From photo editing and writing tools to mind games, here’s what our city kids are downloading on their smartphones
|SV Gaurav, Chirag Grover, Manav Bathija, Dev Malhotra, Samyuktha Darira, Avantika Sundar, Sharan eddy, Aalia Chhabria|
With schools like American International School- Chennai, practising BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology), we catch up with city students and get a peek into their line up of android apps and the trends created. While Whatsapp, Instagram, Youtube and Snapchat are a given, Girish Ramdas, CEO of the US-based magazine app, Magzter, tells us, “Kids today are drawn to challenging gaming apps. In fact I find Minecraft trending here and in the US. Meanwhile at Magzter we have factored in kids as users too and have an in built parental control besides an extensive range of comics and children’s reading options,” he informs. We have picked students from schools like Sishya, Sir Mutha, Bharathi Vidya Bhavan, Lady Andal, Sherwood Hall and Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan among others, to get us up to speed about their app interests that range from writing, video making, music to brain ticklers
– Sabrina Rajan
Spotify the difference
For 15 year old Dev Malhotra his app lineup is all about the sound. Aspiring to be a DJ, the 12th grader swears by Sound Cloud and Spotify – apps “that offer content’s from the world’s best record labels”, while pre-teen Chirag Grover opts for TubeMate, “as it can download any video from Youtube and also convert a video to song.”
Quizup for chocolate
There is an obvious fascination for brainteasers, right from sixth grader Aalia Chhabria who is hooked to Quizup – the game that tests your trivia knowledge – and excitedly tells me, “You can play with friends and anyone in the world. And choose your area of interest.” The 10 year old is a budding baker and her favourite picks are ‘chocolate’, ‘baking’ and ‘name the celebrity’. Though many including 14 year old Gaurav, follow the popular block building Minecraft app that lets you join ‘worlds’ created by your friends, “I love this game because we can create anything we want in it. Architects also love this game as they can create anything in this game
and implement that in real life and build it,” he adds sagely.
That Fifa moment
Games are always a big draw on the phone. While Clash of Clans continues to be used by kids like 13 year old Sharan Reddy, there is a shift towards more complex concepts. Simple racing games are now replaced by options like the Dr Driving app where you can control maintenance of the car besides driving it. Thirteen year old Manav Bathija says that, “This app is more like a simulator – and we have to follow rules and take care of the car or it will not perform.” But Fifa 15 Ultimate Team app, the soccer game, comes out as the winner with many playing it – as eighth grader S V Gaurav informs, “I like this game because we get to play as a manager and manage our own team, manage financial records of the team and much more.”
Magzter on the go
It’s not all play for some kids as they chose apps based on their specific interests and hobbies. Eleventh grader Mahiniyaa Sai Bose (better known as Tintin by friends and family), when not buying sports gear from the shopping apps like Myntra, likes to keep updated of what’s happening in the country and says, “I barely have time to read newspapers, so I like the newspaper apps that give me the headlines even when I am on the go,” he adds that the magazine app, Magzter is also one of his favourites where he catches up with his passion for cars and Hollywood trivia. Tintin’s mother Shivali Bose however adds, “All the shopping is under my supervision and often his requests are necessities like guide books off Flipkart – which helps him prepare for his exams!”
Wattpad, the write app
Meanwhile Avanthika Sundar (actress Kushboo Sundar’s daughter) is currently writing books, short stories and poems under a pseudonym thanks to the app of her choice, Wattpad. The 14 year old says, “I love Wattpad because for me, an aspiring writer, it’s a great platform to show my writing to people. I have over 100k readers,” but is not ready to reveal more. The budding writer adds that her attention was drawn to the app thanks to Anna Todd’s success story – the Texas based became an overnight sensation with her Wattpad fan fiction, the ‘After series’ based on the English band One Direction. Kushboo shares, “Avi’s creativity was evident in her sketches and drawings, from a young age. Her writing talent is definitely from her father (film maker C Sundar)!”
Videos go 3D
With selfies looking to be here for the long haul, we have 13 year old Samyuktha Darira working at making her pictures ‘prettier’ with apps like Lakhme Make Up for some lipstick and blush makeover otherwise forbidden in real time. Her fascination with photographs lead to a spate of Dubsmash videos and the eighth grader says, “I like to make my own videos now. Often along with me, my sister and my dog star in it. And then I use apps like Slowmotion, Reverse and Video FX according to the need of the scene,” she adds that often her narratives are either comedies or horrors. While Manav has gone a step ahead and ordered 3D glasses online to make videos nearly pop out of the phone screen, “These are virtual glasses and I use them for watching instructional videos, specially science experiments and marine life – you feel as if you are in the midst of the scene.” Next on his wishlist? the 360 degree camera app to make his own videos.
Nishant Arya’s YouTube channel draws the attention of global brands
When a representative of the Oppo phone company called film maker Devanshu Arya, he had no clue what was going on. Especially when they insisted on sending him their latest phone that was worth nearly Rs 50,000. No, it was not a lucky draw win — the call was meant for Nishant Arya, his 15-year-old son. Having created ITRHD (Indian Tech Reviewer HD) channel on YouTube, the 10th grader of Chettinad Vidyashram has companies like Nokia from UK sending him their phones to be reviewed. Following his channel you realise that there is more to it than just product reviews — his take on tech myths will make you sit up with facts like mega pixels don’t translate to better pictures and lithium batteries don’t need to be drained completely before recharging. Geared up with a Nexus 5 phone, Mac, a mic, a Nikon D5200 and a tripod, the tech savvy teenager started the channel in 2014 and his candid, informative and unscripted videos have since got an impressive following — with his Nokia Lumia 630 unboxing video getting more than 8500 views. “My videos are unscripted because I really don’t have the time to pre-plan to such an extent and anyway I don’t need it as I remember all the details (of the gadget),” says the teenager who aced the Rubik’s cube some time back. What next? While his parents assure us that it is going to be all about his studies, Nishant lets in that phone app companies like Trumpit and Astrospeak are tracking him and requesting reviews of their latest apps.