Must Have Apps for Parents - App Review
Tech for Families

Must Have APPs for Parents – App Review Part I

As a parent we have a gazillion tasks to complete at any given moment.  I can honestly say that no matter the task at hand, I’ve found the saying “there’s an app for that” to ring true for me. From printing memorable family pictures to ordering groceries, I often let apps do most of the work.  I discover new apps almost everyday and love sharing my cool app finds with other moms and friends so I thought I’d share some with you right here on the blog. 🙂

Well, at first I thought I’d share 10 of my favorites but as I started rounding them up I realized it was impossible to share just 10!  There are so many great apps that I turn to when I need to keep things SIMPLE.  So here goes…

Must Have Apps for Parents - App Review

I decided to start a series of blogpost to share all of my favorite apps with you!  These are apps you’ll find me using on my phone or tablet on any given day. I Hope you love them (and use them) all as much as I do and that you’ll run back here every week for the next installment of my Must Have Apps for Parents.

I’m not an app expert by any means, I’m just a resourceful mommy!  So if there are other great apps that you think do a better job than these, please do share them with me!  I am always on the look out for new apps and want to hear about any apps that you truly LOVE. Leave me a comment and maybe your suggested app will turn into one that I’ll LOVE.


 

Magisto Magisto Video Editor

Do you keep recording those cute kid videos but then never get around to editing and sharing them? I know the feeling! Available for IOS and Android, Magisto gathers your selected videos and pictures and magically transforms them into a professional looking video complete with music, themes and beautiful transitions. Trust me, you’ll have your family and friends thinking you’ve spent countless hours editing your latest creation. How do they do it? This cloud based app uses artificial intelligence to analyze whats happening in your selected video clips and chooses the best moments to include in your video. It makes for a pretty cool video! Give it a try!

Why I LOVE it

  • Beautiful themes that provide clean and attractive transitions
  • Great music choice appropriate to your chosen theme OR you can choose from your own music library
  • The ability to include photos along with your selected footage
  • The option to tweak a draft version of your video before it is published
  • Automatic volume adjustments to background music so that original video sound/speech is easy to hear
  • Ability to share via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, WhatsApp, via email or in a message
  • The option to add your video to a public timeline to share with family, friends and/or followers or you may choose to keep your videos private by adding them to a private album
  • Option to download videos (for a $0.99 fee)

How much does it cost?

  • The FREE version allows you to create short videos lasting up to 1 minute and 15 seconds. You can share your video on social media but are not able to download it with this free version of the app.  It costs $0.99 to download a video if you wish to do so.
  • Premium Package: $4.99/month or $19.99/year and includes unlimited cloud storage, unlimited download, up to 30 clips per movie, up to 30 photos per movie and the ability to create longer movies.
  • They also offer an HD plan. For $6.99/month or $29.99/year you can upload up to 50 clips and 50 photos per movie.

I’ve used their FREE app for a few years now but recently upgraded to their premium package. I’m so glad I did! I truly love creating these beautiful movies and I know that I will enjoy watching them and sharing them for years to come. Hope you will too!


 

GrooveBook App

Groove Book

Is your phone filled with hundreds of adorable pics that you wish you had the time to print? Well then GrooveBook is the app for you! This simple to use app allows you to select and upload 100 photos from your smartphone every month and uses them to create a beautifully bound 4.5” x 6.5” phonebook, printed on glossy paper and mailed to your home about 10 days after you upload your photos. Available for IOS and Android phones, this is a must have app for all parents! I absolutely LOVE receiving my GrooveBook in my mailbox each month! I’m sure you will too!!!

Why I LOVE it:

  • Perforated pages make it easy to tear out and share or frame any picture the minute your book arrives in the mail.
  • The uniquely colorful phonebook covers that change each month
  • Time saved going to the store to print
  • Money saved on paper and ink if I were to print it myself

How much does it cost?

  • Only $2.99 per month, which includes shipping and handling. That’s a great deal!!!

Want more reasons to LOVE it?

I find the background story of this little photobook fascinating so thought I’d share it with you…

The husband and wife team that created this app pitched their product to investors on the hit ABC show Shark Tank back in January 2014 and made a $150,000 deal with investors Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary in exchange for 80% licensing rights. They most recently sold GrooveBook to Shutterfly for 14.5 million dollars, making them the first idea pitched on Shark Tank to be acquired by a public company! Pretty genius, right? The design for their FUN photobook is also pretty genius. If you’re wondering why its named GrooveBook, just take a look at the photobook’s spine. The patented groove on its side is a genius idea! It makes the book flexiable and possible to mail in bulk, saving you money!

