Thursday, February 7, 2013

WishPop: A New Wishlist App for Kids

Buying gifts for kids – your own kids, your friends' kids, your kids' friends, your nieces or nephews, or your grandkids – isn't always easy. For one thing, you have to keep track of all their birthdays and other special occasions. Additionally, it can be tricky to figure out what they like (as kids' tastes change a lot) and what they already own, especially if you live far away.

Robert Ross, an Apple engineer turned startup founder, had that same dilemma with his 10-year-old daughter. Despite knowing her very well and talking to her all the time, Ross often had difficulty knowing what she'll like. It was only when his daughter made a wishlist for the holidays last year that he found out what she was currently into, and that inspired him to create an app that would help kids and grownups become better at wishing and gift-giving.

Launched this week, WishPop is a free iPad app that lets kids easily create a year-round wishlist of things they'd like. In WishTown, kids can choose from thousands of products such as toys, books, e-books, electronics, jewelry, apps, extracurricular activities, subscriptions, and even charitable donations. They can browse the kid-friendly catalog for items that interest them or use the search feature to find things that they already know they want. Kids can also read stories and play educational games, actions that are rewarded with wish points that can later be exchanged for the items on their wishlists. Meanwhile, grownups can view the wishlists of the kids in their life and never forget another birthday, holiday, or special event with WishPop's reminders.

One feature that the grownups will appreciate more than the kids is the thank you feature, where youngsters can design their own thank you cards and send them to the friends and family who bought them gifts.

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