If you were deprived of the Internet or electricity during Hurricane Irene, then I’m sure you reached for your smart phone to stay in touch with loved ones and to have access to news and weather updates. I know I did.
The usefulness of smart phones in an emergency is a good example of how helpful apps, or applications, can be. We’ve all heard the saying “There’s an app for that.” And you know what? There really is an app for just about everything. However, you don’t really want to clutter up your iPhone, Blackberry or Android with too many apps.
Of course there’s the obvious Facebook and Twitter and the can’t-live-without Angry Birds game. To save you time, I’ve cut through the millions – well, okay maybe not that many (425,000 to be exact) and found some truly useful ones to make your smart phone helpful, fun and quite useful. The best news? Most are free.
- Apps for Kids
So we’ve all been there – at dinner, waiting at the doctor or just in a situation where we need to keep our kids entertained or avoid meltdown central – fast. Here are a few apps to do just that!
Animal Phone - Talking animals keep your kid entertained with an embedded microphone that can allow the phone to record and repeat back what your child has said.
iWrite Words - My three year old daughter loves tracing the upper and lower case words and all the numbers. It's a very smart way to teach kids to trace early on to prepare them for writing.
Pop Math Lite - A really fun and interactive way to keep kids engaged with numbers and math.
SuperWhy - A favorite PBS show at your kid's fingertips.
Harry Potter Spells - You - oops, I mean the kids, are going to love this one! Create spells and even get sorted by the sorting hat in the wizarding world of Harry Potter!
- General Information
Weather Channel - With a video center, animated maps and more, The Weather Channel app is really great to have at your fingertips for local weather and more.
Shazam - Ever hear a song playing and wonder what the name of it is or who sings it? With Shazam, simply launch the app and hold it up to the song and it tells you all you'll need to know!
Good Guide - I love this app - it tells you if something is safe, healthy or green for over 120,000 products simply by searching or scanning a barcode.
Dictionary & Thesaurus - These are great because who doesn't love a dictionary and thesaurus at the touch of a finger? Believe it or not, I use this pretty often!
Convert - Because who can remember how many kg are in a lb and how many quarts are in a gallon. Now, you don't have to remember either!
Around Me - I love my GPS but sometimes it doesn't have all the latest locations, but AroundMe does. It can tell me the closest restaurants and more quickly and accurately.
IsWhen - Never forget when the next holiday is with this app.
- For Parents
Intuition - This app keeps me very organized with customizable categories, grocery lists and more. I never forget anything as long as I have it in Intuition to remind me.
All recipes - I've used allrecipes for years and now I love having it on my phone to quickly access easy and fast recipes. I love the dinner spinner function, too!
In case of Emergency Lite - Self-explanatory but really great to have as it's becoming a life-saving trend with emergencies.
Irewards charts - A unique and helpful way to keep track of chores done and good deeds for each of your kids. Can help boost cooperation levels in your kids in a fun way.
Bump - A fast way to get someone's info by simply "bumping" your bluetooth enabled phone.
SitorSquat - Helps you find a bathroom - fast!
Instagram & Postagram - Instagram is a great way to enhance, alter and take some neat photos with your camera phone. Postagram is AMAZING - you can send real postcards right from your phone to anyone for a pretty inexpensive price. In this world of instant messages, it's always nice to get a real piece of mail every now and again.
I also shared two of my favorites for weight loss .
Don’t forget my previous article on for parents for some additional fun and helpful sites.