App. Just four years ago, if you had told me that app would be among the most used words in our vernacular as well as among the most used software tools, I wouldn’t have believed it. But here we are today, with more than 500,000 on the market. Now our smartphones and tablets, such as the iPad, are more than gadgets. They’re on-the-go assistants that help us plan our daily lives, from work to home to leisure. So if your family is ready to lead an easier life, there’s an app for that.
Portable Parenting App — $2.99 (Available on iTunes; coming soon to Android Market.)
Parents, caretakers and teachers can create a plan to teach children how to make good choices and build good habits with features that include a reward system and timeout tracker that records the date and reason for the discipline. This app helps guide positive learning experiences, building a positive child-adult bond.
iDiary for Kids — $1.99 (Available on iTunes.)
Does your child love to write? This top-notch electronic diary, designed for kids ages 6 to 13, will let him express his views and make photos and drawings to share or keep private.
Spelling Bee — 99 cents (Available on Android Market.)
Including more than 2,300 words from easy to hard, Spelling Bee will grow with your kids. The app allows for a single user, playing audio clips for children to spell aloud.
Intuition: Mom’s Personal Assistant — Free (Available on iTunes.)
Intuition is the smart personal assistant that helps manage and simplify your life. From creating tasks to delegating activities, this app helps you get organized on the fly.
The Little Red Hen — $3.99 (Available on iTunes.)
Random House Children’s Books has partnered with Smashing Ideas to bring books to life in your hand. This app was specifically designed to promote reading and listening comprehension skills and reinforce core preschool-level concepts. This app makes story time a moment to cherish.
Evoz — Free to Start (Available on iTunes.)
Monitor your baby from anywhere in the world. Literally. With two iOS devices (iPod, iPad, iPhone), you’ll be able to monitor your baby using your home’s wireless Internet. After two weeks, you will need to purchase Evoz premium service to continue using this baby monitor.
SecuraFone — Download for Free (Available on iTunes and Android Market.)
Eventually your teen will get a driver’s license. When that happens this GPS-based app will allow you to track your child’s every movement. Track speed, location and even establish virtual boundaries, receiving text messages when they are crossed. While free to download, there is an $8.99 monthly fee.
iStudiez Pro — $2.99 (Available on iTunes.)
Time management skills are important in college. This app lets users organize schedules and assignments, track grades and sync the information with a Mac or iPad.
Apps were designed to make our lives easier, whether tracking finances or helping your child prepare for a spelling bee. However, keep in mind that whenever you input sensitive information, such as banking data, you may be exposing your private information to the third-party developer that created the app. Both iTunes and Android Market have strict app guidelines, but they’re not perfect. Make sure to research any app you’re interested in downloading.