Tag Archives: apps

7 Apps for Great Summertime Menus

By Tracey Dowdy

Ah, summer. Cookouts and campfires, marshmallows and mosquitos. I love summer at an irrational level for an adult that spends the majority of those glorious summer days trapped in an office. I’ve just never lost my “school’s out – let vacation begin” mentality, probably because summer foods are among my favorites.

Whether you’re looking for classic recipes like potato salad or want to step up your game and wow your guests with Lamb cutlets with spinach skordalia, there are plenty of apps for your smartphone or tablet that will make summer meals a breeze. How great is that? Because really, who doesn’t love a breeze on a hot summer day?

Big Oven

bigovenHands down one of my favorites, Big Oven is a one-stop shop for recipes, meal planning, and grocery shopping. With a database of over 250,000 recipes, plus the ability to add your own or favorites from another site, the possibilities are virtually endless. Plan your menus and have them sync to your calendar so they’re easily accessible and can be re-used.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: Free but in-app purchases

The Photo Cookbook

photocookbookThe Photo Cookbook is a paid app but it’s great if you’ve ever come to an instruction in a recipe and thought, “Wait, what? What does ‘butterfly the pork chops’ mean?” Beautifully shot, these photos walk you through step by step and are a great resource if you’re stepping outside your comfort zone to try new recipes and techniques.

Platform: iOS
Cost: $3.99

Weber’s On the Grill

webersWeber’s means grilling. Weber’s On the Grill app not only offers over 300 grilling recipes but step by step instructions and live demos to help everyone from beginners to more advanced grill masters learn new techniques.

iOS, Android
Cost: $4.99

Allthecooks Recipes!

allthecooksThe Allthecooks Recipes! app allows you to exchange recipes with family or friends. Once you’ve tried a recipe, you can post photos and other users can comment. You can ask users to submit ideas for substitutions, food or wine pairings, and post photos of their versions of favorite recipes as well. Recipes are sorted into categories and you can customize and create your own profile.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Perfect Produce

perfectproduceThe Perfect Produce app from SparkPeople isn’t so much a cooking app as it is a great way to make the most of the abundance of beautiful produce available this time of year. Information on selecting, washing, storing and preparing fruits and vegetables makes it easier to make healthier eating choices for you and your family.

iOS, Android
Cost: $1.99

Paprika Recipe Manager

paprikaThe beauty of Paprika Recipe Manager is that it doesn’t even have recipes. Instead, launch the app and it opens a Google search with Paprika’s recipe-related options. From there, search for a recipe or a favorite chef or food blogger’s site, select a recipe, hit Save, and Paprika scans the relevant information and creates a virtual “recipe card” in the app. Once saved, recipes can be edited, annotated and added to your calendar so you’ll know the last time you dazzled the family with a particular dish.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: $4.99

Green Kitchen

greenkitchenGreen Kitchen is a vegetarian’s dream come true. Beautifully illustrated, Green Kitchen is a collection of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free recipes. Even if you aren’t strictly vegetarian, it’s another great option for making the most of your produce and making the vegetables the star of the show instead of just a side dish.

iOS, Android
Cost: $4.99

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology.

Apps for Celebrating Independence Day

By Robyn Wright

Independence Day is coming up and that means lots of fun, fireworks and food, and all the other great things we love about summer. Everyone’s Independence Day is a little different, so here is an assortment of apps for your smartphones and tablets. You can create your own firework displays, get some great recipes for the BBQ, and even have first aid instructions at the ready just in case! Happy 4th of July!

Fireworks Deluxe Full

fireworks-deluxeWon’t get a chance to see the real thing? Fireworks Deluxe gives you a gorgeous display of fireworks right on your smartphone or tablet. I love the silhouette feature in the foreground!

Platform: Android
Cost: 99¢

Fireworks Arcade

fireworks-arcadeFireworks Arcade lets you watch a fireworks display, create your own, or play one of several games that use fireworks – all in one app!

Platform: Windows Phone
Cost: free

Phantom Fireworks

phantom-fireworksThe Phantom Fireworks app lets you find the nearest Phantom Fireworks store, get offers, and even see demos of the different fireworks that are available.

Platform: Android, iOS
Cost: free

Fourth of July

fourth-of-julyFourth of July is a simple coloring app with the perfect designs, so your little ones can celebrating Independence Day too!

Platform: Android
Cost: free

American Red Cross First Aid

american-red-crossUnfortunately, accidents do happen, so be prepared! The American Red Cross First Aid  app includes a guide on how to give first aid to those that need it – just in case.

