CONCEPT: A mobile port of the acclaimed Scratch visual programming interface.
DELIVERY: Scratch has long been the industry standard for visual programming and even recently launched Scratch Jr for free on the iPad. What Pyonkee offers though is the full Scratch experience on a tablet.
Built using the open source code for Scratch 1.4, Pyonkee does include pretty much everything you'd expect, presented in the familiar way. You have your stage area your script building area and the palette of code blocks. All the blocks from Scratch are included and can be dragged to the scripting area using the touch screen and clicked together to build simple programmes.
To allow for the reduced screen size and lack of keyboard/mouse control etc, some alterations have been made with additional controls surrounding the edge of the screen including keyboard, font size, space and even shift and command keys. This does give the (already packed) layout a somewhat squashed feel but is a vliant effort to circumvent these losses in the switch to the iPad.
The sample sprites and backdrops from Scratch are all present and projects built in Scratch 1.4 can also be imported so users can have a starting point rather than just a blank page.
LIMITATIONS: The interface is very squashed making the buttons hard to use at times and in some cases, elements are partially obscured. There is a zoom function but rather than make it intuitive (ie pinch zoom) you have to activate it then deactivate it. It also freezes a LOT and blocks of code suddenly become unaccessible. Projects that are imported also sometimes get a little muddled in the process.
CONCLUSION: A decent effort to convert the entire Scratch interface but I'd still say stick with Hopscotch for the older kids and Scratch Jr for the younger ones.