Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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New app lets travelling parents share picture books with kids

A new Australian-made app that lets parents read books with their children when they’re away from home launched on the Apple iTunes store in late December.

The Quality Time app, which is available for iPad, with iPhone and Android versions coming soon, uses screen-sharing and audio so that stories can be read in real-time across multiple devices. The app also has an online bookstore that allows authorised users to purchase titles.

Quality Time director and co-founder Chris Braine told Books+Publishing that the team worked closely with Fremantle Press in the early stages of development so it ‘could factor in any elements that they needed covered off as a publisher’. As a result of this partnership, the app launched with a selection of Fremantle Press titles, including All Monkeys Love Bananas (Sean Avery) and A Sausage Went for a Walk (Ellisha Majid, illus by Peter Kendall). However, Braine said the company is hoping to sign up other publishers in the coming weeks. 

The app currently sells titles across three categories of picture books—Baby & Toddler, Pre School and Primary School—with sales evenly split between the categories. Braine said the company plans to include books for older readers in the future, as well as sell books for adults.

Braine said the idea for the app came about when a business partner was returning from a mine in Port Hedland in WA and took a call from his daughter asking him to read a book for bedtime. ‘We set out to build an app that would allow parents the ability to have a meaningful interaction with their children wherever distance was in the way … we just happened to build an awesome eCommerce platform for the wider publishing industry along the way.’

The Quality Time app can be downloaded from the iTunes store here.



Category: Junior Local news