What are we downloading for our children? Best-selling children’s apps in four European countries

Sarı Uğurlu B., Takacs Z., Bus A.

JOURNAL OF EARLY CHILDHOOD LITERACY, vol.19, no.4, pp.515-532, 2019 (SSCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)
  • Page Numbers: pp.515-532
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: No


The present article provides an overview of the best-selling apps for the age range of 0–8 years under various categories, including ‘Kids’, ‘Books’, ‘Educational games’, ‘Family games’ and ‘Word games’ in the two major application stores (Google Play and iTunes App Store) in four economically diverse European countries: Hungary, Turkey, Greece and the Netherlands. As tablets seem to be a substantial part of children’s leisure activities, and thus apps might play an important role in their development, we conducted a content analysis to highlight two issues: the educational value of the most popular children’s apps and the fine-tuning of apps to the local culture and language of non-English speaking countries. There is a large overlap between the best-selling apps in the four countries; in fact, half of the apps appear among the most popular lists in more than one country. Consequently, most children’s apps do not include any oral language and, if they do, they are not available in the local language. Furthermore, the results show that a substantial part of the apps supported early literacy skills. In the majority of apps teaching literacy, although advertised for the youngest, the focus of instruction was more suited for school-age children.