Title: TextPics by FTW Innovations
Platform: iPhone
Cost: free – .99

Texting is the primary form of communication for lots of teens. ‘ It’s cool, it’s quick, and the person receiving the text doesn’t have to respond right away. ‘ It’s also been around for awhile, so certain text speak words, emoticons, and little pictures like the heart <3 have made themselves recognizable in mainstream culture. ‘ So you’ve certainly seen a 😉 wink and a 🙂 smile, but what if that was taken to the next level? You might end up with something like these:

TextPics offers lots of fun pictures made from ASCII symbols (the letters, numbers, and symbols from your keyboard) and the opportunity to make your own. ‘ There are several different categories of pictures: animals, food, romance, celebrations, symbols, japanese emoticons, and more. There is a whole category just for bunnies, just in time for Easter. ‘  There are also a surprising number of weapons, swords, guns, even a tank. Which I guess you could use to invent a TextPics based war game, or as a conversation starter about violence in the media. ‘ For librarians, you could make a TextPic to advertise a program, or have an art contest for ‘ teens to create their own TextPics. 

This review refers to the app created by FTW Innovations, but for the iPhone alone, there are text picture apps from a number of other developers as well. ‘ The limitation of this particular app is that it only guarantees that it works from iPhone to iPhone. If you send a TextPic to another type of phone, you might end up with formatting issues. ‘ So, as an experiment, I send one to a friend with a Droid. Turns out, at least for this particular picture, ‘ it worked just fine.

Try it for free online: http://www.textpicsapp.com/

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