Tag Archives: Life360

Apps for Safer Trick or Treating

By Tracey Dowdy

Tis the season! No, not Christmas, though if you’ve been in WalMart or Target lately there’s plenty of Christmas décor to confuse you. Halloween is nearly here and with it comes all the cautionary tales of Halloween Past. When I was a kid it was razor blades in apples, now it seems we’ve moved on to fears of drug-laced candy.

Of course, parents should exercise caution at Halloween – at what other time do we encourage children to accept candy from strangers? – particularly if your child has food allergies or sensitivities.

These apps can help ensure your little goblins have a safe and happy Halloween.

The First Aid: American Red Cross app features videos, interactive quizzes, with easy to understand step-by-step advice for all kinds of medical emergencies including allergies and anaphylaxis, so you can feel better prepared in the event of an emergency. The app is fully integrated with 911, so you can contact emergency services directly through the app. Free – iOS/Android

Spokin is a food allergy app that provides you with allergen related resources customized to your family’s food allergies, location, and experience. Protect your child from accidental exposure through Spokin’s hidden allergen feature or find answers to your questions, and even follow another user with the same food allergies and taste. Free – iOS

Google Maps lets you keep track of your child’s location in real-time or use it to access the location of a parent or chaperone who might be with them. You need at least two smartphones (or a tablet with cellular) with the Google Maps app downloaded and location sharing activated – one for you and one that goes with the trick-or-treaters. Once downloaded on both devices, open “Location Sharing” on the left-hand side menu on the app. Free – iOS/Android

Life360 allows you to set up a trick-or-treat route with your children and as they reach the next zone on the map, you receive a notification on your smartphone. The apps also share the phone’s battery life, so you’ll know if the phone did die, or if they turned it off to do a second round of trick or treating. Free – iOS/Android

For many of us, it’s impossible to know all your neighbors. The FBI and U.S. Department of Justice have sex offender registries that connect all U.S. state, tribal, and territory websites so that citizens can search for the identities and locations of known sex offenders.  

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.


Top 10 Apps for the Business Traveler

By Michael Connolly

Not to age myself, but when I first traveled for business, I had to find a pay phone to call the airline and confirm that the flight was on time.  While I somehow got from point A to B, I have never had more fun traveling for business than today. The apps I use know me better than I know them. Below are my top 10:


What!? My boarding pass doesn’t have my frequent flyer number? I just got an email that my credit card bill is due tomorrow. My wife is calling asking what our AAA number is. My daughter forgot the Apple ID and password. With the 1Password app, I can store all my passwords in one app and take care of tasks while standing online at security. Of course you don’t want to have the same password for everything but good luck remembering all of them. That’s why this app is great, especially while on the road.

Platform: iOS, Android, Windows


There are apps that have cracked my top 10 not based on productivity as much as based on enhancement of the business travel experience. Pocket stores articles for offline use. I actually smile when the flight attendant tells everyone to turn their devices onto airplane mode. Then I know it’s time to catch up on all of the articles I’ve saved on Pocket. It becomes like a customized newspaper that I enjoy creating, then reading.

Platform: iOS, Android


This app will tell you everything about the terminal you are in, security wait times, flight delays, gate changes or layover time adjustments. Last week in Cleveland, GateGuru told me that there is a Chic-Fil-A in between terminal A and B. Thank you!

Platform: iOS, Android


This is my go to for a central portal for flight itineraries. You book a flight and send the confirmation email to Tripit. The app organizes and presents the itinerary in a very readable way. The concept of forwarding an email to Tripit makes this an essential app to have.

Platform: iOS, Android, Windows


Life360 tracks anyone you choose (with their consent) on a map. I have my family on there and see each of their icons on the map, which shows where they are by their phone location. No more “Honey, when will you be home?” Just look at the app. “When are the in-laws coming over?” Look at the app. As a business traveler, there are times that I may be delayed or tied up and Life360 allows my family to know where I am at all times. We have never used it in an emergency but I can imagine how useful it would be if the need arose.

Platform: iOS, Android, Windows


This crowdsourcing app shows real time traffic and route suggestions. The first time I heard it say “Caution, car on shoulder in 10 feet” I thought a helicopter was following me from above. The perfect app for auto travel, particularly in lesser known cities. It has reduced the stress of just renting a car and hoping to get to my meeting on time.

Platform: iOS, Android

Business Insider

Of the hundreds of news apps, I really like the journalism associated with Business Insider.  I find myself referring to articles during small talk with clients. The articles feed you with interesting facts that are useful for people who work in a variety of industries.  It is my go to for “food for thought” information.

Platform: iOS, Android, Windows


Why would a business traveler put Nest in their top 10? Do you remember winter? Nest remotely controls your home’s thermostat. I remember that one Thursday in January when I got home late and the house was nice and warm. That’s because as soon as I landed at LGA, I set the thermostat to 70 degrees. Enough said!

Platform: iOS, Android, Windows


Google? Yes. What about the weather app? WatchESPN? Don’t you want to know how the market is doing? Once I clicked on Google, all that information was there! Like 15 apps worth of information customized to my needs. A one stop shop for travel, weather, sports and anything else that I need. It proactively lists all my interests. One time it showed a sale on running shoes (I guess it saw me shop the other day).

Platform: Android

DH Texas Hold’em

Once you are up to date on news, traffic, flights and weather, what is a business traveler to do? This app rounds out my top 10 for the joy it brings during a delayed flight. While we were stuck on a runway with some people moaning and some shouting, I was in a conversation with people from Indonesia, Russia and Italy. We were all sitting around a table playing a friendly game of poker (no real money). By the time I looked up, the person in the best mood on that delayed flight was…. me!

Platform: Android

Do you have a favorite travel app for business? Share it with us here!