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App Review of GCompris: Kids' Happiness

Published Jan 26 2016 via RSS

Our series of articles by Google Code In students continues with a review of educational applications GCompris by Sergey Popov.

If you have children, you know how hard it is to make a child happy and interested in something for a long time. But there is an easy way to do that: show them GCompris. It is a really great game set for children 2-10 years old and they surely will like it. You may ask, if GCompris is really so good, and I would answer you "Yes". And that is not a joke. Here are some proofs of that. But, you know, nothing is ideal, so I will also mention its bad sides (unfortunately, they are present too).

GCompris on Android
GCompris on PC

To start, I will show you some of the advantages:

  • It is totally opensource: What could be better that a huge, excellent, full of cool features and opensource application? Probably nothing.
  • Easily customizable: As result of the previous paragraph, it is a really good feature, which most alternatives doesn't have.
  • A lot of activities: More than 120 of interesting, beautifully drawn and useful games for you child - that is really amazing!
  • Portable: Going on a trip with a little kid? No problems, since you can use GCompris even on Android!
  • Useful for children: GCompris activities train children in arithmetics, drawing, logic, using a computer and so on.

But there are also still some disadvantages:

  • No iOS support: That's it, GCompris currently does not support iOS. But that will be fixed very soon!
  • No administration panel: It existed in the legacy, GTK+ version but in the Qt one it is not implemented yet.
  • No ability to separate users / groups: As result of the previous paragraph, you cannot set two different activity sets for John and Joey, for example.

There are not a lot of alternatives to GCompris. There are Easybits Magic Desktop, Timez Attack and Sebran's ABC. But they are not as cool as GCompris:

  • Easybits Magic Desktop is not as customizable - you cannot change anything in its code.
  • Timez Attack teaches children only arithmetic operations and nothing else.
  • Sebran's ABC's interface is not great and it has much fewer activities.
  • None of them support Linux, Mac OS X and Android but GCompris does.

Recently I added more levels to some activities, fixed a bug, created more bonus characters and updated documentation. And my little brother really likes GCompris - that is his favorite program on my PC :).
So, I think GCompris is one of the best educational application for kids. What's your opinion about that?

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