Tag Archives: apps

iPhone Photography for Parents: Apps That Will Make Your Life More Colorful Instantly

The rapidly increasing photographic capabilities of the iPhone are beginning to rival those of standalone cameras. Apple’s flagship smartphone manages to pull off amazing iPhonography without the use of additional lenses and filters. That’s especially convenient for busy parents without a lot of time to fiddle with their camera equipment when trying to capture a moment in time. Here are four amazing iOS apps that will allow you to take stellar photos on the fly with your phone.


While Instagram is more closely associated with nostalgic hipsters and the technorati, it’s really perfect for anybody who wants to take distinctive photos. It’s the kind of app that’s tailor-made for taking photos of the kids at the beach. Vacation photos just look better for some reason when they have a washed out, analog color palette created by a custom filter and some post-production effects.  A newer feature of Instagram is that you can import photo from your iphone’s photo album and edit them in Instagram.  I love this! Sometimes I just can’t get to Instagram quick enough to snap a shot using the Instagram app, but now I can snap the shot with the native camera app then import it into Instragram to edit and publish online.

Pros: It is very easy to view your photo with many different filters in just seconds.
Cons: As of now, there isn’t a way to access your Instagram photos via an online interface.  With the number of iPhone users using Instagram, this would be a great feature.

Instagram iPhone photograph example
Instsagram photograph - Click to enlarge


Much like Instagram, Hipstamatic allows parents to tweak the look of their family photos to achieve a timeless feel. The stock installation of Hipstamatic costs a mere $1.99, though the base functionality can be extended with “HipstaPaks” comprised of custom filters that run $0.99 a piece. I spent about $5 on “HipstaPaks” for purposes of this story.  Users can preview the add-on HipstaPaks and download the right digital lenses before a photo shoot or family trip, ensuring that you get the perfect look to match any given occasion.  The one thing that I wish Hipstamatic did like Instagram, is allow us to import photographs into the app.  That’s not in Hipstamatic’s plans for now though.
The photographs in the image to the right were all taken with Hipstamatic.  I just changed the film for each photograph. Unlike with Instagram, I couldn’t see the filter being applied to the photo as I lined it up so I didn’t know how the photograph was going to turn out.

Pros: Hipstamatic allows users to share a photo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,Tumblr, Flickr, and a Hipstaccount.
Not easy to switch between films (essentially filters).  You can’t import photographs from your iPhone photo album in order to apply Hipstamatic ‘effects’ to them.

Hipstamatic iPhone photo examples
Hipstamatic photographs - Click to enlarge


If you’re a busy, sleep deprived mom who still cares about looking good, moreBeaute2 should be right up your alley. Like a lightweight, mobile version of Photoshop that works automatically, moreBeaute2 snaps amazing pictures while removing wrinkles and dark under-eye circles immediately. In order to get rid of dark under-eye circles and wrinkles, just take a picture and tap the auto-correct button to look flawless in your photos. Like a mild form of airbrushing, it makes everyone look their best. This is one of my favorite iPhonography apps.. for obvious reasons!

Pros: moreBeaute2 can make the most tired mom look awake and fresh, instantly.
Cons: You can’t adjust color or contrast within the app.

moreBeaute2 iPhone photo app
Before | After - Click to enlarge

Software has an impressive ability to make up for the limitations of the underlying hardware that it’s running on, which is especially true when it comes to mobile photography. That’s not to imply that iOS devices are weak when it comes to the quality of their lenses. However, you can take far better pictures of the family with these programs by your side. For weary parents who rely on their trusty iPhone to act as their primary camera, these worthy applications are all you’ll ever need.
Do you have a favorite iPhone photography app?
Share with us in the comments below.  We love to learn about new and interesting apps!
Alicia Hagan, Editor
I was not compensated from any of these app companies, for this story. I purchased all of the apps mentioned above and all opinions are 100% my own.

Auryn, Inc. Supports National Reading Month by Offering a Free iPad Storybook App Every Day in March!

Auryn, Inc iPad Storybook appsMy 5 year old loves Auryn’s storybook apps for the iPad.  Her favorite is Teddy’s Night (<< my review link). Auryn, Inc., the most award-winning digital publisher and creator of unprecedented children storybook apps for iPad and tablet devices, announced today that several of the notable and award-winning apps from the company’s popular collection will be offered free, throughout the month of March. In recognition of National Reading Month, Auryn is giving away one free storybook app each day of the month to promote reading among children on digital devices. Among the titles available for free download during March will include:

March is recognized throughout the U.S. as National Reading Month; designated as such by the National Education Association. The organization will celebrate its 15th Annual Read Across America Day this year, a nationwide program that helps children discover the joy of reading and is expected to draw more than 45 million participants on Friday, March 2. “Supporting National Reading Month with free storybook apps to inspire kids to read in a decade of all things video is a natural extension of our overall mission to encourage reading in the new age of technology,” said Umesh Shukla, Founder and CEO of Auryn. “We are thrilled to bring a renewed enthusiasm for reading to our youth by bringing illustrations to life through animation and interactivity.” About Auryn, Inc. Founded by Academy award-winning visual effects experts from Hollywood’s top movie studios, Auryn Inc. is the most award-winning digital publisher of storybook and creative apps for the iPad, iPhone, Android and other tablet devices. Recognized by the Producers Guild of America and Variety magazine as the Digital 25 top innovator in Emerging Media and winner of more app awards than any other digital publisher, Auryn is paving the way in digital publishing and fast-becoming the leader in children’s storybook apps. For more on Auryn, visit www.auryn.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest at: www.facebook.com/appsbyauryn and www.twitter.com/ AurynApps and http://pinterest.com/appsbyauryn/

