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(Credit: Zivica Kerkez/iStockphoto)

Amazon Rapids, a storytelling app geared towards 5-12 year-olds, has removed its $3 monthly price tag, giving users unlimited access to the story collection. The app--available on Android, iOS, and the Amazon App Store--displays stories in a text message format, taking cues from popular apps like Yarn, Hooked, and Tap, minus the adult themes.

The tales are simple, but the app's goal is big. Amazon Rapids' stories are designed to engage and help readers make connections. The app includes helpful features to grow young reader's confidence like sounding words out and a glossary.

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The choice to make the app free might have come from Amazon Rapids low ranking in the App Store. The program has lived in the 1000s range in the education category, its peak being no. 65 for iPad. No longer charging might be a natural attempt at attracting more people to grow the app's small user base.

Developer Michael Robinson tried to set the Amazon Rapids apart from other reading apps for kids after he noticed his own children's penchant for texting, he told TechCrunch. He wanted the app to keep the attention of kids so Amazon Rapids includes funny stories from almost every genre. Humor, Robinson said, is important when it comes to getting kids interested in reading.There's also an option called "read to me," in case the child doesn't feel like reading themselves. Depending on the user's system, Siri or Alexa can take over the storytelling from there.

Users already subscribing monthly will no longer have to pay and those who paid for an entire year will be refunded for the difference. Every Amazon Rapids customer will get a $5 promotional credit from the company as a "thank you" for being an early subscriber.

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(Credit: Screenshot by Download.com)


Takeaways

  1. Amazon Rapids, a storytelling app styled like a text chat, is now free for download on iOS, Android, and the Amazon App Store (mostly for Kindle tablets).
  2. The app makes hundreds of age appropriate stories available to readers 5-12 years-old with helpful features like a glossary and help with sounding words out.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for Download.com.