release last summer, the new Android Handwrytten app — which gives users the same features allowing the creating of unique letters — is set for release today
“Old fashioned, written communication is dying and is being replaced with short, impersonal emails and text messages,” says David Wachs, Founder and President of Handwrytten. “The situation has gotten so dire that people even post to your Facebook wall instead of sending you a birthday card. We are trying to change that while making it easy for the busy, on-the-go consumer,” he adds.
By using the Handwrytten’s iOS or Android app, users can easily find and personalize a handcrafted card that is designed and printed by an independent card artisan.
After the users types out the message and selects a handwriting style, Handwrytten’s robots use a real pen to write out the note on the chosen card, stamp it and send it on its way.
“Unlike other apps that print the user’s message in the card with a laser printer, our messages are written in the cards in realistic handwriting. Through this technology we create a personal touch that is quick and easy for users to send real letters, making any message really stand out from the clutter of emails, IMs, text messages and junk mail,” Wachs says. “With our new gift card feature, we are proud to truly transform the users message into a personalized gift suitable for any occasion,” he adds.
Handwrytten’s iOS app, released in August via the Apple App store, is free to download and currently offers cards by Orange Beautiful, A. Favorite Designs and Chykalophia, from Chicago, and Emily McDowell of Los Angeles.
Handwrytten currently offers gift cards from Target, Groupon, Overstock.com, Maggiano’s, Cabela’s, Foot Locker, Bed Bath and Beyond, Shell and Starbucks, as well as Vanilla Visa cards with more brands available soon.
To compliment the penned card and envelope, the company uses actual stamps to complete the look. No Handwrytten branding appears on any part of the product.
“We feel it’s important to create as genuine a message as possible,” explains Wachs. “It’s not about where the user got the card, it’s about the card and message itself. We hope our app will help reignite old-fashioned correspondence and make it simple for people to send formal thank you and follow up notes.”