24 Apr, 2009
Top 10 (er, MY favourite) – iPhone apps for parents
Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!
Back when I was playing Breakout on our Commodore 64 if you had asked me that one day we could sit in our living rooms with a tiny wireless telephone and simultaneously order pizza, play a game with total strangers, send a recipe, and find the closest coffee shop while doing our homework I would have thought you were totally off your rocker. But that day has arrived.
There was an article about the 10 best iPhone apps for parents in PC Mag awhile back. I didn’t agree with all of their choices, and even though there is a bit of duplication I thought I’d write up my own list of favourite iPhone applications based on what I’ve actually found useful.*
10) Kids fighting over a toy? Arguing over who gets to go first AGAIN? Get out the Heads Tails app. Touch the screen to flip the digital coin and all your problems will be solved. Flip it ten times and teach your kids about 50/50 odds.
9) Word Reference – I like homework help. English-French, French-English, English definitions, heck, it’s even helped me out too.
8) Unit converter - Best for the math challenged. How many inches = how many centimetres? Converts all kinds of measures.
7) Timmy Me – Because the iPhone’s built-in GPS, it can zero in on your location, find the closest Tim Hortons, and give you directions. There is also a Starbucks Me. (!) You will never be lost and coffee-less EVER AGAIN.
6) Canpages/Yellow Pages – Canpages is voice searchable. Even though it makes me feel a little dumb I can hold up my iPhone and say “PIZZA in OTTAWA” and it will find a bunch of pizza places for me. Yellow Pages combines yellow and white pages for a very handy residential phone lookup, including reverse lookup. Where this app soars is its integration with other iPhone features. I can look someone up and it’ll give me an option to call that person, add them to my favourites, email the info, or give me directions on how to get there.
5) AllRecipes Dinner Spinner - How many times have I been stuck at the grocery store without a dinner plan? I love the concept of the Dinner Spinner. You pick your main ingredient, type of dish (i.e. main or side), prep time, and see what come up. I’d like to see this application with more recipes.
4) QuickVoice – Quick audio notation. Great for when you want to make a quick note and can’t be bothered with the keyboard. You can email your audio to someone too. Think of all the applications! You can email a recording of your screaming children to your husband while he’s at work! Your kids singing happy birthday to grandma! The sound of your neighbor’s yappy dogs barking to City officials! The possibilities are endless.
3) Shazam – Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you have to give up your cool, music-loving side. Imagine this, you’re driving down the road (as a passenger of course), or enjoying a rare glass of vino in a fancy wine bar when a really great tune comes up. Shazam listens, analyzes it, and then tells you what song it is, who sings it, what album it’s from, and gives you a link to YouTube video, full discography and gives you the option of buying it right on the spot.
I never thought this day would come. It’s like something out of STAR TREK.
2) ShopShop – I use this application EVERY DAY. It’s a virtual grocery list and it’s useful in so many ways. It keeps an inventory of everything I’ve ever entered, so re-entry is easy. I can shuffle items on my finished list. I can move all the fruit and veg together, in an order in which I know they appear at the grocery store. When my item is in the cart I clear it, thus making the list shorter and easier to scan. I can even email my list to someone else. Household managers need to delegate sometimes, right?
1) Globe & Mail, Scramble, Flickr Sendr, Blogpress, TwitterFon, Google Calendar
I know, I’ve just listed six things in the #1 spot, including one game which doesn’t exactly fall under the category of “things that have made my life easier.” Mark is particularly addicted to Scramble. Our budgie is going to start mimicking the game sounds any day now. But all of these apps I’ve listed in the #1 spot (except Blogpress, that has #1 potential although I have yet to use it much) are things I use on a regular basis.
If you’re an iPhone user I’d love to hear about your favourite and most useful apps.
* um, can just ignore the fact that I once said I’d never again own a cellphone? ;)