It’s hard to believe that a little device that’s the size of your hand can actually help parents become more organized, time-efficient, knowledgeable, even relaxed. However, that’s the beauty of an iPhone. The key, though, is to find the right apps to get you there, and with so many choices (more than 75,000), it takes time and effort to find good ones.
What follows is a list of 25 free apps that won’t necessarily make you a better parent, but can make your life a little easier, or help out in a pinch wherever you are. And when you have a screaming, bored, hungry, or need-to-use-the-bathroom kid, sometimes a little help is all you need. The apps listed below have been compiled from the eyes of a parent, but many can be used regardless of whether you do or don’t have children.
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1. My Starbucks
The official iPhone application from Starbucks! Want to find a store that’s open, with a drive through? Now you can do that and more with myStarbucks. Explore our whole bean coffees, find nutrition information, and build your own perfect drinks. Want to share? You can send your drink to friends by email, SMS, or directly to their iPhone or iPod® touch, and includes integration with Facebook and Twitter!
2. ICE iEmergency LITE
ICE (in case of emergency) contacts are becoming a standard notation for cell phones. The lite version of ICE iEmergency allows you to list your top three emergency contacts, as well as select a wallpaper screen displaying your designated ICE contact.
Ever been out and about and wished you knew where the closet library was to entertain your kids for a while? Well now you can find them with Library. Library will find the closest public library to your current location with a simple tap. Upon opening the application, your iPhone will ask for your permission to obtain your current location via GPS.
AroundMe is great all-around resource for finding everything in your area, including restaurants, hospitals, movie theaters, parking lots, supermarkets, gas stations and more. It also provides mapping functionality and enables you to send the information to a friend. It’s a perfect app for on-the-go parents who need help planning their errands and getting things done or finding things to do when traveling in unfamiliar locations.
5. ManGo Shopping
ManGo Shopping is *THE* one-stop store locator for retail shops wherever you are, by the people who made ManGo, FREE store locator.
6. Regator – Web’s Best Blogs
Bottom line, if you’re looking for a great way to discover content quickly and easily, there’s no better way to do it than with Regator. It takes all the work out of searching for news leaving you with fresh, readable content all housed within one great app.
7. Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner
It’s 5:00 p.m., you’re leaving work to pick the kids up from school and you have no idea what the dinner plan is. With Allrecipes.com’s cool ‘Dinner Spinner,’ you can select a dish type, ingredients, and prep time and ‘spin’ to see what kind of options pop up. Complete with photos and a search function, this is a great app for anyone who is responsible for meal planning in the house.
Never again forget upcoming holidays! IsWhen.info has told you, quickly and simply, on the web. Now IsWhen is available on the iPhone and iPod touch.
Download | Productivity | Free
Whether it’s an urgent report, a call to a friend, a project at school, a task at the mall-reQall gathers and manages them all, and alerts you at just the right time and place. Let reQall handle it!
10. Disney World Wait Times Free
I hope the rest of you will join me in using this particular wait times app. Even the interface for inputting a recent wait time is intuitive and actually kind of fun.
11. Bank & ATM Finder
Bank & ATM Finder is an easy-to use, quick, and convenient way to find a bank near you. This is a free application, so be sure to check it out!
12. Pizza Finder
Download | Navigation | Free
Need to find local Pizza places close to your home, dorm room, hotel room, or any U.S. location? Just pull out your iPhone“ or iPod touch“, access our FREE Pizza Finder application, and we’ll instantly provide you with up to 30 of your closest Pizzeria’s.
13. KidStatz LITE
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the FBI recommend that parents prepare themselves in case their son or daughter is lost, missing, or abducted. In many cases, parents lack the detailed information that is critical in locating their missing child quickly.
14. SitOrSquat: Bathroom Finder
The ultimate restroom finder! As seen on The Today Show, The View, NY Times, WIRED, The Wall Street Journal and Lifetime’s The Balancing Act
15. Shutterfly for iPhone
Download | Photography | Free
Shutterfly for iPhone allows you to get mobile with your memories—so you can upload, view and share your favorite pictures, wherever you are.
16. WebMD Mobile
Download | Healthcare & Fitness | Free
WebMD Mobile is new and improved. We’ve completely redesigned the app and added many new features.
Check your symptoms, access drug & treatment information, get first aid essentials, and check local health listings on the go, from the most trusted brand in health information.
17. Parents Magazine Flash Cards
The experts at Parents® magazine help moms and dads keep young children entertained and stimulate learning with Parents Flash Cards. The application comes with two free card sets; additional card packs are available through in-app purchase for $0.99 each. The included card packs are Colors and Shapes. The sets available for purchase include Letters and Numbers. All of the Parents Flash Cards packs contain multiple game types, including flash cards, quizzes, and tracing.
18. Mom Maps
Mom Maps helps you find fun, kid-friendly locations on the go! ** As seen in the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, Washington Post, Tech Crunch, Babble and more!
19. A Story Before Bed
Lucky owners of iPad2 devices. you can now record The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and The Emperor’s New Clothes right on your iPad2 using your front-facing camera.
20. Baby Buzz by The Bump
From the creators of the pregnancy and parenting site, TheBump.com, this free iPhone app is for busy mamas who want to stay informed, connected, and (most importantly) sane during that first year with baby.
21. Baby Alert Pro
After a noise is heard or the phone is moved, Baby Alert Pro can call a phone number and play back a soothing user-recorded sound.
22. Brain Gym
ATTENTION JIRBO FANS: our mesmerizing new 3D fish game, Tap Reef, has launched for iPhone and iPad. Check out tapreef.com to download this gorgeous game!
23. Eye Color
Download | Healthcare & Fitness | $0.99
Pigmentation in the colored part of the eye, the iris, determines our eye color. Humans have phenotype variations in eye color, such as blue, brown, green along with others. The genetics of eye colors which are s determined by multiple genes. Genetic probabilities govern a descendant’s eye color, depending on a lineage of many generations.
24. MyGrades App Lite
MyGradesLite is a grades management app designed specifically with students in mind. It is perfect for students taking lite semesters and summer or night classes. It allows you to keep track of your grades quickly and easily without doing any of the math yourself. Always know what your average grade is in all of your classes with MyGradesLite on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
25. Chow Chat
Chow Chat is an engaging, educational app that brings the family closer while encouraging critical thinking, language development and the sharing of diverse ideas.