Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: AppMATes - Single Pack - McQueen
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 13, 2011
I downloaded the app, tested it out, and bought the cars. It is October of 2011. At this point, you may be thinking "Wait! Tested it out before buying the cars?" Yes, that is possible....up to a point. You can choose what the app instructions list as a " paper" car sample and follow the instructions. You'll be able to explore the app in depth, including racing games and various tasks which earn prizes. Want to know the pros and cons with the actual cars? Skip to the pros and cons section of this review.

I had a couple of kids test out the app since I knew they were likely to be tech savvy...and they were. This provided enough info to decide to purchase the actual cars. Of course, a simulation doesn't compare to holding and using the actual cars. But it is still a valuable way to know if your kids will remain interested in the Disney AppMates technology.

So before investing more money, I strongly suggest you download the app. And then there is the elephant in the room" question - what damage could a kid pressing on an actual toy car do to a very expensive iPad ? Hmmmmm....?

But if you can get beyond that, you might want to see if your kid can follow the directions and enjoy playing with this. Here are the pros and cons that helped us make our decision to purchase the cars:

PROS:

1. The kids, ages 4 and 6, had plenty of fun playing with this very innovative app with the cars. They caught on to it more quickly than I did so I'm glad I didn't just go on my own experience. This truly takes the iPad 2 to a new level, great for taking on trips since most hotels and/or other locations are iPad friendly.

2. There are a variety of options and tasks. For example, follow instructions and you could "earn" a horn which is fun to honk. Or you could get some hub caps. Do they want to race against other cars in the app? That is possible, too.

3. The app caters to various skill levels and the graphics, road, and landscape are appealing. Other cars come along and talk to your car. Very cool. Plus, the app is free so that you'll only invest in the cars, etc.

4. Beginning "drivers" can have the cars move slowly. But they speed up when placed in the center of the screen.

5. There is a map where kids can choose spots to go and find out what possibilities and games exist there. Until they have tested out every area, there are plenty of options. Our kids didn't go through the options yet and they spent a long time with the cars and app.

6. Buy it now and if it is a hot holiday gift you'll luck out. Having watched popular toys disappear from stores -and not return till after Christmas - I know how prices can soar as parents scour other sites and pay big bucks to get the "perfect" and most desired gift for their kids. If you are one of those parents, consider getting the cars early.

CONS:

1. Depending on a particular child's motor skills, keeping the car in the center of the screen could be hard. But it worked fine with the kids I knew, at least most of the time. But they did get frustrated. It is easy to keep ending up at the same places, hear the same animated sounds, etc. Yes, there is a map but even with that a kid can veer off the road and end up back at the same place as before.

2. Maybe obvious, but if you get this you'll have to share the iPad 2 with your kids and keep an eye on them. This is great if you're looking to interact with your kids in a fun way. And the cars are supposed to be safe for the iPad 2, at least when it comes to screen scratchies. But that doesn't mean your iPad may be out of all danger, not without vigilance while the kids are using it.

3. Risk to the iPad: True, the cars (so far) haven't scratched the screen but if kids run around the house with the iPad 2, there is a definite risk that they'll trip and drop the iPad. This could result in a shattered screen, even with a strong case around the iPad. So you need to have clear rules about when and how to use the app and cars. I also wonder what could happen if the kids get excited and press down hard on the screen or (gulp) hit it in frustration.

4. Although the current description at various sites describes this as available for the "iPad " the only app currently available-at least, that I could find- was for the iPad 2. This could change quickly but keep an eye on the apps before buying. You can easily find them.

Again, I suggest you check out the app, see what you think, watch your kids test it out and go from there. You'll be able to see and hear the sights and sounds and features better than can be described in this review. No substitute for as close to hands- on experience as you can get.

Then decide whether to invest money in the actual cars. We did buy them - but knowing the pros and cons ahead of time...and then after purchase. I hope this helps you make up your mind.
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on April 1, 2012
When I first purchased the car it was pretty frustrating due to the fact that the iPad 3rd Gen would rarely register it on the screen. After thorough observation there are several limiting factors to the car's ability to penetrate properly on the iPad's screen. Fortunately it only requires 1 simple modification to solve all of these. Screen protectors, magnetic cases, and other protective devices are the main limiting factors. I debated taking my screen protector off and seeing if that would make a difference but then decided I would rather modify the cheap car & take it back if it still didn't work.

Guess what.... It turns out that the three contact points on the bottom of the cars have a plastic wrapper/shield covering them and the pull off easily with a finger nail. Don't use a knife or any tool as you will risk marring the surface of the contact point which would cause sharp burrs. Just pull the covers off with your fingernail and begin enjoying the game with any case or screen protector. I tried all of my cases & I have a bunch!

The contacts are super smooth without the wrapper & to be honest I am thinking it was supposed to be just a shipping seal. Once removed they are more like a plastic wrapper than a anti-scratching material. I really couldn't believe the difference... My daughter can grab anywhere on the car & it never looses signal with the iPad!

