Growl Media, a content company headquartered in Dubai, took home the App Idol Award in the Gaming category at the 2014 Global App Summit for their bilingual Arabic edutainment app, Zee’s Alphabet, produced under their brand name AppyKids.
Zee’s Alphabet debuted on the Samsung and Apple app stores in June and was featured on both stores before becoming available on the Google Play store. At the time of the award ceremony and 4 months after it debuted, Zee’s Alphabet boasted more than 110,000 downloads and has one of the highest ratings in the Google Play store with 4.3 stars and over 50,000 downloads.
On winning the award, CEO and Founder of Growl Media Dinesh Lalvani said, “Our mission was to create an edutainment app that would capture the hearts and minds of teachers and children, and winning this award is a reflection of our successful efforts. The best part is that this award is just the beginning of an exciting journey to create more compelling Arabic content for our children.”
Grounded in educational theory, Zee’s Alphabet is a bilingual English-Arabic app that teaches children ages 6 and below how to write the letters of the Arabic alphabet. When the app is opened, the user can choose a letter from Zee’s spinning compass. Once a letter is selected the user is shown how the letter is written and encouraged to demonstrate their writing abilities. The exercise is followed by an unstructured play scene where children can interact with the app’s animated characters and reinforce their learning through free-hand drawing. The play scene serves as a reward for completing the exercise.
Among the many ambitious projects Growl Media is currently working on is an all-Arabic cartoon webisode series set to launch at the end of the year. The webisode series, entitled The Adventures of Zee, features Zee and a new cast of friends (Karim, Farah, and Zee’s cat Caramela), original songs, life lessons and unlikely friendships. This will be Growl Media’s first foray into original animated content.
The 2014 Global App Summit took place at Jumeirah Beach Hotel and hosted over 70 exhibitors, from big names in tech such as Samsung and IBM to companies like Namshi.com (online fashion) and Dubizzle.com (online classified ads). The summit featured workshops and networking sessions led by mobile app industry leaders such as Regd Snodgrass, CEO, Wearable Technology Labs; Chris Sun Baigong, MD, Mobogenie; Suzanne Bock, Director, WebMedia7; Tommi Raitio, Director, Internet of Things, Intel; Anil Kumar, Regional Director, Nuance; Amr Salem from Cisco; and Wassim Kabbara from Google.