Kids Apps With Ads: oh no, you didn't!

If you hate apps that targeted to kids and include ads, then you’ll love our naughty list of apps and developers who sneak in those pesky ads.

We’ve checked out many of these apps and while some ads seem targeted to kids (eek), some are definitely not for the eyes of a child. Those ads include dating services, gambling, games with scantily clad women, loans, religion, and cult-type organizations.

The top of the list is Endless Alphabet. Developed by Callaway Digital Arts, this app is one of the most disappointing because I expect more from this major developer and this otherwise brilliant app. There is a $0.99 IAP to remove ads. Come on Callaway, ditch the ads – have a premium and lite version instead.

Second on our list is developer Bi Hong Lin who’s apps include Baby Learns Numbers, Baby Find Me. All these apps include an icon with an adorable panda, it tricks me every time, and every time I include them in my Free App Friday roundup, I have to turn right around and remove them again. This developer churns out many similar apps, each with their own ads, and each with their own cute panda.

  • Endless Alphabet by Callaway Digital Arts
  • Another Monster at the End of This Book…Starring Grover & Elmo! by Callaway Digital Arts
  • Madagascar Preschool Surf n’ Slide By Knowledge Adventure
  • My Coloring Book – Paint Draw KidsBy Jérémie Klemke
  • Apps from developer Bi Hong Lin (check for the Panda icons)
  • Kids Reading Logs By Yasheng Zhou
  • Snail game By Nintegra
  • Free apps from TabTale LTD contain ads (and IAP to remove)
  • Bee Leader App
  • Pinch Peeps App


Why don’t we like ads in kids apps?

  1. Ads are often age inappropriate (dating services, gambling, games with scantily clad women, loans, religion, and cult-type organizations)
  2. Children are lured out of the app which is frustrating for the child, the parent, and one woould think the developer too.
  3. Advertisers are paying developers for ads that, at best, are clicked on by accident.
  4. Ads in apps are usually not disclosed, something that has drawn the ire of the FTC.
  5. Most importantly, we do not feel that an app that includes ads is a “best app for kids” – and that is what we are all about.

What about ‘sponsored’ apps?

I have seen a couple of free apps that are sponsored. This one of those situations that really depends on how the ‘sponsorship” is implemented, if done appropriately, this could be a way of allowing a developer to offset their cost and develop a free app. What is appropriate? As the famous quote goes “I know it when I see it.”