Parents can’t be expected to remember everything, especially those who have recently had a child. If you have a smartphone, which you probably do – apps are a great to integrate all parts of your life into one compact device. Here are just five apps that every mum needs on her phone, and for good reason!
Keep your to-do-list all in one place with this helpful app which is quick and easy to use. It also translates voice entries which is ideal for busy parents who are constantly buzzing from point A to point B. The best part? It’s free.
Allrecipes Dinner Spinner
The best way to access popular website allrecipes.com without leaving your browser. The search functions are are divided by relevance, rating and popularity so you always have a yummy dish.
Simply compare prices by scanning barcodes from your favourite shops, and the app will tell you where to find the best bargain. It’s just like a personal shopping system!
Finding it difficult to keep up with all those bills? This handy app keeps tabs on bills, when you need to pay them, and links all of your accounts into one secure place. You can even pay online!
De-clutter your wallet from all those loyalty cards and keep them in this simple app right on your phone. Here, the shop assistant can easily scan the barcode straight from your phone. Simply search for the shop, and you’re ready to go.
What are some of your favourite apps?
Image via Martini Mum
Wouldn’t you love to try your makeup on from home before actually buying it? YouCam is a fantastic new app that acts like a virtual makeup kit and allows users to test out new types of products. All you have to do is hold the phone up to your face – selfie style – and you can click through a bunch of different types of makeup to see how they would look on you… Genius, right!?
Inspired by international makeup trends from Chanel, M.A.C, Covergirl, and more, it can be used to test out various makeup looks from the comfort of your own home.
Whether you want a pouty lip like Kylie Jenner, a signature smokey eye like Kristen Stewart, or simply want to try black lipstick without actually trying it, hating it, and going through the pain and heartbreak of removing it!
YouCam Makeup automatically saves your final makeup styles and offers a variety of sharing options – including sending to your favourite social networks, online galleries, cloud storage and more.
Share with your friends or keep it for a laugh in your own personal records – the choice is yours!
Available now from Google Play and iTunes
While meditation began as a spiritual pursuit, it has become an exercise of many non-religious practitioners as science and medicine continue to champion its benefits.
Meditation helps relieve stress and improve mental clarity. One of the most common types of meditation is the practice of “mindfulness” – focused attention on a singular aspect in the present, such as your breath or a particular body part. Meditation can help lower anxiety, maintain focus, assist creativity, improve your memory, and just generally lift your mood.
However, not everyone has the time and money to attend meditation or yoga classes. Instead, I prefer to take a few minutes out of my day, whether that is before bed, on my lunch break, or on the train, to plug in my headphones and practice guided meditation with the assistance of one of these mobile apps.
Simply Being – $0.99
Simply Being will help you relax and settle into the moment, by encouraging you to “simply be.” You can select long or short meditations (ranging from 5 to 20 minutes), and listen to your guided session with optional background music or nature sounds. The app is easy to use and great for beginners, especially those who have trouble sleeping.
Headspace – Free
Headspace founder, Andy Puddicombe, is a former Buddhist monk and a minor meditation celebrity. Headspace was built on the principle that dedicating just ten minutes per day to mindfulness practice can have miraculous effects on your wellbeing. The Headspace ‘Take 10’ program serves this philosophy, offering ten minutes of meditation over a ten-day period. An engaging, friendly voice guides the meditations, which are also accompanied by a fun animated video.
Buddhify 2 – $2.99
Buddhify is the most popular app of its kind and, not coincidentally, also the most expensive on this list. However, what is a one-off $2.99 in comparison to ongoing class fees? Buddhify has custom meditations befitting whatever you are doing in that moment. You can select an activity or mood from a colorful wheel of options, such as “walking”, “can’t sleep”, or “work break”. On top of a brilliant design, Buddhify also offers a stats page, social media sharing opportunities, and solo meditation for the more experienced practitioners.
Omvana – Free
Omvana claims it is “more than the Spotify of meditation.” It offers thousands of tracks created by musicians and authors from around the world, which you can add to your personal library and customise to your liking. There are all types of meditations that will help you sleep, lose weight, or just feel great. While the app is free and comes with some sample tracks to start you off, you will have to purchase any extras from the iTunes store.
