Cell Phone Apps & Accessories

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IPhone Apps for my preschooler

Oct 2011

I'm looking for any recommendations for good quality reading or math iPhone apps for my daughter who is in preschool. Ones that she will want to use and will learn from. There is so much out there I don't know where to start. Help! heather

My daughter once got a big 'reward' for being a super kid - it was $10 for iPhone apps - here is how she spent it (she was 4 at the time):
- Jirbo Match (simple matching game)
- Signing Time (video demonstrations of ASL with video songs and a quiz game)
- Be Big (Clifford the Big Red Dog reading game)
- Super Why (both fun general games and specific reading games)
- TeamUmi (from Umi Zoomi - the games are focused on shapes and simple math)
- Letter Tracer - you use your finger for upper and lower case letters, and numbers 0 through 9. Shake to erase - very fun. There's also an option to hear a voice read the letter/number if she's just at the place for letter/number recognition, not writing.
iPhones can be educational
We had the same exact issue, and apparently so did some local moms -- there's a new site Mind Leap (www.mindleaptech.com) that I have found to be super helpful. It has reviews of *only* educational apps, categorized by grade level and subject. The apps are reviewed for their educational value, so the site tells you what and how your child will learn from it. Alison

Seeking iPhone app rec. for time management

March 2010

What iPhone app would you recommend for time management (organizing and tracking projects, tasks, etc.) I'd like one that has a Mac desktop counterpart. Would appreciate knowing why you like this one. Also, anyone successfully used Parallels to run Quicken on their Mac?? (I've seen too many dreadful reviews of the 2010 Quicken Essentials for Mac.) Thanks a bunch, ~lk

Howdy, lk, re time management: I'm happy with Basecamp for project management, and for tracking the time I spend on each task associated with each project. For my needs, it strikes just the right balance of power and simplicity. It's not perfect, but it has quickly become essential to my work. In classic Berkeley yuppie fashion, I've even started to use it to keep track of tasks related to the birth of our first child (any day now!) Basecamp is a hosted service that you can use via the web (for all of its functionality), via email (for some of its functionality), and/or via an iPhone app (for most of its functionality). Basecamp is a product of a very small Chicago company named 37signals. They're really good at what they do, and have some very interesting podcasts, books, and blog posts, all of which makes me forgive them for being a bit arrogant. (You might say they exhibit stereotypical Chicago rudeness at times.) I'm much happier giving them my money for Basecamp than giving money to Microsoft for MS Project. My most significant complaint with Basecamp so far is the fact that their export-all-data (=backup) function doesn't export Writeboards or Files, both of which I use fairly regularly. Worse yet, it doesn't tell you that it excludes these data - you have to dive in to the backup (or know to search their support forums) to find this out. So, don't use the Writeboards or Files features for anything you can't lose. For iPhone access to Basecamp, I spent a fair amount of time researching the various third-party apps before settling on Insight (formerly Encamp). Insight requires internet access to work well, and it doesn't deal well with slow connections, but overall it does the job of letting me keep up on my task- and time- tracking without having to open my laptop nearly as often. It costs $10/onetime, which proved worth it to me on the first day of use. The cost of the Basecamp service varies depending on what you need. There's a fairly limited (but still capable) free plan, and the paid plans range from $25/mo to $150/mo, each with a 30-day free trial. Free plan: https://signup.37signals.com/basecamp/Free/signup/new?referrer=GRAHAMFREEMAN Other plans: http://basecamphq.com/signup?referrer=GRAHAMFREEMAN Tour: http://basecamphq.com/tour?referrer=GRAHAMFREEMAN You may have noticed that those URLs include referral links. The referral won't cost you any extra nor preclude you from getting any deals, but if you sign up I'll get a referral bonus. If this makes you uncomfortable, just remove the ''=GRAHAMFREEMAN'' bit or search for ''Basecamp''. Billing for that tracked time: If you not only track but also bill for your time, you might want to consider Freshbooks. It's like Basecamp, but for billing and payment processing instead of project/task tracking. It also has an optional tie-in to Basecamp, wherein when you bill a client you can click on a button to import time tracking data from Basecamp into your Freshbooks invoice. It's a great fit for my workflow. Freshbooks is a very small company in Toronto who are not quite as innovative as 37signals, but they exhibit a much better attitude in their dealings with the public. You might say they exhibit stereotypical Canadian friendliness. Like Basecamp, it has an iPhone app that works for most (but not all) of the Freshbooks functionality. That app, Minibooks, costs $15/onetime last I checked. Sign-up (including free options): https://cernio.freshbooks.com/signup/ Second only to prioritizing my family over my work, switching to Freshbooks from Quickbooks Online was the best business decision I've made in recent years. Doing my billing is no longer a chore that I avoid.