The iPad App we designed as part of Click-East is called FindMe. There is a free-to-download Lite version and a full-fat Pro version, both available on iTunes – you can download them here or if that doesn’t work, just search for FindMe Autism. You can see a demo film of FindMe on YouTube and more information at this website. FindMe is now also available for Android platforms here.
In addition, two further app ideas were also licensed by our commercial partner and released for Android devices under the banner of Tigerface Games. You can download these apps here and read about them on this blog post.
More About FindMe
Hopefully you’ve already read the background on our Click-East homepage. The app has been designed by a combination of researchers at the University of Edinburgh, incorporating input from various people with relevant knowledge, like parents and teachers of children with autism. The app aims to provide a forum for practicing basic social skills in a fun and motivating way. We hope that by practising these skills, children’s real-world social behaviours will also improve.
During our formal trial, which evaluated the impact of the app on children’s social development, we also asked parents to rate the quality of the app and report their child’s enjoyment. You can see these ratings in the graph below – it is clear that parents rated the app very highly and felt that their children really enjoyed playing it. The questions, which are abbreviated in the graph, were: how did you find the app overall? did your child play the app? did your child like the app? Did you like the app? Was the app easy to use? Did you experience any faults with the app? Obviously for the last questions a negative answer (“we didn’t have any faults”) was what we were looking for!
There are a few different versions of the App. The first is the free iTunes downloadable app, called FindMe. This is a ‘lite’ version of the app designed to let people discover whether they think it would be useful for their child, and also released in advance of our clinical trial so we could get some feedback from users and make any improvements they recommend.
From January 2012 onwards, two enhanced versions of FindMe were developed in parallel by the same team at the University of Edinburgh and Interface 3. One was for our clinical trial, which closed in June 2013. The other one was a ‘pro’ version of FindMe now also available on the App Store.
There are few differences between the trial and commercial versions of the app. First of all, the trial version was used by children in the Edinburgh and Lothians area. Therefore the pre-recorded voices in the app all had Scottish or English accents. The commercial version is meant for an international audience, and so it has pre-recorded voices in both UK and US English accents, French and German, and there are plans to add other languages. The trial version also has a different settings menu, which allowed the researchers to lock various settings so they can’t be changed by the people participating in the research. In the commercial version, the player can change all the settings whenever they want. I think it is fair to say that in all relevant dimensions, the two apps are the same, and therefore the findings from our clinical trial are applicable to the commercially-available pro version of the app.
Finally, in 2014 Interface 3 also made a version of the FindMe app for Android devices. You can download the FindMe app for Android at this link.