Are you a smartphone user? Is there one smartphone app that is a must-have for you and your family? One that keeps you organized, entertained, updated or in touch with someone you love? Read on for some GrowMama tips and share your favorite app with us today!
Skype: It may not be a typical “must have” for moms, but it has definitely helped me keep my son in touch with my family around the world. I love that he is able to see them “face to face” and that they can talk to him directly, following every new milestone. My son was only 1 when his grandparents moved overseas, and we kept in touch mainly through Skype. Much to our delight, when he saw them in person 6 months later, he recognized them immediately. The Skype smartphone app allows you to have it available all day, even when your laptop is under a pile of papers or simply out of reach.
Up- A Picasa Photo App: Most moms will not be as attached to their cameras as they are to their smartphones. With many smartphones now featuring advanced camera capabilities, you will find us snapping away with our phones as our kids take their first steps, say their first words, or just flash the cutest smile. Getting the pictures from the phone to the computer and sharing them with others, is another hassle that some of us don’t have time for. This application allows you to upload your smartphone photos directly to your Picasa albums, one of the most popular photo-sharing tools available today. It’s free and very user friendly.
I have to admit that I was pretty slow to join the smartphone bandwagon and I still question how much we really need these types of things in our lives. Much like any other convenience that comes into our lives, I don’t know what I did before I had my smartphone. There are so many apps that I love. Having recently given birth to my third baby, though, I have to recognize the ones that pertain to pregnancy and babies.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy Sprout Lite, Pampers Hello Baby (for iPhones) and BabyCenter My Pregnancy Today (for Android and iPhones) are all free apps that keep track of baby’s development. How far along are you? When are you due? What does the baby look like right now? These are all questions that either required lots of thought or a trip to the bookcase the first two times I was pregnant.
In Labor: Labor and Contraction Timer (there are free versions for both Android and IPhones). Who can keep track of how frequently contractions are coming when there are sandwiches to be made and laundry to be folded? These timers are so much better than watching the clock, jotting on scrap paper, losing scrap paper, and looking for pen and paper just as the next contraction hits.
Newborn: iBaby (for Android) or What to Expect (for Android or iPhone) are both nice for keeping track of feedings, sleep, and diapers during those early weeks. My kids loved logging everything in the iBaby app. It was a fun way to get them involved and keep me on top of everything our sweet baby was doing.
Calendar: This isn’t directly related to pregnancy, but my favorite app of all time is the Cozi family calendar (for Androids and iPhones). You can set up one family account and all family members can have access on their mobile devices and the home computer. Truly, the best for keeping track of who goes where and when!
I tried to stay away from becoming dependent on my smartphone, but it is a lifesaver when I need to use my Maps app, or retrieve something from my email while on the run, or capture and instantly share a photo of my infant. Other than the usual must-haves (readily available camera, news apps, etc), I like to get some down time with a few word games, Words With Friends and Scramble With Friends. They’re short games that I can play with friends, to stay in touch, use some brain power and chill at the end of a long day, or kick-start a new day. I try not to spend more than ten minutes a day on these games, but they are fun! I’m also looking for some type of educational, brain-power using game app for my school age kids. I’d love to get tips on a couple of must have kid apps to keep them busy in a tight crunch. Any great Qur’an memorization apps out there?
Some of our must-have Android apps include the regular, such as Google Maps, Gmail and Whatsapp. Others that we’ve found really useful are:
Zoodles Kid mode: Basically, each child has a profile and has access to age- appropriate videos and games. I use the lock mode so the kids can not access other functions on my phone. I also allow each child access to certain apps I downloaded.
Cozi: especially to- do lists and shopping lists in real time (i often update lists while DH is at grocery store).
Baby ESP can track all of your kid’s and mommy’s pumping and medicine too. Helped me create a sleep schedule for my daughter based on her existing sleep patterns. Can track all things baby!
Semisilent: Add contacts to your white list so their calls ring even when on silent, e.g: husband, mom, etc.
I also like the Diet and Calorie Tracker by SparkPeople.com, Handscent for texting and Mint.com app for finances.