The Best Apps for Moms

With games, productivity and scheduling apps, learning tools and ways to grapple with your health and your family's finances, your smartphone and tablet answer your "Mom the Household Manager" needs while you're on the go. Some apps track information that's closer to home, including the status of your household technologies. Others enable your mobile gadgets to offer smart entertainment-control functionality. Even your home devices get into the act, with apps that run directly on energy-efficient appliances.

Track Laundry

No more running to the laundry room to check the status of a load in the washer or dryer: With smart appliances, you can monitor the wash and dry progress, start and stop laundry processes, and even select from a list of customized cleaning cycles before you program a load of clothes in a front-loading high-efficiency washer, all from an app for your smartphone or tablet. Your appliances alert your smartphone when a load finishes washing or drying and give you onscreen reports of their progress. Additionally, these appliances' built-in self-diagnostic capabilities can identify problems if they arise.

Monitor Food

Not all apps run on smartphones and tablets. Some refrigerators give you touch-screen control of cold- and frozen-food storage temperatures, and sets preferences for refrigerator features including the ice maker. Its front-panel screen may include apps you can use to leave yourself memos with a virtual keyboard, create reminders, share a household calendar, check the news or weather forecast, listen to Internet radio, access social media, keep an inventory of your chilled food—including what you've stored and where you put it—research ingredients and recipes, display photos and look for online menu inspiration.

Control Entertainment

Smart home-entertainment components and systems can do much more than display satellite or cable TV broadcasts, play back recorded shows and events, and bring music to your media room. With a smartphone or tablet that's compatible with your entertainment technology, you can use an app to turn a mobile device into a remote control that operates your HDTV or home theater system through Wi-Fi® access. Smart TVs as well as some home theater systems and Blu-ray players include their own apps for direct onscreen access to social media, streaming content, and customized services that help you stay fit and help your children learn.

Share Photos & Videos

Your camcorder or digital camera can spare you the task of removing memory cards to copy videos and photos to your home computer so you can back them up or upload them to social media sites. Built-in software handles backups and uploads through Wi-Fi connectivity. Some camcorders access online sites directly through your home or office network. Others take advantage of your home computer to provide one-touch access to upload capabilities. Select the videos you want to share, add a USB connection to your computer, and your devices do the rest.

Photo Credits: DESCRIBETHEFAUNA.COM/Demand Media

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