I hoped that the apps’ homely themes were all part of a plan. So I met with Toca Boca’s C.E.O.
(...) The refusal of beauty is even more acute on Toca Hair Salon 2, the best-selling app for Toca Boca.`
(...) Toca Tea Party is also a multiplayer, interactive experience: you can sit three kids around the iPad, and each one gets a drink and a plate, a chance to pour, spill, and wipe up
(...) Although the praise from the autism community was unexpected, a frictionless play environment was part of Toca Boca’s mission from the start. Toca Boca apps have no levels, no rewards, no beginning, middle, and end. They also have almost no words, because much of their target market can’t read. Why frustrate the kids with written instructions? And why pay to have those instructions translated into the languages of the hundred and forty-six countries where the apps are sold?
“If you look at what’s available in the App Store, almost everything is in the learning category, only books and games,” says Jeffery. “That’s how adults play. Read a book, play Angry Birds on your phone. But you would rarely pick up a doll… which is a shame.”