A Few of My Family's Favorite Apps
Between the Apple iTunes store and the Android Play store, there are more than a million apps available. So when they say there is an app for everything, this is not an exaggeration.
There is also an app for everyone as evidenced by my family. From ages 4 and up, everyone in my family has a favorite app.
My husband’s current favorite is the HDR photo app, which he uses on his Android phone. HDR (high dynamic range) pictures are created by taking multiple shots of the same scene with different exposure levels and overlaying them to add depth. This produces some spectacular results.
When using a regular camera, this can be a cumbersome process, but the app does it all for you right on the phone. It takes several pictures, stitches them together and gives you the final photo in an instant. The resulting photos are nothing short of spectacular.
My daughter, Marybeth, works for Bloomberg, so it is no surprise that her choice apps revolve around current news. She loves Flipboard and Pulse, which congregate news stories and put them into one place for your reading pleasure.
On Flipboard, you choose the type of news you want to follow and then are presented with stories on that subject from across the Web. It’s called Flipboard because as you swipe your finger across the screen the pages flip. Flipboard is available for the iPhone and iPad, and an Android version is in the works.
Pulse is similar, but it has a different interface and allows you to choose from specific news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Time, USA Today and many more. Pulse is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire and Nook
Marybeth’s husband, Patrik, also likes several news apps, including Bloomberg and CBS News. His favorite, however, is the Sonos app, which lets him control his Sonos music system from anywhere in the house.
Marybeth and Patrik have two girls who also love to use their iPad. Alexandra is almost 9, and her favorite app is Cut the Rope, which is a physics-based game in which you maneuver a piece of candy into the mouth of a green cartoon monster. The candy hangs by ropes that the player can cut with a swipe of their finger.
Alex is an expert at this game and can beat both her parents and grandparents. Cut the Rope is available for both Apple and Android. And if you use Internet Explorer, you can also play Cut the Rope on your computer. (http://www.cuttherope.ie)
Josefine, my 7-year-old granddaughter, is absolutely in love with Angry Birds, especially Angry Birds Space. She is unbelievably good at this physics-based game in which you fire birds out of slingshots at the fortresses created by the pigs who have stolen the bird’s eggs.
As a matter of fact, Josie is the Angry Birds champion of the entire family.
My daughter Brenda’s favorite app is called Labyrinth by Codify. This is a classic game in which you control a steel ball by tilting a wooden labyrinth. She loves being able to tilt the iPad or iPhone just like when she played the game on a wooden base as a kid.
Brenda’s son, Jake, plays baseball, so it is no surprise that he loves the MLB baseball app. Jake also likes Fruit Ninja HD, which is a tough yet nonbloody game. You use your finger on the screen to slash and splatter fruit like a true ninja fruit warrior, while avoiding the bombs. With a variety of blades and backgrounds, this game is both fun and addictive.
Brenda also uses several baseball apps for scorekeeping when Jake is on the field playing baseball. The Little League Baseball and Softball Scorekeeper app lets her create teams, schedules, rosters and lineups as well as keep scores.
It is an amazing app that brings scorekeeping to a new level. It lets you do things like advance players by dragging and dropping them on the screen. It makes the old paper scorekeeping seem quite obsolete.
My son Michael’s favorite app is Netflix since he uses the iPad to watch movies. This gives him a way to watch movies anywhere and anytime. I’m sure this comes in handy when his 4-year-old is watching “Tangled” on the television for the umpteenth time. And he can start and stop the movies at his discretion. Great when his 2-year old needs attention.
Both Mike and his wife, Rebecca, also like the All Recipe app, which is available for iPad and iPhone. It has some great recipes that you can find by searching its database. There is also an interesting “Inspire Me” button, which gives you scrumptious pictures that float around the screen waiting for you to choose the one you like.
Rebecca travels for business, with frequent trips to China and Japan, where she puts a free translator app by Codesign to good use.
It seems that there is no age too young for the iPad. My 4-year-old granddaughter, Addie, loves Angry Birds, and she also loves an app called Disney Fairies Fly, which is an adventure game with fairies who fly across the screen sprinkling fairy dust.
The graphics are stunning.
Somehow, it is not surprising that the app chosen by the youngest family member costs the most. The Fairies App for the iPad is $7.99. Netflix, as you probably know, requires a monthly fee. All of the other apps mentioned here are free.
Many, such as Cut the Rope, Angry Birds, All Recipes and Labyrinth, have free versions that are very useful, but also have paid versions, ranging from 99 cents to $9.99 that give you additional features.
If you haven’t yet entered the world of apps, you will be surprised when you do. There is truly an app for everyone, no matter what your age!
Contact Sandy Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story