My iPhone 3G screen shattered last night!

iPhone 3G shattered screen

I can’t say it wasn’t my fault. I was getting out the car, holding two books in my arm with my iPhone on top of the books. I think I was trying to hold the door open so Madelyn’s fingers wouldn’t get squished while she was trying to squeeze past Sebastian who was not in a hurry to get out of the car. Things were just a little chaotic. My iPhone slipped off the book and landed flat on the driveaway then bounced over to land on its back. Serious, major, HUGE bummer! I feel like an idiot for letting that happen.
Over the years my iPhone has been abused by the kids and myself (not on purpose) and I guess that I started to think it was invincible. NO, it’s not. Just the right fall, the right angle, and the right surface shattered my iPhone screen and not as if I didn’t already, but I realize how attached I am to it and how much I rely on my iPhone.
Every night when I put Madelyn to bed, I lay with her and read the news on my iPhone. I check my email on my iPhone when I’m out, I have several applications I use regularly such as Things, iNotify, and TwitterFon.

What am I going to do? Oh wait.. I also make and receive phone calls from my iPhone. Huh, I forgot it’s a phone. There really is no point to this post except to remind my readers that iPhones aren’t unbreakable and unfortunately, you can’t get insurance on an iPhone through AT&T (when I purchased mine that wasn’t an option).

Today I’m struggling with these options:

  • Apple will replace the screen at the Apple store for $199 (the cost of a new iPhone!?)
  • I found several online stores that sell replacement iPhone screens for $25-$60+ and extra for the tools required to replace the iPhone screen myself (Tim would do it).
  • Get a new iPhone
  • Borrow my Dad’s extra iPhone.. but I feel bad about that.

Have you ever had to replace your iPhone screen? What do you think I should do?

Book review: My New iPhone

My New iPhone book reviewAs my regular readers know, I love my iPhone.  I love almost everything about it; the phone and the apps are awesome.  The camera though, is not so great but that’s why I have a regular camera!

Whether you just bought an iPhone or you are thinking about buying one, My New iPhone is for you.  The books explains every detail of the iPhone from working with the keyboard to voicemail to how to browse the built in YouTube feature for videos.  You’re not just making calls with your iPhone are you?  If so, shame on you!

This project-oriented book will have you using your iPhone like a pro in no time.
My advice is to buy the book, put it in your car and read it while you are waiting in the carpool/pick-up line at school. You can easily cover a few projects while waiting.

There are lots of pictures making My New iPhone an easy read, especially for those of us with ADHD who have a hard time reading for more than 5 minutes at a time… or for those of us who have kids for that matter.

Wallace Wang, author of the best-selling My New Mac, will show you, step-by-step, how to:

  • View weather predictions, traffic patterns, flight information, and stocks
  • Take notes, text message your friends, and browse the web
  • Customize your iPhone by rearranging icons and changing its wallpaper and sound effects
  • Find and install the best new applications and games
  • Browse iTunes, listen to music, and watch YouTube videos
  • Use Skype to call your family for free
  • Create your own ringtones and get free podcasts and audiobooks

Buy the book at Amazon.com here: My New iPhone: 52 Simple Projects to Get You Started

P.S. Read our iPhone reviews here.

Enjoy My New iPhone and why don’t you let me know what your favorite iPhone feature and/or iPhone app is while you’re here!

Alicia Hagan, TMI Editor

Top 10 iPhone applications for parents

I rely on my iPhone for every day from setting up reminders, writing notes, sending & reading email to listening to and finding music and taking & sending photographs.

Here are my top 10 favorite iPhone applications that I (or my kids) use almost every day.  The prices and features of these Apps may change.

  1. Jott – Free. A really easy to use notepad that turns your voice recordings into notes and sends them to your email if you want.  Website, desktop, and iPhone sync available, free!
  2. Grocery Gadget Shopping List – $2.99.  Keep track of what you need, edit & delete items, and keep a running track of your total while shopping!  Popular grocery items are included but you can manually add and delete items as needed. I love this app.
  3. FLEX Photo Lab – Free.  A must have for parents.  If you take photographs with your iPhone, you have to download this app.  You can adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation of your photographs and apply cool effects.
  4. Say Who Dialer – Free.  Don't dial and drive!  Just say a name in your contact book or a telephone number to connect your call.  You can create an auto-dial list and even nickname favorite numbers like 'pizza' or 'babysitter'.
  5. Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab – This is a really fun collection of 5 puzzle games.
  6. reMovem – Free and paid version available.  This is an addictive iPhone game.  All you do is remove blocks of colors to get points. The bigger the block of the same color, the more points you get.  When you clear the screen you get 200 bonus points.
  7. Preschool Adventure – .99.  Madelyn loves this game.   Toddlers will learn shapes, color, sounds, and matching with bright colors, and fun sounds.
  8. Shazam – Free.  This is a great app that will recognize any song and tell you what it is so you can buy it via iTunes. Just hold your iPhone up to your radio speaker and it will tell you what the name of the song is in about 10-12 seconds.
  9. Easy Relax – Free and paid version available.  High quality ambient and background noises to help you relax.  Easy Relax is great for using for yourself or your kids at bedtime.  The sounds are real and so relaxing! There are 7 preset relaxing sounds.
  10. Pandora – Free.  Pandora streams music right to your iPhone.  Create your own personalized music station that plays your favorite songs and artists.