I'd recommend only removing the plastic if you have a screen protector, although I don't personally feel it would scratch the screen without it. The plastic covers pull very easily off which makes me think they were originally supposed to be taken off.... Who knows
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on December 17, 2011
I bought the Lightning McQueen car for my 4 1/2 year old grandson and gave it to him to play with before a 2 hour car trip. Except for occasional exclamations of "I love this game," I didn't hear a peep out of him during the drive. My husband helped him learn how to hold the car properly and how to maneuver it on my iPad 2, and he was then good to go.

The game seems to work pretty well. Every once in a while the game loses track of the car, but you just have to tap it lightly on the screen and it finds it again. There are all sorts of items you can earn during the game to improve your car and you can interact with other Cars characters in the game. You need to download the free Cars 2 AppMates program from the iTunes store, then buy one or more of the 6 available vehicles to use with the game.

The best place I have found to buy the cars is on the Apple website, where all 6 are available in two packs for 19.99 and free shipping.

*******UPDATE 12/29/2011******
I gave my grandson a two pack of cars for this game which I purchased from the Apple website, Shu Todoroki and Francesco Bernoulli. The Apple site specifically states that these cars are "Completely safe for use on your iPad screen." After playing for about an hour, I noticed that these two cars had made many scratches on my iPad 2 screen (I do not have a screen protector). I took my iPad back to the Apple store today, showed them the printout from their website and the scratches all over my screen and they gave me a new iPad 2. I would recommend that you make sure your iPad has some type of screen protection before using these cars. I now have a Clear Protector screen protector on my iPad and the cars work fine with this. The cars will not work if you have a Griffin Survivor Extreme Duty Case with the built-in screen protector.
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on April 17, 2012
Beware! This will scratch your screen (even though the box clearly states it will not). My son has a great time with it but now my iPad is ruin.
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on December 22, 2012
I really don't get how they can have a product work so poorly with the iPad. The iPad is great, the app sucks.
The car took forever to be recognized, then once it was, shortly after it starts moving, it loses the connection.
I am an adult with patience, how is a child that is learning supposed to deal with this?
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on January 16, 2013
My son loves the Cars game and begged for the "Lightnin' BeQueen" AppMate. So I finally brought it for him. It would not work with my Otterbox case until I removed the thin plastic covers from the silver things on the bottom. Kudos to the dad that figured this out and put it in his Amazon review. The plastic covers weren't a thin film. Instead they were like caps made of the same stuff that they use as cake covers in a bakery. After I removed these the toy works perfectly with my Otterbox. It's a great toy! My son loves it.
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on December 25, 2011
Got this for my son and the app would not read the car, looked at some reviews that said it will not work with some screen protectors (zagg) so I decided to see if I could make it work w/o removing my screen protector. I noticed that the toys have a protective cover over the tabs on the bottom so I removed them with a small knive and now it works great. So before returning it or tossing out the window give that a try...
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on February 1, 2014
My 4 yr old son had the 2 pack app mates with Mater and Finn McMissle. They worked well but he preferred driving Finn.. He said Mater was taller and harder to control. He says the flatter the car the easier to drive. We bought Lightning for a 17 hr flight. This one doesn't show up on screen about 1/3rd of the time. The pads are different on the bottom than the others. Mater and Finn's pads are black and rubbery looking. Lighting's are silver but look like plastic. They don't seem to work as we'll. neither of the pads have scratched our ipad so the materials are fine.. The silver ones are just not as sensitive. We bought lightening about 6 mos later. Maybe they changed the design during that time. By the time my son mentioned this to me, it was too late to return it. Anyway it does work and he loves it so it's a keeper.
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on September 13, 2013
The idea is very nice but in reality the car does not activate the ipad that easily, my kid needs to grab the car perfectly well on both side windows in order for it to work and be detected by the ipad, the game has roads wit curves and obstacles and as soon as he stops making good contact with both fingers on these windows the car is not detected so turns involve hime the need of twisting his arm or even moving all around the ipad! This is without any protective screen after watching a little 4 y/o kid might get desperate trying to make it work can get a little aggressive on the screen, so I bough a good brand of screen protector and made things even worse in regards of the car being undetected, I really don;t recommend it, he has been so frustrated that chose not to use it anymore and I ended up buying hime more "digital" cars instead.
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on January 26, 2014
I have seen these but waited to the price was lower. I got it as an add on and found out why it was priced so low. I had read a review about the car scratching someone else's screen. I felt the bottom of the car and it seems smooth and when I sowed my boys how to play it was no problem. Well when I left continue the quests in the game the next time that I looked at the screen it was destroyed! In the middle of the screen where the car is to remain while playing there are now about 10-5 inch slashes on my screen protector. Screen protector was certainly worth the price but I would skip on this cute little car's game.
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