Apps To Help Connect With Mom This Mother's Day

Weekly Smartphone App Roundup

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Flowers, gifts, and dinner are all very nice. But what Mom most often wants more than anything is to simply hear from you (or see you via videochat). Staying connected with your family from afar, especially dear ole Mom, is easier more than ever. Here are six apps to connect, interact, and share at the swipe and tap of a touchscreen button...

iOS

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Left: Flipboard - Right: LetterPress

Flipboard
Flipboard is a personal favorite app of mine, thanks to an interface which converts online sources and social networks like Facebook and Twitter into your very own customized digital magazine. The latest version offers even more personalized options for fine tuning the topics and online sources you want to digest. Now it's easier then ever to share fascinating topics with family, friends, and most importantly, Mom. Free - Also available for Android

LetterPress
Another app obsession in my life is LetterPress, a strategic turn-based word game where players are presented with a 5 x 5 grid of random letters and are tasked with creating words using them. Using the letters claims them, but beware, because the opposing player can snatch them back! The game ends when all the letters are used up, the winner being the player with most letters. LetterPress has the smallest learning curve and is played in tiny doses, making it a favorite to play with Mom. Free

Android

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Left: Contacts+ - Right: Bonfyre

Contacts+
Here's a way to let Mom know what all her kids are up to, highly recommended to load onto the smartphones of less tech-savvy parents. Contacts+ is an all-in-one app for social interactivity, with a photo-driven contacts list interface. Press a contact portrait and the app brings up Facebook updates and the option to call or text. Spreading different functions over multiple apps can get messy, but Contacts+ wins by simplifying the simple act of connection. Free

Bonfyre
Not everyone has a Facebook or Flickr account, which means accessing those services to stay connected can be a hurdle for Mom. Enter Bonfyre, a simple service that only shares photo albums between devices stored on the cloud. All Mom has to do is select your name, choose a photo album, and voila, she can see photos of her children and grandchildren at the touch of a button! Free - Also available for iOS

Windows Phone

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Left: Skype - Right: Greetings

Skype
Chances are your folks may already be aware of Skype. Skype's internet telephony service is an affordable way to connect via text, phone, and video calling. The strength of the service is its accessibility: smartphones, tablets, computers with webcams, and even Sony PSP's can use Skype. iOS has FaceTime built-in, but it isn't quite as versatile or widespread as Skype. This Mothers Day, if you can't drop by for a visit, consider setting a virtual face-to-face chat via Skype.  Free - Also available for iOS / Android

Greetings
What Mom doesn't love getting greeting cards from her children? Greetings is the paperless digital alternative to the old fashioned Hallmark card. Senders can choose or design their own card, create a message, sign it and send it out via text or e-mail. I recommend adding your own photo, a warm personalized touch allowing Mom to see the faces she misses and loves. Free

(Images: Jason Rodway; as linked above)