5 Essential Apps for Parents

10. December, 2012 Life No comments

While the kitchen may still be the physical hub for the family, more and more families are taking advantage of the power of smartphones to help them stay on top of their family life.

According to the mobile security experts at Lookout, nearly 2/3 of parents with 5 or more in the family consider the smartphone to be the mobile command center of the family.  Nearly half use it to coordinate grocery lists and entertained, as well as keep their kids entertained.

As fun as they are, Angry Birds and Words with Friends won’t get everyone to soccer practice on time, so here’s our list of five essential apps for parents to help them stay in control of their family.

Cozi – Cozi’s an app that can do a little bit of everything for your family.  With calendars, shopping lists, to-do lists ad more that sync across all your family devices, there’s no excuse for anyone to say they didn’t know where they supposed to be.  This means that if you add to the shopping list from your device at home, your husband will have it updated in real-time, even if he’s at the store. You can also log onto your Cozi account on the computer to update and track information from there. Cozi can also send out e-mail and text reminders for any event, if you want them.

Kik Messenger – A program like Kik Messenger or another messaging program is great for families to be able to stay in touch without worrying about racking up the texting minutes.  What sets them apart from using your phone’s regular messaging capabilities is the ability to easily add other people to conversations as well as add photos directly to a dialogue. Kik Messenger also works across all different types of devices, so it’s especially handy for families in which not everyone has the same type of phone.

Find My iPhone – While ostensibly designed to help find lost smartphones or remotely erase data in case it gets stolen, Apple’s app (and an equivalent Android app such as Andriod Lost) is great for giving parents piece of mind that they can track their kids by using their phones.  With these apps installed, you can make sure your kids are where they say they are by viewing their location on an app.  The safety feature

A Family Matters – While it’s tempting during downtime for everyone to get lost in their own devices, the A Family Matters app makes using a smartphone a family affair, with games and activities designed for everyone to participate in.  So whether you’re at a restaurant waiting for food or at the theater waiting for the movie to start, A Family Matters is an app that can actually bring your whole clan together, and for that we think it’s essential.

Lost Kidz – Heaven forbid something should happen to your kid, but if it does then the Lost Kidz app can act like an APB to everyone else in your vicinity running the app.  If your kid disappears, you can send out an immediate alert to all users in the area to notify them.  A second alert will go out even wider.  It’s horrible to think of worst-case scenarios, but if something bad does happen, an app like Lost Kidz can help make sure you’re prepared.

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About author

Johner Riehl

Johner Riehl is a freelance writer focusing on families, technology and online safety. As founder and editorial director for FamilyFriendlyApps.com and FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com, sites that provide reviews and recommendations geared towards families, he examines hundreds of family-friendly games and apps every year. He’s also host of Parent Savers, a podcast aimed at helping parents of newborns, infants and toddlers. TWITTER: @FamilyTechDad

View all posts by Johner Riehl


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