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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We’ve used our smartphone to make online payments before, but LevelUp is the first app we’ve seen that functions as a wallet, tip calculator, and savings jar all in one. After signing up for the free LevelUp service, you download the app and get a unique barcode that can be used to pay bills at any LevelUp merchant. Forgot your debit card again in a race to get the kids out the door? Just have the cashier scan your phone, and you’re on your way. We also like that you can earn cash-back rewards and discounts as you frequent more LevelUp businesses. The only catch is that you can only use the app at locations that have LevelUp’s pay system installed, but it’s already available in 12 major U.S. cities and counting.
Get it for iPhone + iPad, Free
Get it for Android, Free