Review colAR Mix
Bring coloring pages to life!
Author: Tariq Abdulla
Date: 06 Jun 2017, tested on HTC One S
Mesmerise children, interesting functionality, completely free, no ads
In-app purchases need to be more transparent
Imagine giving some ordinary colouring-in pages to a child; and then making their drawing spring to life and start moving, right in front of them. That is exactly what you can do with colAR Mix for Android (the AR stands for Augmented Reality). It makes both children and adults as giddy and excited as you might imagine.
To use colAR Mix for Android, you need first go to the website http://colarapp.com/ and print out some colouring in pages. There's a variety available, organised into different collections, and it is important to note that there is only one free collection - the rest are in-app purchases at about $3.50 per collection.
Colar Mix is free, and there are no ads, so of course it has to generate income somehow. But there are two things that bother me about this:
1) It's not at all clear on the website or elsewhere that you will need to purchase the other collections to get them to animate. I can see why this is done: once you have gotten a child to color in a dinosaur, promising them a bit of magic at the end, you are very likely to shell out for the animation. But it is sneaky not to have the prices upfront.
2) It would be a bit more equitable if you could pay for pages individually, rather than needing to buy each collection. Then you could select from different collections the pages that you like.
Colar Mix for Android will map whatever colors you use - in whatever medium - onto the animated 3D models that appear. So you can use any combination of pencils, highlighters - whatever you want. You can make it as psychadelic as you want, and even write your name to have it appear on the 3D model. You can stick your hands through the models and they are pretty stable and glitch-free. Some of the paid ones also have controls: you can make the airplane do a loop or a barrell roll, for example.
ColAR Mix for Android is a fantastic idea for an augmented reality app, sure to be extremely popular with schools, parents and big kids alike. I would like to see the range of coloring pages expanded to include even more educational ones (more dinosaurs, animals, planets, monuments etc) and a fairer, more transparent pricing structure introduced. Otherwise, colAR Mix is extremely cool, an absolute must have.