Juju, my mother called it when, on a trip back to Nigeria, I showed her some of what the iPad can do.
‘The people who created this are wizards!’ she said.
Maybe she’s right. From the very first play, Apple’s tablet held me spellbound and when others handle my iPad I can see that glint of wonder and enchantment in their eyes. My precious, my precious.
It’s easy to get blasé about the technology or focus on its flaws, but few can deny its jaw-dropping properties and iPad 2 is turning even the haters into believers.
Here’s a list of 10 iPad apps that the kids (and mama) think are magic:
Magic Piano (£0.59, on sale)
We love the Virtuoso piano app, but Magic Piano offers a keyboard that changes shape, beams of light to guide your fingers and the chance to duet with players around the world. Awesome doesn’t do it justice.
New on the App Store, this beauty transforms your iPad into a full-featured recording studio with instruments from bass guitar to hip hop drum machine. With mama and the boys bashing away recklessly, the sound is awful but the feeling is pure rock star. Get it. Now.
GoSkyWatch Planetarium for iPad (Free)
This amazing point and capture app lets you identify the planets at any time and from any angle you hold your iPad. Not just for astronomy geeks, its many features will leave you starry-eyed. There’s also a paid version, but the free one works just fine.
A roller coaster app that gives my boys the thrill of a ride without actually having to buckle up. You can build your own track or download one of thousands online. Sensor mode puts you in the driving seat for a proper little head rush.
With free international calls via Skype for iPad, who needs an iPhone? And the look on my 2-year-old’s face when he heard his nana on my iPad? Priceless. A must for iPad 2 owners.
BBC iPlayer (Free)
I’m all about Eastenders but the babes are amazed at being able to catch up with CBeebies on iPad. A great free app, although I do agree with complaints that you can’t watch it abroad or download programmes for offline viewing.
This brand new educational app for kids teaches numbers 1 to 20 and comes with surprise activities that hooked both my 5-year-old and my 2-year-old from the start. A counting tool that offers pleasing graphics and multiple games in one clever package. How could any parent say no?
Tesla Toy (£1.19)
It’s something to do with particles and electrical fields. I can’t explain the science behind it, but the visuals are pretty spectacular. Touch the screen and watch the colours explode. This will dazzle babies from 6 months and up. (NB: We got it free, it seems overpriced now)
The Little Mermaid and Other Stories by HC Andersen (£5.49)
This app features the original Little Mermaid, the Emperor’s New Clothes and Happy Family with gorgeous illustrations and interactive animations that bring the classic stories magically to life. Pricey but stunning.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 £2.99
No mention of iPad magic would be complete without a nod to this Hogwarts-inspired game. As an HP fan, I must confess I bought this for myself although it’s my 5-year-old who plays it. I’m not sure Ezra has a clue what he’s doing, but he thinks it’s wiz.