Transform Your Life is different from the other apps on this list, as it does not provide guided meditation clips, but rather written meditations for you to contemplate over the course of each day. You can set a reminder on your phone to receive a daily assignment in “awareness practice”. The ultimate goal is to help you see past the social and cultural conditioning that might limit your happiness and mental clarity. It is great motivation for those seeking a long-term exercise in compassionate and mindful living.
Image via globalone.tv
L’Oréal will soon launch Makeup Genius, an app that allows you to try on 300 colour cosmetics from its virtual shelves by turning your iPhone into a mirror, according to Women’s Wear Daily. It basically uses a snapshot of your face and can apply your selected shadow, rouge or lipstick in all the right places by recognising the difference between the skin on your eyes, lips and face. It works on all ethnicities, allows for 400 lighting situations, and you can tilt your face backwards and forwards as if you’re looking in a mirror.
This allows you to try before you buy. Up until now, it’s only when you get home and test your colour wares that you’ll find out if you suit a colour or not.
WWD says in the US, beauty stores will be installing L’Oréal’s Makeup Genius app on what they’re calling digital terminals, so you can try the app before you download that, too. The price is yet to be confirmed but we think it’s worth the investment.
We love any technology that helps women protect themselves, so we were really excited to hear about a new app – created by an Australian grandfather! – called GotU, which is the new essential app for all women.
GotU turns the table of attackers by capturing and transmitting photographic evidence of any threat or attack, within seconds to only the user’s chosen trusted recipients. The message received includes a tamperproof image of the situation, a map and GPS co-ordinates, date, time and other data.
And it couldn’t be easier to use. Just one touch, and the photo and data are recorded and sent.
GotU was conceived by Keith Jolly, a 72-year-old semi-retired IT professional, and a grandfather of five from rural New South Wales. In 2011 he and his wife witnessed an assault on a Sydney train. As the attack took place in front of horrified passengers, Mr Jolly realised he needed an app on his smartphone that immediately transmitted evidence of a crime to secure locations, before any offender had time to take or destroy his phone, and without becoming a target himself.
Mr. Jolly said GotU is also intended to record, and potentially deter other harmful incidents. These include alcohol induced violence, bullying, sexual harassment, workplace and campus harassment and assault, taxi violence, racial crime, stalking, abduction, rape, mistreatment of the elderly and disabled, assault and institutional persecution. GotU can also be a useful tool for witnessing violations of restraining orders and AVOs.
We think GotU is an essential app for any smartphone user, and at only $1.99, it’s a no-brainer. Download it for yourself, your kids, or gift a friend.
Mr Jolly and his colleagues are donating a percentage of proceeds to global anti-violence organisations. GotU is not an alternative to calling the emergency services but an app Mr Jolly says he wished he had had on his smartphone that day on the train in 2011.
GotU was launched globally to coincide with the UN’s 16 Days of activism against gender violence, and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. According to the World Health Organisation’s first global study into the prevalence of violence against women released in July, nearly 30% of women globally have suffered sexual and/or physical violence, often at hands of their partner.
Visit www.gotutech.com to download the app now.
Meeting your match in real life or online is so 2012. If you’re not addicted to Tinder, Fancied or soon-to-launch in Australia, Grouper, chances are you’re not Gen X & Y, single or looking to become so. Hailed as the ‘straight’ Grindr – are Tinder, Fancied and Grouper all about one night stands or long-term love?
Dating through apps is just the thing for those with short attention spans, very short attention spans.
If hanging out with friends in bars or at parties or combing through online profiles is just all too tedious for you – a tap or a swipe of your phone could be just the thing between you and meeting your one, true love. Or, at least, your one ‘you-look-pretty-alright-for-tonight’ hook-up scenario.
What’s it all about? Tinder links to your Facebook page and notifies you, via profile shots, based on your Facebook mutual friends and interests, who is single and looking for love nearby. You like what you see? Swipe right to the green heart to register your interest. Not floating your boat? Swipe left to the red cross to say ‘not in this lifetime.’ If you both give each other a ‘green heart’ light, a conversation via the app can begin.
Tinder is the fastest growing dating app. The company is reluctant to release figures but since Tinder launched in September last year, Forbes says users have rated each other’s profiles 3.5 billion times and have been matched up 35 million times.
