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New iPhone apps worth downloading: Disney American Presidents, AnxietyCoach, Cafe Once Upon a Time

by Marty Gabel

Here are three great iPhone apps to enjoy. Disney American Presidents offers an entertaining, irreverent but educational way of learning about U.S. history. AnxietyCoach offers advice on various anxiety disorders from professionals at the Mayo Clinic. Cafe Once Upon a Time is a colorful time-management game set in a fairytale world where you must decorate and run a cafe.

Disney American Presidents ($3.99, iPad only)

What’s it about? This app offers a dynamic and playful historical journey full of educational content, telling the real story of the men and women who built the United States.

What’s cool? There are over two hours of funny (but historically accurate) presidential profiles developed in conjunction with a producer on the The Daily Show and Colbert Report. Each President gets his own page with interactive elements linked to key decisions, notable characteristics and their historical legacy all wrapped up with historically-appropriate music and art.

Who is it for? This is an app that should be just as entertaining for parents as it is for kids, and it actually maps to Core Curriculum Standards for grades 3-8. It helps explain and conceptualize key concepts and links to political philosophies and historical characters through time. There are plenty of experts on tap like Bob Woodward, Robert Reich and Wesley Clark.

What’s it like? Other apps that can help kids learn about the U.S. presidents and their place in history include Britannica Kids: US Presidents, Presidents By the Number and the wonderfully irreverent (but educational) Presidents vs. Aliens.

AnxietyCoach ($4.99)

What’s it about? This self-help app from the Mayo Clinic can be used to reduce a wide variety of fears and worries from extreme shyness to obsessions and compulsions.

What’s cool? Anxiety Coach helps you make a list of feared activities and then guides you through mastering them one by one. It was developed by two clinical psychologists who are experts in anxiety disorders. The strategies are based on tried-and-tested cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques.

Who is it for? Obviously, an app should never be a replacement for seeking professional help if you really need it, however AnxietyCoach could, at the very least, be a good first step. You can take a short test to measure the severity of your worries, and browse a library of over 500 activities others have found helpful.

What’s it like? There are plenty of self-help apps in the iTunes App Store, some from professionals, and other which take a more holistic approach. An app like Anxiety Connect can get you in touch with others living with similar disorders.

Cafe Once Upon a Time (Free)

What’s it about? Here’s a fun, new time management game which revolves around running a cafe in a fairy tale world.

What’s cool? In order to win a competition, you need to run a cafe in different parts of the magic kingdom and prepare tasty meals for the Queen of Hearts, Card Guards, Dwarfs, Arabian Princess and others. The story mode offers 50 levels of catering fun and there eight distinctively themed cafes. Magic items help the cafes run more effectively.

Who is it for? Fans of stories like "Snow White," "Sleeping Beauty," "Aladdin," "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Three Little Pigs," "Little Mermaid," and "Alice's Adventure in Wonderland" should find something to enjoy here. The game supports the 4-inch Retina display on the iPhone 5 and 5th generation iPod touch.

What’s it like? There are plenty of cafe-running time management game out there like Mini Cafe and Restaurant Story, and plenty of fairy tale-themed games like Castle Story and Magic Tree by Com2uS. Cafe Once Upon a Time combines the best of both worlds!

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