Monthly Archives: March 2011

Mom’s Little Helpers: 2 Essential iPhone Apps

By Torrey Kim

As a busy parent, you may occasionally leave the diaper bag on the counter, or the kids’ backpacks in the car during school drop-off—but it’s a pretty sure bet that you’ve usually got your mobile phone on you. That’s why it’s great to know exactly which apps can help you stay productive and organized while juggling kids, jobs, errands, and everything else on your plate. Following are 2 iPhone apps that you’re sure to embrace.

Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner

Price: FREE; All Recipes, Inc.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I have been accused of being a “drive through dinner mom,” and I don’t deny that I have lived up to that moniker many times over…but the ease of the Dinner Spinner app has allowed me to find quick and easy recipes to make at home. You’ll click on what type of meal you’re making (dessert, main dish, etc.), the ingredients you have, and how much time you want to spend cooking, and the app will show you the matching recipes. I had some chicken and wanted to make a main dish in 20 minutes or less, and Dinner Spinner actually came up with 20 matching recipes…and I must say, the resulting Romano Chicken was delicious!

CardStar

Price: FREE; CardStar, Inc.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Do you ever feel like you’re carrying around a key ring big enough to break into Alcatraz, thanks to all of the reward cards hanging from it? You’ll discover a simple alternative with the CardStar app, which I actually heard about from the cashier at my grocery store, who raved about how cool it was. The app allows you to store your reward card numbers and have cashiers scan your bar codes directly from your iPhone screen. Plus, some of the retailers offer you money-saving deals directly through the application.

Find out more of Torrey’s picks for iPhone apps that busy parents will love. And there are picks for Android parents too! Coming to newsstands in April.

4 Tips & Tricks for iPhone

Do you find that some days the battery life doesn’t seem nearly as good as the day before? You may have left an application running in the background. To make sure an application is not running after you are done with it, press the Home button and then lock your iPhone. All active apps will stop running.

Ever find yourself wanting to use a ‘real’ computer but you don’t have an internet connection? With Internet Tethering, you can use your iPhone as your modem.  You will have to call AT&T or visit their website to enable Internet Tethering on your account so it’s best to set this up sooner rather than later. Be sure to check how many gigabytes of data are included in your broadband package—you might find yourself with an overage charge sooner than you would expect! Read the rest of this entry

Sanity Saver: Grocery IQ

Master the madness. Photo by lyzadanger. Edit by Diliff. Wikimedia Commons

This app lets you keep a running list of everything you need and access it from wherever you happen to be. Simply type, scan the barcode, or even say what you need as you think of it or as you plan menus. I went through my refrigerator before a shopping trip, for example, and simply scanned bar codes for items where the levels were low. I ordered my phone around as I read cookbooks, and all the ingredients I needed appeared on my list.

Grocery IQ puts the items into a grouped list that corresponds to how most grocery stores organize their aisles. As you check items off, they are removed from the list but appear in a ‘history’ that you can refer to later. The other items stay on the list for your next trip to another store.

The only complaint I have with Grocery IQ has more to do with my phone’s voice recognition capability than with the app. When I told the app to put “cereal” on the list, it came up as “serial” and I had to re-type. The spoken command “almond milk” stumped the system initially, but now that it’s been on the list the option comes up quickly when I begin to type the item.

This app listens better than anyone in my family — hands down.

Runs On: iPhone, iPad, Android

Free, Coupons.com, Inc.


Quick Quiz: Find Your Perfect Tablet

 

Think the iPad 2 is your only option? Think again.

In our next issue, we answer the question “Should You iPad 2.” And, we give you what you need to be a smart tablet and ereader consumer.

You’ve got a lot of great choices out there. Look for us on newsstands April 15th.

If you’re a …. Rough-and-tumble McGyver type

Check Out … Xplore Technologies iX104C4M

If you’re a …. Lightweight

Check Out… NEC LT-W Dual-Screen Tablet

If you’re a …. Road warrior

Check Out… Lenovo LePad

If you’re a …. Kid aged 4-9 Read the rest of this entry

Ace Gaming Apps With These 7 Strategies

Our expert tips will have you whacking aliens and rescuing princesses in record time

By John McMahon

Gaming apps have become incredibly popular for the iPhone. In fact, more games have been published for the iPhone than Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3 combined! Some of the most popular genres are strategy, role-playing, and tower defense, all of which I have significant weak spots for myself. The problem is that strategy games usually require so much… well, strategizing. The genre is well-known for copious amounts of skills, upgrades, and abilities. Don’t let your games outsmart you; read the 7 tips below to save yourself sore thumbs and hair loss. Read the rest of this entry

Just For Fun: Androidify

If you loved “Mad Men”-ing yourself, you’ll like the free Androidify app.

Start with that familiar little green droid. Adjust body type by dragging the screen. Then add fun hairstyles and accessories from side-screen selections.

I had a blast Androidifying myself while I waited for my lunch to come today. I plan to make little droids to represent every family member and … then what? Holiday cards? Stickers for my minivan? The possibilities are endless.

Sneak Peak at Our Next Issue

  • Master Multitasking With These 20 Apps
  • Should You iPad 2?
  • It’s On! iPhone 4 vs Evo HTC 4G

    Photo: Windows Phone 7

  • The Truth About the Windows 7 Phone
  • You Can Do What? Tips & Tricks for iPhone, iPad
  • 350+ Apps Reviewed: Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows 7 Phone
  • Plus, the best games, music, photography & news apps
  • Find Your Perfect Tablet With This Handy Guide

In newsstands April 15th!