According to Tinder’s Australian brand manager, Joshua Metz, the app is downloaded more than 1000 times a day in Australia alone.
Pros: The app saves you from potential romantic humiliation by letting you anonymously ‘like’ or ‘reject’ your nearby suiters/users. Only if they ‘like’ you too will Tinder make an introduction and you can start communicating via the app. You can’t be randomly messaged by people you don’t know or don’t want to know.
Got some down time waiting for the bus to arrive to meet up with friends? You could potentially line up a date (or several) for that night.
Cons: By trawling through your Facebook to look for folk nearby with mutual friends and interests, the chances of stumbling across your ex; your best friend’s ex or even your second cousin is more than likely.
Your picture – and their picture – is your only chance to make an impression. Dangerous territory for folk clinging desperately to a flattering snap taken 5 years ago, especially if you actually plan to meet up in real life, at some stage, there’s going to be that awkward 3 minutes of non-recognition.
What if you accidentally swipe ‘no thanks’ when you meant to ‘green heart’ someone? You’ll never get that person back on screen. Imagine, it could’ve been your one true love…
Good for: Wanting to broaden your social circle slightly in a comfortable, non threatening way.
Not so great for: Someone who desperately believes in soulmates and hopes they will magically appear in the palm of their hand via their phone. Whilst some will be more legitimately looking for love than others, the very nature of the app makes random hook-ups and bragging rights very easy. But if that’s what you’re looking for, good luck to you.
What’s it all about? Fancied is an Australian-based dating app launched 4 weeks ago and already boasts thousands of ‘fancies’ nationally. Aimed at the 18-35 demographic, the app is gaining popularity with users sharing the app with friends via Facebook.
Founder and CEO of Fancied, Christie Sharpe explains, “We are thrilled with the results and have 60% engagement on the app, this is mainly because users are getting matched by people they mutually like.
Like Tinder, Fancied links to your Facebook page and offers up profile shots, names and ages of potential matches who are nearby and looking for love. You can either play the ‘fancy’ game and search profiles nearby or check into a venue listed as a ‘hot spot’ for singles ready to meet.
Again, like Tinder, liking or not liking someone is kept anonymous until two ‘likes’ become one.
Pros: Using the geo-location ‘hot spot’ allows the user to know where all the fun-loving singles are mingling close by and can join accordingly.
Cons: Like Tinder, by trawling mutual friends on Facebook, the chance of your ex, your best friend’s ex or your cousin is again, a dating possibility.
Good for: The ‘push-to-maps’ feature is great for users geographically challenged to find their way to the right bar to meet their match.
Not so great for: Similar to Tinder, those looking to find their soulmate may be in luck but also exposed to some of society’s not so romantic idealists.
What’s it all about? Originally launched in New York as a three-on-three blind dating service, Grouper is a dating app available in 20 cities across the US that will soon launch in Australia.
You sign up for Grouper, pick a specific date and time or choose the on-demand feature, choose two wingmen/besties, pay an up front yet-to-be-determined fee per person for the date and the app automatically sets you up with three others of the opposite sex.
The fee paid pays for the first round of drinks and ensures everyone actually turns up. And then it flows (or not) from there.
Grouper Director of Operations, Kristen Badal, says “We’re launching in Australia in coming months so I encourage single Aussies to sign up at joingrouper.com to find out when and where we will be happening.”
Pros: Grouper sees itself more as an app for meeting people than a dating service. In the US, it is more popular with women and has a roughly 60/40 split between women and men members.
Expanding your social circle and going on a ‘blind date’ with two of your besties takes the intimidation and safety issues out of the blind date equation.
Cons: What’s the etiquette? Do the six of you interact as a group or do you make a beeline for your favourite and start to pair off?
What if no one wants to talk to you or you get left with the third party that wasn’t really ‘into’ the blind date in the first place?
Good for: Folk who need a concierge for their social life. Can’t think of a new bar to visit? Grouper can sort that, and the company you keep, out for you.
Not so great for: If you go on the ‘blind date’ with three friends with similar tastes in the opposite sex. Bestie biffo over a bloke at the end of the night is never a good look. It gets worse if only one of you gets an SMS asking for a second date. Oh dear.
Have you tried mobile phone dating? What are your favourite dating websites or apps?