Whether we’re using our smartphone to organize play dates or handing over the iPad to keep the kids entertained, we can’t live without our mobile gadgets. But with more than a million apps available in Apple’s iTunes Store and Android’s Google Play market, our smartphones and tablets are useful for a lot more than calls and games.
From baby monitors to vacation planners to virtual assistants for mom, our annual guide to the 50 best apps for parents has everything you need to get the most from your iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone. Best of all, most of these apps are free or available with free equivalents, so you can give them a whirl without having to put a dent in the family budget.
We hope you have as much fun checking out these apps as we did testing them. Be sure to tell us about your favorite apps, too — we can’t wait to see what you find! — Aaron Burgess
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Best Baby Monitor
If you and your significant other have two Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch), you can use your $3.99 investment in Best Baby Monitor to save on a “real” monitor for baby’s room. The app uses one device as a transmitter and the other as a receiver, and because it runs continuously in the background, you can monitor baby’s activity while you browse the web or catch up on email. You can also see and talk to baby from your transmitter, or get a wake-up call when she stirs — and, thanks to the app’s four included lullabies, you can even beam soothing music to her crib.
Get it for iPhone + iPad, $3.99