Phlip is a very handy app in all sorts of ways. It involves taking a photo when in the app. Once this has happened, it is automatically turned into a little puzzle requiring a bit of visual discrimination to solve.

Phlip 2

There’s different levels of complexity. This is the 5×5 grid, but there’s other options from 2×2 upwards. So little children can access this app as well as older children and adults.

Phlip 6

Once you have picked your grid, immediately, each square is is shuffled up.

Phlip 7

The challenge is to unshuffle the photo as quickly as possible. You click on any square that you wish to lock in the direction it is facing. Then you rotate the iPad or iPhone left and right until the photos rotate back to horizontal.

Phlip 5

Once this happens you get a celebration noise and you can email your creation to a friend to see if they can beat your time. For your friend to have a go, they will need the app installed on their device too.

Phlip 3

The potential of this app is rather good. Firstly, it’s a useful way of personalising a puzzle by children for them to complete. Second, I rather liked the idea of children going into their outdoor space or school grounds to photograph something important to them, such as their favourite place. This can then be used to create a puzzle which can be emailed home. Parents can then have a go and share their experiences with their child. Likewise, children can send in puzzles from home to school. Just a simple way of creating friendly discussion around a photo. Niiiiice….

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam Sims August 20, 2013 at 16:24

Ooohhh.. I like this a lot!


Kierna August 20, 2013 at 17:40

Very cool!


Juliet Robertson August 20, 2013 at 18:24

Agreed. It is just a rather interesting next step for any child who has got the hang of taking a photo.


Luca Prasso August 21, 2013 at 08:34

Juliet and other curious explorers,
this is Luca from Curious Hat. We designed and developed PHLIP.
Thanks a lot for the lovely review.
Allow me to add a couple of personal notes.

Engaging kids with the REAL world around them is one of our main mission.
Taking pictures is a wonderful way to be aware of what is around you, to see.
Being able to challenge themselves by solving a puzzle that the children themselves have created is a powerful learning mechanism (I was mesmerized when we were testing this with young kids).

We also decided to use the physical rotation of the device to solve the puzzle (as opposed to use touch on single tiles).
By rotating multiple tiles at once (the ones not locked by the kid), we stimulate to find the solution moving multiple pieces, thus “seeing” the solution in a different way.

We are always looking for ways to improve our apps, so feel free to write me at for any suggestion or comment.


The emailing feature can be turned off in case some parents/teachers don’t want to be bothered or are worried.


Loreen July 21, 2016 at 13:32

Very smart little App, we LOVE taking photos in this family, and the use of digital means you really can go pretty bonkers! Then there are the apps and functions that let you make little montages and collages with your photos (my kids love these) – and now THIS – making a puzzle and a game from it, which means you really do need to concentrate and engage memory and higher functions to problem solve. Add competition and hey presto, we’re sold on this. I don’t go for much in way of screen time apps for the younger kids, but peeking at this one has led to me going for Curious Creativity Bundle!


Juliet Robertson July 21, 2016 at 22:32

Thanks Loreen – I like it as a next step. However I do need to spend a wee while searching out new possibilities – feeling dated at the moment!


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