#Throwback: My A-Z

We're joining #Throwback Thursdays with a look at favorite Night & Day apps: as Sara's dad would say, "oldies but goodies." Nat Sims offers a view into one of his favorites.

My A-Z

My A-Z is a very simple concept: kids can make their own alphabets with photos and sound. In just a few minutes, you can have a completely personalized alphabet "book" with Aunt Amy, Brown Bear, Cookies, Dad, Elbow, Fairies, and Grandma. (You can even have two or three Grandmas—it's flexible.) It's free, and it's our third-most-popular app.

As a child I loved a Dr Seuss book that encouraged me to collect autographs from my dentist, teacher, best friend, and so forth. It was a personal collection from my own life. In 2010, when we looked at the hundreds of alphabet apps out there, we realized it would be a lot of fun to be able to quickly make our own alphabet collections. At first we thought we would do branded alphabets, like with Charley Harper's birds or Busytown cars, but then we realized we could give this power to create personal alphabets to you and your families. Kids could make their own.

Because of its simplicity, we had some doubters in our Portland studio, even when I showed them my personal A-Z of indie rock (who doesn't love "P is for Pixies"?). Upon release, the app got some critical attention but didn't take off right away. Eventually we realized something else: people don't pay for social media. And My A-Z is a form of social media for kids: a way to collect people and pictures they loved, and to share them, face-to-face, with their families and friends. So, we made the app free.

We'd love to find a way to share complete My A-Z alphabets on the Internet, but since we never collect personal information from children, they would have to be anonymous, and that kind of misses the whole point. Sitting down and looking at a tablet together is much more personable, and that's the idea. If you like it, tell a friend, and see what they do with it. 

Here is a nice review from iMore.com.