Little kids review iPhone apps: Doodle Buddy

Doodle Buddy screenshotWhen you’re taking two little kids on a plane for 2 hours, after you’ve read them four books, worked with the Play-Doh, let them annoy nearby passengers by standing up and playing peek-a-boo, spent a few minutes talking with the flight attendant about available drinks and the lack of lids for cups before settling on half a cup of apple juice each, watched one kid spill said half a cup of said apple juice all over themself, cleaned up said spill, read them another three books, exhausted the questions related to oxygen masks and other pictograms in the safety card, and then checked your watch to find that there’s still another hour in the flight, what do you do to pass the time and keep your kids occupied?

You pull out your iPhone and start having them play around with different apps, of course. If you’re exceptionally fortunate, you may even be prepared in advance by having an iPhone for each of them. (Both iPhones in Airplane mode, of course.)

There are a range of apps my kids like, including apps related to bubbles and apps related to noise making, but their favorites (that is, the most distracting) are the different sketch apps that let them draw.

Today, we’ll be reviewing one free sketch app, Doodle Buddy, which as far as my kids are concerned is the best thing about daddy’s phone. (That opinion will probably last another week. When it changes, I’ll post another app review.)

I could talk about Doodle Buddy’s ability to let two users collaborate on drawings (which I’ve never tried), or how it has basic sketching options (in 24 colors, with variable width, plus a smudge tool and eraser), multi-level undo, lets you take a photo or use an existing photo for a background, and has several other background choices, and — its key feature — has 24 stamps (smileys, a couple of animals, and some basic symbols) that make sounds when you put them on your drawing. I could mention it lacks basic shape drawing — no circles or lines or squares. I could talk about all that. But let’s instead let my kids review this app.

Sophie (age 2): “Doodle buddy! Doodle buddy! Doodle buddy!”

I take a photo of her as the background, have her draw over it in various colors, then have her use the eraser tool to reveal her picture.

Sophie: “There’s Sophie! There’s my NOSE!”

With the multi-level undo, you can undo the erasing, letting her play peek-a-boo with her picture again. For a two-year-old, repetition is the soul of amusement.

Sophie: “There’s Sophie!”

Me: “Sophie, do you like Doodle Buddy? Is it good?”

Sophie: “Um. Yes. Um. It’s good. Doodle Buddy. Doodle Buddy!”

Me: “What’s your favorite feature?”

Sophie: (quietly doodles)

My son Sammy, age 4, has a more sophisticated review.

Sammy: “Well, it’s a game that you play with drawing. It has yellow. And there’s blue. And more colors. So that’s pretty good. It has snow and fire. And a basketball. It does NOT have dinosaurs.”

He was reluctant to make more observations because he was busy drawing something that looked just as good to me as your average Jackson Pollack masterpiece.

Demerits that I could see: The shake-to-clear feature is sometimes a misfeature, and can’t be switched off, and you can’t undo it. As a free app it has some ads, which is fine, but if you touch them it will naturally take you out of the app. So the kids will do that from time to time, and then you’ll need to close the Safari window and go back to the app. The app should be smart enough to know if it’s in Airplane mode and that the ads won’t work.

All in all this app is worth about 20 minutes of blissful silence per child on an airplane ride, so its worth is approximately $25. At the price of free, it’s a total steal.

Doodle Buddy, by Pinger, Inc. App Store Link
Also available with a holiday theme for $0.99

8 Responses to “Little kids review iPhone apps: Doodle Buddy”

  1. Demi Jaid Loveday Says:

    I will like to know were to go and do like pichers on doodle buddy photo

  2. TaylorNation4 Says:

    i have a ipod touch and i have that game it is cool and fun u could draw a picture of your crushs name and make funny pictures or even play tick tak toe i love the game i play it everyday pretty much unless my ipod is dead

  3. TaylorNation4 Says:

    Hello is any one else on hahah lol!!!!!!!!!

  4. TaylorNation4 Says:

    are u only supose to talk about the game Doodle Buddy

  5. iPhone Says:

    yes its a nice app
    and there are many cool apps for kids on the app store

    thanks for sharing

  6. WordWorld Says:

    Hi Stephen,

    We just finished exploring your article and are very impressed by its quality! We are writing because we strongly believe a review of WordWorld’s “Build a Word” iPhone app will make an excellent addition to your collection.

    WordWorld, a three time Emmy Award-winning, multi-media franchise, helps children learn English and develop key literacy skills. It is an innovation that is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Education and has been demonstrated by rigorous scientifically-based testing to improve children’s early literacy skills, including: print awareness, letter knowledge and comprehension. WordWorld is just as it sounds: A magical world made of words where fun rules the day.

    With the WordWorld “Build a Word” app, children can shake a “Word Builder” and watch letters float across the phone screen. They can then place letters in an outline provided to build words one letter at a time. By pushing the letters of each word together, words magically “morph” into WordFriends™! DOG, DUCK, PIG, ANT, FROG, SHEEP, BUG, COW, CAT, and BEE come to life, encouraging children to build early literacy skills. Learning to read has never been this much fun!

    We wonder if you’d be interested in receiving a free promo code so you can test the app firsthand? If you are, please email us at We hope to hear from you soon!


    Your WordFriends

  7. Stephen Says:

    WordWorld, is it this “Build A Word Lite” app that’s currently free?

    If so, I’m happy to take a look. I don’t accept advertising or free samples.

  8. Hz Says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Been reading your blog, and this is another interesting article you have!

    We at Sysmoko have recently launched another new app known as Merry Lambs. This is an interesting and colorful app that teaches kids colors and how to count with lambs! You can check it out at or have a look at our website on other applications we have worked on. I have also attached 3 screenshots here for a sneak peek!

    We will be more than willing to send you a promo code if you are able to do so. Please drop me an email or if you are interested! Also note that for Kids Karaoke (, we are now at version 2.1 with better vocals and bug fixes, and have been released in 7 languages. Please let me know if you are keen for a promo code for that too, especially since they contain xmas songs fit for the upcoming holiday season!


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