My Family-Made Russian Alphabet iPhone App

In case you didn’t know this about me, I’m Russian. And as I was visiting my family in Chicago, I asked my family what apps they’d like to have. My cousin, who has a two year old daughter and another baby on the way, mentioned that she wanted a Russian Alphabet app for her kids.

Since I’m not a designer, and my Russian is a little bit rusty (I’ve lived in the United States for most of my life, and I currently speak English all day since I live so far from my family), I enlisted the help of my mom and little sister.

My mom pulled out some old Russian alphabet books she had and came up with words for each letter, and my little sister (14) is really good at drawing. She’s also been to some drama classes, so she was perfect for doing the voice-over for each letter and word. I was also excited to get my little sister involved in making an actual app!

Since my little sister doesn’t know photoshop and doesn’t even have a mac, I did some comparison shopping for tools that would get a drawing to me in a format I can use electronically, and of course the iPad was the perfect tool. My little sister used the Sketchbook Pro iPad app to make all the drawings, and she used another app to do the voice recordings. Gotta say, the iPad is an incredible tool!

Now, without any further ado, I’d like to present to you my family-made Russian Alphabet App, ALPHAVIT!


You start at letter A (ahhh in Russian), and you can swipe to the right to get to the next letter. Each letter has a beautiful illustration drawn by my little sister and a voice-over saying the letter and a word that starts with that letter. On the bottom navigation, you can scroll through and see any other letter in the alphabet. This way, you or your child can always see what relation the current letter has to all the other letters.

Getting the scrolling to work smoothly between the bottom and top swipe navigation was the biggest challenge of building this app. I will write more about how I did it later, so for now, enjoy! Also look for some more of my family-made apps in the future. We had so much fun making this one and can’t wait to make the next one!

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