 


 

ThisLife Photo OrganizerThisLife

Are you a parent that has photos scattered all over the place, on your phone, tablet, computer, flash drives, etc?  ThisLife gathers photos from your computer, cell phones, tablets and even your social media accounts and other photo sites (like Shutterfly) and stores them all in one place for you to use via their web-based portal or through their IOS or Android app. The nice thing about this app is that you can upload pics manually or allow it to work automatically in the background uploading new photos it detects on your devices. With FREE unlimited photo storage for all users, this app is a must have!  It also offers video uploading but you’ll have to pay a fee to upgrade.

Why I LOVE it

  • Full resolution downloads and automatic uploads
  • Photos are grouped and categorized into a well-organized timeline
  • Family members can have all their photos from all their devices downloaded to one large pool of photos that they share
  • You can tag (auto-import tags from social sites or add your own), add  locations and people (offers facial recognition capabilities)
  • Editing tools allow you to rotate, crop, and delete individual photos or groups of photos
  • Find feature allows you to quickly find photos by person, place, date and tag
  • Photos can be forwarded to others individually or in groups
  • Annotations or short voice clips can be added to photos

How much does it cost?

  • Unlimited photo storage is free for everyone
  • If you want to add videos they offer three plans
  1. $19.99 for 60GB (1,000 videos)
  2. $49.99 for 300GB (5,000 videos)
  3. $139.99 for Unlimited Videos

Want more reasons to LOVE it?

After the births of their children, the husband and wife team who developed this app also felt inundated by the large quantity of precious photos and videos they had scattered across devices, memory cards, the web, etc. They developed this great cloud based photo managing app to solve their problem and helped all of us scattered parents out there as well! I truly love this app and so did Shutterfly who snatched it up a couple of years ago.  Since its acquisition in 2013 they have revamped the services provided through this app and you are now able to order Shutterfly products (prints, phonebooks and so much more) using the pics from your ThisLIfe photo timeline. I think that’s pretty cool! Don’t you?

 


 

Peapod - Easy Peasy, Peapod delivers groceries right to your door!Peapod

Ever opened your fridge after a busy weekend only to realize it’s empty? Yikes!!! You forgot to go to the supermarket again! Don’t panic! It happened to me and I used Peapod to get my groceries delivered the very next day! Easy peasy! Order you’re groceries right from home. No need to drag the kids out to the supermarket in bad weather (and we sure had some bad weather in NYC this winter). Trust me! This app, which is available for IOS and Android phones, will make your life simpler!

 

Why I LOVE it

  • Stored shopping lists make it easier to find and choose the items you buy most
  • Browse the aisles or look through new arrivals
  • Web only specials
  • Guess My Order feature – Adds frequent purchases to your order with just one touch
  • Choose a delivery time that works best for you
  • Text notification when the driver is on his way and again when he arrives at your doorstep
  • Groceries carried right into your kitchen! This is by far my favorite one 🙂

How much does it cost!

  • The app is FREE
  • Delivery fees apply

Quick Saving Tips: You can use the coupon code PPC20PS for $20 off your first order. If you purchase $100 of groceries you can receive fee free deliveries for 60 days when you sign up for a Pod Pass free trial. After the free trial you will be charged $59 for 6 months so make sure to cancel this membership once the 60 days are up (although you might find this membership worth it if you use Peapod to order your groceries more than once per month). If you choose to cancel, you can easily do so by visiting the My Account section (find link at the top of the Peapod page).

 


 

OfferUp helps you sell and buy locallyOfferUp

Do you have mountain of toys and other kids stuff just lying around? Do you need to de-clutter your home? Trust me you’ll love this dad-created app! It will make it simple and safe for you to sell your stuff locally. I’ve used it to sell everything from kids toys to furniture and electronics. You just list your items by posting a pic and a brief description right from your phone or tablet. That’s it! Interested buyers will contact you via message right within the IOS or Android app and you can set up a pick up or a meet up to complete the sale. It’s quick and easy! OfferUp is also a great way to find good deals if you don’t mind buying gently used items. Go ahead, give it a try!
Why I LOVE it

  • Able to post an item for sale in less than a minute
  • Message buyers and sellers safely within the app makes it easy and safe to ask questions about items or set up purchase pick-ups and meet-ups
  • Unique seller profile page lets you build a reputation and know who you’re dealing with when buying
  • Local maps (optional) are included in each posting allowing buyers to see where the seller is located

Want more reasons to LOVE it!

Dads Nick Huzar and Arean van Veelen were drowning in a mountain of their kids stuff when they realized there really was no place to sell and buy kids stuff locally. So they developed this app to make buying and selling locally as easy as snapping a photo. I love that these savvy dads developed this app and want to personally thank them for helping me de-clutter my life and putting some extra $$$ in my pocket!


So there you have it! A few of my favorite apps and must haves for any parent.  Thanks for stopping by and hope you’ll come back next week when I’ll share a few more.  In the meantime, try these out and let me know what you think.  Go ahead! Leave me your comments.  I would love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

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