1. Google Plus – Location Sharing – Free.
Google used to have a product called Google Latitude that would allow people to share their location with select others in real time. My spouse and I used this service so we knew when the other had arrived home, was on the way home from work etc. It saved phoning each other when we were driving etc.
The latitude product has been discontinued but essentially has been folded into Google Plus. Download the Google Plus app onto your child’s phone. Set them up with a Google Plus profile, and set it up so that they are sharing their location with you.
Why? – For safety. An older teen will know how to just turn it off if they want to get up to mischief but, if your younger child has a phone, then it’s a good bet. For older children and teens, you could also make having a phone contingent on them having the location sharing turned on. This app turns the phone into a safety device.
2. Find My Iphone or the Android Equivalent
If you are purchasing a phone for your child and they lose the phone, you can use Find My Iphone to find it. The app is also good for busy Moms or Moms whose kids like to play “hide my phone.”
3. Gas Buddy
As a Mom, you probably do a lot of driving around running errands and driving your kids around. With the touch of one button, the Gas Buddy app will tell you the gas prices of stations near you and the distance. This app is great if you want to fill up while you’re waiting for your child’s sports practice to end, or just to check out gas prices in different neighborhoods you visit.
I could’ve really used this app on a recent road trip when I got gouged at a gas station at a highway rest stop and then realized there were gas stations less than a mile down the road that were charging over 50c a gallon less. It was a little bit naive of me to pull into the first gas station at the exit and not realize I’d be paying a premium at the first gas station off the exit. I didn’t trust my instincts that there would be another cheaper gas station down the street and instead thought “well, there are lots of other people fueling up here.” Turns out there are lots of other stupid people!
photo credit: DaveLawler via photopin CC