My 5 Must-Have Apps

I download a lot of apps to try-out and share with moms, but there are 5 apps that I never delete, and use on a daily basis. Here are the apps that I would recommend to anyone who just purchased a smartphone for the first time, and don’t know where to start. Oh, and they are all FREE:

1.  Facebook: do I even need to explain this? Go directly to your Facebook account with this app, and update status, read newsfeed, upload photos or video, or search for friends. Get app now.
2. Weatherbug: I love being able to check the weather instantly on my phone. I can also see a 7-day forecast, see the weather of a destination I’m traveling, receive alerts when severe weather is coming, and check radar to see how far away a storm is from my location. Get app now.
3 .  Netflix: To use this app you must be a member of Netflix first, but the app itself is free. This a pp is such a great too l to have with little ones; distract them in the car, or keep them sitting and quiet at the doctor’s office while watching a movie. Plus, I love using it too; I like to watch an episode of the Office while I workout on our elliptical machine during naptime. Get app now.

4.  Pandora: You may already visit Pandora.com to listen to a custom radio station while you are at work, but get this app on your phone to take it with you anywhere. Listen to your favorite band and music similar to them, when at the gym, or just tap right into it when you want some background music while cleaning the house. It automatically links to your Pandora account, so all the radio stations you selected can be accessed on your phone too. Get app now.

5. Google: What better way to search online than Google.com? Get that instant search engine anywhere with the app on your phone. This app also features searches by a photograph you have taken directly from your phone, or speak into the phone and search. Get app now.

These are my top 5. Let me know what’s in yours, or maybe let me know what should be my #6.

AllRecipes App

Your husband utters those three words that you dread to hear every evening at 5 o’clock…. “what’s for dinner?” Well, this app can fix the mental “cooker’s block” that may come over you when it’s time to fix something to feed your clan.

Whether you’re just trying your hand in the cooking world, or are an experienced so-called chef, you’ll certainly find the AllRecipes.com app helpful when dinner time rolls around, or breakfast, lunch, dessert, or cocktail time too. 

Its main feature is the Spinner. The top row rotates at your fingertips, till you select the type of dish you are looking to make; i.e. main dish, breakfast, appetizer, dessert, etc.

The second row does the same, but in this row you select what main ingredient you have on hand, i.e. beef, pork, vegetable, cheese, fruit, etc.

Lastly, the third row gives you different timing options you have available to make your meal, i.e. 20 minutes, 45 minutes, slow cooker, etc.
Then the magic happens, it instantly filters its many recipes to the ones that meet your selected criteria on the spinner. You search through recipes till you find the one that tickles your fancy and your tongue.

You can also save recipes to your favorites to access again, or be spontaneous and cook up whatever AllRecipes.com has as the featured recipes. In addition, you can search by keywords, like finding recipes on how to make key lime pie for example.

This app has great graphics and many of the recipes have images, which I especially like because it helps in determining how appetizing it will look.

So grab a spatula and an apron, oh, and don’t forget your cell phone or iPad, and get cooking!
This app gets an A in my cookbook. Now, if only it cooked and did the dishes, then I’d give it an A+.

Mom Maps – Great App for Planning Playdates

This app is great for playdates! It finds the closest parks, playgrounds, restaurants museums, and indoor playareas near you. Select what type of place you are looking for, and the app maps out the places within so many miles of your current location (you can select the number of miles in the settings option).

You can also create an account and view pictures and reviews by other parents who have visited the places listed. There is also an option to add a play place that isn’t listed. I live in Cincinnati, and I didn’t find any indoor playareas come up on my search, even when I extended the miles up to 50, so I plan on adding a few areas that I’ve tested and approved.
One drawback about this app is that it is not covered in all cities: it only includes San Francisco, New York City, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland, Boise, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Albuquerque, Maui, Oahu, and Seattle. The app developers promise that it is continually being updated with new locations, so if your area isn’t covered, check back in a few months. I’ll also blog out updates to this app as well.

More Time Moms Family Meals

Looking into the app More Time Moms by Family Meals for the iPhone 3g/g4, iPods, and iPads.
It provides a menu for every day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or just dinner if you prefer) for up to six weeks. Then it gives you a weekly grocery list for the items. Seems really useful when your house has no food, but you have no inspiration on what to get to make for dinners. I think it would be pretty easy to substitute a meal or ingredient out for something you know your family will enjoy better.
The only drawback is that it doesn’t provide free recipes on how to prepare the menu and grocery items it provides; it would have been nice to have it all tied together, but I guess you’ve got to make money somewhere so I understand. Coming soon is the recipe book you can purchase on the ipad or as an ebook for $19.99. However, that doesn’t discourage me, because you can easily avoid the cost and just Google the menu for recipes online. Or you could give back to the app if you found it helpful by purchasing the cookbook, plus 5% of all profits go to children’s charities which is great.
Still trying it out, and will give it a whirl at the grocery store tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it fits budget wise too. Leave me feedback if you’ve used it.
Here’s the website to learn more: http://www.moretimemoms.com/