Friday, August 3, 2012

Helpful 'Mommy' iPhone/Android Apps


The digital age has brought us many things. Some of these things are good, others...not so much. I could certainly do without those You-Tube video ads that come up every time we visit certain web pages or those email chain letters we get about a hundred times a day. One thing I couldn't do without, however, is my iPod. Sad, I know, but I'm far from the only person these days who is beholden to a small electronic device. If you're constantly using your Android or iPhone/iPod anyway, you might as well find some apps that are actually helpful. Here are some apps I've found that can make things a lot easier for busy moms. Each is available for both Apple and Android unless otherwise stated.

First, there's the First Aid app from the American Red Cross. In addition to instructions on how to handle a natural disaster, it has a very extensive and interactive symptom database. Basically, you'll put in a symptom-say, burns-and it will tell you what to do in simple language. It's great in an emergency, but it also has interactive videos and quizzes to make learning first aid fun. You can learn more about the app here.

You know how your kids will say they don't have to use the bathroom, but are about to burst ten minutes later? This is fine at home, but what about in public? Charmin addresses this concern with its SitOrSquat app. You put in some search terms such as changing tables, and the app takes your location and tells you which public restrooms are nearby. This is very helpful because there are many businesses that do not have a public restroom and, even if they do, they might not be clean or comfortable. Each restroom will have a 'rating' given by other users to help you decide exactly how badly you have to go! You can learn more about it here:

If you're concerned about how much time your child spends on the web and/or what sites he visits, you can install SurfBalance. Using this app, you can sort through sites in various categories and block the ones you don't want your kids to see. In addition to this, it tracks your child's internet usage and allows you to set time limits. If they come across a blocked site, they can ask permission to view it and send you an email so you can approve or deny each request. Your child might consider this a bit too controlling but, in this day and age, it's necessary. You can learn more about it here:

If you're on the go and want to keep track of your budget, HomeBudget can help. By showing all of your expenses in detailed categories, it allows you to input exactly how much you spend and compares it to the budgetary limits you've already set. You can learn more about it here:

As you can tell, mobile devices are good for more than just entertainment. These apps can be so helpful that you'll wonder how you ever got along with out them. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but they are certainly worth any cost and time spent.

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