The Wonder Weeks, or Baby Wonder Weeks Milestones, is an app for iOS and Android that costs about $1.99 and is based on The Wonder Weeks books which gives you some hints about the 10 leaps a baby makes in the first 80something weeks of life.
This review was written in 2015, and in 2022 a DMCA complaint was filed by the owner of the app, you know, for taking a screenshot of what was wrong with the app under fair use.
I’m reviewing the Android version of said app, the iOS app may be different.
You can add multiple children and pictures and track each individually. There’s a moving week calendar that will show when stormy time are expected, and during each leap you’ll see a rundown of what to expect in terms of development, issues you might encounter, things to look for, etc.
All in all it’s an ok reference, but in terms of appdom it’s got a lot of major fails.
The Wonder Weeks app doesn’t do what it claims
Grammatical errors, incorrect wording, and looking like a hastily translated app aside, it doesn’t do what it claims in the app description.
One thing claimed is to share your baby’s leaps on Facebook. Oh it will share something to Facebook all right, that being an advertisement to pay for and download the $1.99 product. You’re prevented from cutting and pasting any developmental information, and there’s no way evident to share a baby’s profile to another person who purchased the app.
They claim it’s similar to a journal, logger, tracker, or diary for parents to make note of their child’s mental milestones and progress. Unfortunately the app itself is only similar to those in that it contains words. There are no options with this app for you to make notes (no, that pencil icon just lets you change their name,) log things, track any changes, or keep a diary.
Let’s say your baby’s ahead or behind by a week or two, there’s no way to adjust where they are developmentally. There’s no way to record that they’ve made this part of the leap but not this other part. It’s just going to say they’re in the next leap, or the previous leap.
Two screenshots I really don’t have a problem with
And then there’s some misdirection
On the Google Play description they include two Harvard professors reviews…. of the book, not the app. This right after a paragraph talking about the app, and right before a paragraph talking about the app.
They claim: “Winner at the BEST APP EVER Awards (Health & Fitness) in 2013”
Here’s the 2013 winners – looking through winners… oh, down there in Honorable Mentions. Let’s see what some definitions of “Honorable mention” are.
- TheFreeDectionary: having exceptional merit, though not winning a top honor.
- Google: a commendation given to a candidate in an examination or competition who is not awarded a prize.
- Merriam-Webster: an award or special praise given to someone who has done something extremely well but who has not won any of the official prizes
In all definitions it seems they were not, in fact, a winner.
The claim top prizes in several countries as the BEST PARENTING APP! Really? Name three.
Double aught bad
“This App is with the greatest care. Neither the author nor the publisher shall nevertheless be liable for any damages arising from any inaccuracies or omissions in this app.”
Just makes me want to facepalm. The obvious omission is the Facebook sharing. although they should have omitted the word “nevertheless.” They can’t get through anything without errors.
And then there’s some Amazon issues
Amazon divided the markets a while back. They wanted a way to get a chunk of the selling app action. In order for an app to stay current and be available to everyone, it has to be updated on a few different markets at the same time.
They’ve entered the Amazon App Store, they’re as of this writing at version 3.0.15. On Google Play they’re at 126.96.36.199. They’re either not updating the app in a timely fashion at Amazon or there’s just something weird afoot. Generally app version numbers stay the same.
Overall, it’s just pointless
It’s $2, doesn’t appear to work like they claim, isn’t particularly any more useful than a calendar and quick reference guide to what stage they’re in, and seems a bit not worth it as there’ nothing more to a leap than you could get off a page of text. No alarms, reminders, sharable information, etc.
Really, a text file would contain all I want to know and most of the functionality of this and I’d be able to cut and paste pieces of developmental info to share on Facebook.
The only thing this app does is replace a variable with your child’s name, another with their sex, and put a pushpin on a calendar as to where it thinks you are. It’ll also sit in the T apps for The Wonder Weeks as opposed to the W which drives me nuts.
I’d skip the The Wonder Weeks app and buy the book. At least with a book you can scribble notes in it, you’ve got the reviews on the app that apply to the book, and it wouldn’t keep claiming that it can’t load your child’s photo, yet still load your child’s photo.
I also don’t believe the author of the book had much to do with the app as I can’t imagine wanting to be associated with this scaled back poorly written advertisement for the book.