When I first got an iPhone I thought it was a bit indulgent, but now I don't remember how I got on without it. I love exploring new apps, especially free ones. Here are five that make life easier for me from what to do when my toddler hides the tv remote to keeping him entertained in a pinch.
• i.TV (free)
There are lots of things you can use i.TV for (find local listings, remotely schedule your dvr or Tivo, etc.), but the number one thing I use it for is to turn my iPhone into a remote control. My son must be part ferret because he seems to hide our tv remote in odd places at least once a week. After I've checked all the usual places (between the couch cushions, behind the dvd player, in my husband's shoe) I just load up i.TV until the remote surfaces.
• Virtuoso Piano (free)
This nifty app turns your iPhone into a miniature piano keyboard. The creators suggest you could learn to play the piano this way, but that seems a bit of a stretch to me. However, it's great fun for kids to play with especially as we kill a few minutes waiting for the bus.
• Just Light (free)
Among the simplest apps out there, this simply turns your screen into a bright white screen which gives off enough light to check in on your child at night and enough to get back to your room without stubbing your toe.
• Kideos (free)
I've been using Kideos since I wrote about it back in April: "Kideos streamlines the best online kids videos into one place so you know each video is kid-suitable." My son and I have started a playlist of our favorites which include a rapping Cookie Monster and cats flushing toilets.
• Hipstamatic ($1.99 to get started and you can purchase additional "Hipstapaks")
One downside to having an iPhone is that we tend to rely on it to take photos and are less inclined to take a real camera on outings. The quality of iPhone photos is only okay, but one way to jazz them up is to give them an old school feel with Hipstamatic's stylized lenses, flashes and films.
What's on your iPhone or iPad that you love?
(Image: Carrie McBride)