We have had this App for almost two months now and it is one of the most used Apps in our family. It has taken me this long to write a review because I wanted to make sure I was writing a review that honestly portrayed the pluses and minuses of the Chore Pad, as I see them. Please note ~ Nannek has amazing customer service and you will receive a response almost immediately regarding any problems, questions or comments you may have. They also welcome any ideas for improvement, so I will share with you in the future how the Chore Pad improves/changes as time progresses.
This is an app that can be used for any member in your home that you need to instill with independence. Chore Pad allows you to input all of your own information; so if you are working on a skill, such as having your teen brush his teeth three times daily; you can set up the Chore Pad accordingly. You also have the ability to download your own ‘avatar’ for each person you add to Chore Pad.
Chore Pad’s creators, Nannek, have installed some basic pictures that can be used and I also added pictures on our Chore Pad using the Emoji App. This helped me to personalize my son’s chores with creative pictures that help him to understand the expectations that were placed on him with each specific chore.
You are able to enter your own rewards, in the reward chest, that your teen will happily work toward. I like that my son is given immediate feedback, without my verbal input! As he checks off each item he completes, he sees and hears his points/stars add up.
As the parent, you can select if you want or don’t want your teen to choose his payouts. I have this enabled in our Chore Pad to give my son a sense of control when it comes to earning his rewards from the chest.
Please note, this app does sync across devices, but you must first purchase an app for your different devices. For example, if you have an Iphone and an Ipad, and you download Chore Pad on your Iphone it will not sync with your Ipad unless you also purchase the Ipad App (Chore PadHD). The added benefit of being able to sync all information from each device used by those in your family is priceless. I feel that the benefits of owning Chore Pad outweigh the cost of purchasing the different Apps.
Some of the areas that make it a challenge for us are:
1) There is no way to ‘really’ lock the app from being changed by the user. As my technically gifted son quickly showed me, one can just go to the app listed in the settings portion of your device and change all of the settings. If your teen is even slightly technically gifted, he will be able to add/delete points, rewards, chores, to sync or not to sync & change the password so you, the parent, can’t get in. 🙂
Nannek’s response: As for locking the app – you are correct – this is where we use to change the settings from back in the day – before we had a “landing page” or settings section in the Chore Pad app itself. Right now we have a release in the queue that is bringing 30 more icons to Chore Pad. Once that is approved by Apple we will be doing another quick update (before the big one with the ability to add your own photos) with minor tweeks and we will add the removal of the options in the settings area on the iPhone/iPad in this update.
2) Once you set up the order of the Chore Pad according to your desires, there is no way to lock the app so that the chores are not moved around on the user’s page. My son has accidentally moved chores by trying to scroll through the chores and the chore he has his finger on has moved with his finger! I also ran across the same issue. This was very frustrating since I spent a great deal of time setting up his chores in a logical manner; to make it easier for him to find the chores he needs to do on which days.
Nannek’s response: We have never seen this as a problem because you can only move the chores by holding the grippy on the right of the chore- we have never had anyone mention this was an issue, but we can definitely add this as a feature in the settings in the near future.
3) There is no way to print out the chores to have a paper copy that you can post in your teen’s room to help him remember what he needs to do daily.
Nannek’s response: Chore Pad does not have printing capability built in. This is something we plan to add as a feature sometime this year. There are currently two options for workaround to this:
1. If you own an Air Print-compatible printer you can take a screenshot (hold the top button and then press the home button) and then send that picture to the printer via AirPrint. Here is a link to Apple’s page on Air Print, with a list of compatible printers: http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/airprint.html
2. You can you can take a screenshot then e-mail yourself the photo, then print that way.
4) No capability to download your own pictures for chores.
Nannek’s response: This is something we are working on as I write this :)….
5) No capability to set timers so your teen can automatically know how much more time he has to finish a chore or all of his chores. I got around this fact by putting my son’s chores in order using characters from the Emoji App. So, for chores that need completing by 7AM Monday – Friday, I put a shooting star in front of and list the time 7AM with each chore, etc. Sounds a little confusing, I know, but it makes sense to my son and I and it has helped him to become more independent with his daily chores.
Nannek’s response: The timer is something we have on our list to add also – we hope to add this by the end of the year too!