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22 Apps 4 You (Parents' Appy Hour)

While many of us buy iDevices for ourselves, time and time again we find them cluttered with kids’ apps. Oftentimes we get little screen time for ourselves until after the little ones are off in bed. The devices are a wonderful tool for children of all ages but sometimes it is fun (and important) to take a few minutes to nurture our tech self, bring out our inner child, and find ways to improve productivity, feed the adult brain, and even customize the media we receive. To this end, I have put together a list of 22+ apps to do just that!

  1. Dropbox: Free (iPhone/iPad) This is a great app that has a lot of functionality. It will allow users to access documents in your Dropbox folder from any of your iDevices or have full modification capabilities from another computer you have added the account to. Modified documents will automatically sync changes to all devices/computers when saved. You can also create folders that can be shared publicly or with family/friends (great way to share photos and videos without uploading them). If you want actual remote access to your complete desktop, check out Splashtop Remote Desktop for iPad (free for iPad only) or Mocha VNC Lite (free for iPhone/iPad).
  2. Pandora Radio: Free (iPhone/iPad) Create your own stations by choosing the genres of music that you enjoy (Don’t have an iPad… check out their website). If you like Pandora, check out TuneIn Radio (free for iPhone/iPad) which also has a site and allows you to listen to 50,000 AM/FM radio stations around the globe.
  3. Dragon Dictation: Free (iPhone/iPad). Have you ever been in the car and had a gem you wanted to share with the world (or your friends and family)? This is a speech to text app. Tap and dictate (you can edit if Dragon didn’t get it quite right) and then email, copy, or upload to FB or Twitter when you are safely parked and at your destination. If you like this app, check out Dragon Go! (free for iPhone/iPad) which will search mobile sites (e.g. Yelp, Amazon, CNN, Ebay, news and blogs, Google, Wikipedia, etc…) for the information you dictate.
  4. Meeting Notes: $2.99 (iPhone/iPad) I haven’t had a chance to actually review this one but I have to say it offers a lot of functionality for those who attend lots of meetings (e.g. simultaneous meeting notes and audio recording, full text search and keyword tags, keeps record of attendees which integrates with your iPhone contacts, a seating plan which is great for those who have a horrible memory for names as I do, and much more).
  5. Totes M’ Notes: Free (iPad only). This one had a few bad reviews before the upgrade but I really like it for parents and secondary students. You can create and customize your own folders and then create notes within each folder which will all be visible on your shelf and can be emailed.
  6. Tour Wrist: Free (iPhone/iPad). This app is appsolutely amazing. Travel remotely from your iPad with a swirl of the wrist. Experience 360 tours in a whole new immersive way. Don’t have an iPad… visit their site. If you like this app, check out Aroundertouch (free for iPhone/iPad) which will give you similar beautiful 360 tours at your fingertips. USA for Kids ($0.99 for limited time – regularly $4.99 for iPad only does not offer tours but does highlight kid-friendly destinations and fun facts.
  7. Qwiki: Free (iPad only). Truly an information experience: type in any topic and receive a customized informational video. You have to see it to believe it. Don’t have an iPad… check out the site.
  8. Popplet Lite: Free (iPad only). This mind-mapping app could be used in so many ways. Create a family tree complete with images, a family chores chart, or a timeline. Don’t have an iPad… check out the site.
  9. Simplemind+: Free (iPhone/iPad). This app does not have the photo integration but is wonderful for a quick brainstorm (e.g. things I have to do to get ready for a party or work related topics). Don’t have an iPad… download a trial of the desktop version.
  10. Flashcards*: Free (iPhone/iPad). This app could be used with any age group that needs flashcards. Access the vast library of existing decks or create your own with Quizlet. See other apps (iPad/iPhone) that integrate with Quizlet. Will have to upgrade to Quizlet Plus to create your own decks with images.
  11. 123 Charts: Free (iPhone/iPad). This is basically a spreadsheet with graphing capability for your iPad that is so user friendly both elementary and secondary students can use it.
  12. My Congress: Free (iPad only). Access information about your local Congress members (websites, Twitter, News, YouTube, etc…). My Elected Officials is available for free for iPhone/iPad as well.
  13. Vocabology: Free (iPhone/iPad). Ever wanted to feed your brain and learn new words? Great app for learning vocabulary (note: may want to remove certain feeds as some may be slang or inappropriate for younger audiences).
  14. World Book This Day in History: Free (iPad only). Another way to feed your brain especially if you like historical events or need info for trivia.
  15. Book Chat: Free (iPhone/iPad). I have yet to examine this one but it appears to allow you to create virtual book clubs with friends, family, or others.
  16. Jigsaw Puzzle: $1.99 (iPhone/iPad). I snagged this gem when it was free. It allows you to customize  your own puzzle from your images or use the existing gallery images. You can choose 12, 24, 48, 0r 96 images and have your choice or piece rotation, timer, and screen modes. If you are not willing to dish out the $1.99, check out Super Slide Puzzle (free for iPad only).
  17. Chicktionary Lite: Free (iPhone/iPad). If you enjoy word games, this one is addictive, entertaining, and educational. See how many three, four, five, six letter words you can build from the letters given.
  18. Songify: Free for a limited time (iPhone/iPad). Turn mundane directions, lists, or vocabulary words into a fun jingle. (my so much to do today sample)
  19. 5-0 Radio Police Scanner Lite: Free (all). If you need some extra entertainment (especially over the tourist season)  check out this app and brush up on your police codes. Note there may be some inappropriate language and if you leave the app running it will drain your battery.

    Before Edward and Stefan, there was Pacey

  20. Videolicious: Free (iPhone/iPad). This app is fantastic for all age levels and allows you to quickly turn raw video clips and photos into a real masterpiece. Check out the process.
  21. PBS Kids Videos: Free (iPad only). Stuck in a Doctor’s office with your kiddos and you need to buy yourself a few minutes?This app is very easy to navigate and has quality child-friendly clips (not full length) from PBS (e.g. Curious George, Dinosaur Train, Super Why, Arthur, Sesame Street, etc…). If you need to get away or escape, check out Video Time Machine ($0.99 for iPhone/iPad).
  22. Mint: Free (iPhone/iPad). This is a great app to track all of your accounts and credit cards as an individual or a family in real time and create/monitor a budget. Check out their site for more info. Want to create a budget and chore tracker for your children, check out apps like iAllowance ($4.49 for iPhone/iPad) – this is one I have not reviewed.
Would love to start a discussion about favorite apps for
productivity, education, and media consumption for adults.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

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