Platform: Android, iOS, Kindle Fire (English), Android, iOS (Spanish)
Cost: free

Foodie Recipes

foodie-recipesFoodie Recipes includes a great collection of barbecue recipes to cook up this holiday weekend and all summer long.

Platform: iOS
Cost: free

UV Index Alert

uv-index-alertWith UV Index Alert, you input your zip code and find out what the UV Index is for your area. Now you know how many layers of protection to apply when you plan on being outdoors!

Platform: Windows Phone
Cost: free

Robyn Wright is a social media specialist and blogs on her own blog, RobynsOnlineWorld.com, as well as several other sites. Robyn has a love for family, technology, food and lots of apps!

How To Find the Right Apps

By Robyn Wright

Our devices have a lot of great apps preinstalled these days, but there are thousands more available to you in the app stores. For iOS users, that means the iTunes App Store; for Android users, Google Play; and Windows Phone users, the Windows App store.

There are apps designed specifically for smartphones, some just for tablets, and some that will work on multiple types of devices. With so many apps available, it can be a little overwhelming to find new things to try. However, all the stores have tools that can help you find just the right apps.

Register Your Device

Even if you only get free apps, you still want to create an account in your app store. This will store the apps you have download in case you get a new device. It also will help you see just those apps that are compatible with your device. If you do update your device, you can change that information in your account settings whenever you need to.

Editor’s Picks

All the stores have selections made by the editors of the store that they are spotlighting. These are apps that someone who works with apps regularly has looked at and are considered worth your time. Most Editors’ Picks are updated on a weekly basis. Make a habit of checking them out to find great apps.

Top Apps

The stores also have top app lists. Usually there is a top free apps, top paid apps, top game apps, and even top apps for other categories. The top free and paid lists do not change dramatically, but it is worth checking periodically. The other category top lists will change more often. If there is a specific type of app that you are looking for, such as photography, productivity, or weather, then keep an eye on those lists to see what apps are peaking everyone’s interest.

Suggested App Collections

Similar to the Editor’s Picks, many stores have put together collections based on a theme. These app collections will contain an assortment of apps that fall under the theme. Examples might be Apps for Baseball Fans, Finance Apps, or Racing Fan Apps. New collections are added regularly, so be sure to check often to see if any new collections have been added that are of interest to you.

Check the User Ratings

I encourage you to take the time to rate apps that you have used yourself, because these ratings really can be helpful to others. Not all ratings are helpful; some do not give a lot of detail (good or bad), but many can really tell you quite a bit. The more ratings an app has, the more you can trust the overall rating (stars) it has. However, if there are only a few ratings, be sure to read what reviewers are saying to see why some may be high and some low. If the app is not a free app, then this really is an important step, since you have a limited time to get a refund.

Look for Last Update

An app may look great and it may even have a high rating, but that does not mean it is up to date. All the apps will show when the last update was in the description. If it has been a few years, then it may not still be that great since technology has improved so much so quickly.

App Developer Info and Web Sites

Look for the name of the developer of the app in the description. You will start to see some companies over and over again and may find some brands you really like and some you do not like. When you find a company you like, look at other apps they have developed. Some companies will have links to their website as well; go check that out to get even more information.

All of these tips utilize what is already in the app store. If you regularly check out the app store for new apps and updates, you will find it becomes easier to use with each visit. Remember, you can try out as many apps as you like (particularly the free ones), and just uninstall the ones that you are not happy with. Remember, there really is an app for that!

Robyn Wright is a social media specialist and blogs on her own blog, RobynsOnlineWorld.com, as well as several other sites. Robyn has a love for family, technology, food and lots of apps!

Friday, June 13: The Wonderful World of Apps



When: TODAY, Friday, June 13, 2014
12:00-1:00 pm PT
3:00-4:00 pm ET

‘The Wonderful World of Apps’

Join @thetechdad @theonlinemom @RobynsWorld and @geekbabe TODAY at 12 noon PT (3 pm ET) as we look at The Wonderful World of Apps!
We love those little programs that bring us news, weather, movies, games and much, much more. But how do we find the best apps and which apps can make us more productive? Join us as we explore the wonderful word of apps and take the next step in streamlining our mobile lives!
RSVP and attend the party for a chance to win a GoPro Hero3+ (Silver) or a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition)!

(Click here to learn more about our Twitter chats. You must RSVP and attend the party to be eligible for a prize.)

  1. Email RSVP@theonlinemom.com (subject line: VZWBuzz) and include your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed: http://ow.ly/wQYTO
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#VZWBuzz) today between 12 – 1 pm PT
  4. Tell your Twitter followers!
PRIZE WINNERS will be announced during the Party!

(The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon Wireless.)