Engaging Apes _help


Engaging Apes! was created to provide apes and their human caregivers communication, choice, enrichment and interaction opportunities.Choices are presented to the ape through a series of slides.  Each slide displays one or more choice items.  Pressing an item might cause

  • a word to be spoken
  • a sound to be heard
  • a YouTube video to appear
  • a movie to appear
  • or a FaceTime session to be initiated

Engaging Apes! comes with just a few default slide items.  It is expected that the caregiver will add most of the content in accordance with the needs and preferences of individual apes.   In addition the app includes a simple sketch pad.  Drawings may be saved and printed later or used as content for the slideshow.

Creating a slideshow

When first installed the app is fairly empty, only a few default items are available.  The screenshot below shows a short slideshow created using these default items. Any number of slideshows can be created and saved for later use.


Five different types of slide items can be created.  Different border colors indicate what happens when the item is selected in a slideshow.

  1. Black          simple picture, no associated event
  2. Orange       a voice or sound recording is heard
  3. Green          a movie is shown
  4. Red             a YouTube video is shown
  5. Blue           a FaceTime connection is initiated

Here is what the first slide looks like when you Run the slideshow.  The banana button is linked to a voice recording that says “banana”.   Change slides by swiping left or right.


You can add up to six items on each slide and you can create and save as many different slideshows as you wish.Creating a simple picture with associated audio Here is how to create a simple picture item for oranges and associate it with the spoken word “orange”. Press the New button in the Media Library to bring up the screen below.


Click on Select Photo or Video to find an appropriate picture to use.  Or click on Take Photo if you have an orange handy to photograph.  Then click Record to record the word “orange” to accompany the picture.  Recordings can be up to 5 seconds long and you can Record/Listen as often as you wish before Saving.  For higher quality recording an attached microphone can be used. The recording is played back when the item is selected in the slideshow

Creating a movie item

Simply select a stored video rather than a taking or selecting a photo. Once a video is selected it will be compressed and saved.  Compression time will depend on the size of the video.  Once a video is selected options A, B and C are not available.

Additional options

–  Link to YouTube video with code number

To create a YouTube item you must associate your selected picture or photo with the Code Number for the YouTube video you wish to play.  For example, here is how to link to a video at the following address:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBrJhlsn7QY


– Link to FaceTime with email/phone

To setup a FaceTime video chat when a picture or photo is selected simply fill in the FaceTime email address or phone number of the person you wish to contact as seen below.


Creating initial images for use as items

Of course, to add new photos, movies or images from your iPad library you first have to get those items into the library.  Photos and movies are easy – any pictures you take or movies you record are automatically available.  But often you will want to use other images such as those found on the internet with copyright permissions.  Here is an easy way to do that using your iPad and Safari browser.

Let’s say you want to add an image of some grapes.

  • Google “grapes” and click “images” to see lots of choices, many of them free to use.
  • Do a “long press” on the image to bring up a menu.
  • Choose “Save Image” or “Copy”… this will copy the image directly to your photos album
  • If you do not see either choice click on “Open”, then long press on the image again for menu.

The grapes image is now saved to your photo library and available to be used as a slide item.

Drawing pictures

The drawing part of the app is very simple- 4 colors and an erase button.  You can also change the pen size and Save it to your iPad when done.  Once there you can print it, email it, or use it as a new slide item.


Here is a screen shot showing the drawing we created added to the Media Library and used in a slideshow.


Common operations

Task:          I want to remove an item from one of the slides.
Try this:     Select the proper slide by clicking on it.  Then click on the item you wish to delete.

Task:           I want to remove unwanted items from the Media Library.
Try this:     Double click on the item to delete it.

Task:          I want to remove a previously created slideshow.
Try this:     Click on Delete Slideshow to pick a slide show to delete.

Task:          I want to start over completely and revert to the original default items.
Try this:     Click on Restore Defaults.   All slide shows will be erased.  All created content items will disappear and be replaced by the original default items.

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