App Reviews

It's hard to keep up with apps that your kids are using. Here you'll find reviews of popular apps such as Snapchat and Instagram, along with others you may not have heard of such as Omegle and Whisper. You'll also find reviews of apps that are helpful and useful for kids, teens and adults.

Live video broadcasting apps Meerkat, Periscope, and YouNow – okay for kids?

Example of topics streaming on YouNow

Here are three apps all parents should have on their radar. Meerkat, Periscope and YouNow are apps used to live-stream video from your phone. More than just recording videos and sending them, with these apps you hit “record” and people can watch you – live. Sound a little scary? A little voyeuristic? A little narcissistic? I thought so too! I downloaded all three to see what they were all about and yes, there are many kids and teens broadcasting their lives.

New Snapchat feature called Discover adds to teens’ media consumption

Snapchat discover

Snapchat has added a new feature called Discover, which delivers curated content from the likes of CNN, ESPN, People, and Cosmopolitan. Between Discover and the previously added Stories, Snapchat is moving beyond its origins as a disappearing messaging app. Snapchat Discover includes some questionable content for the young teen audience.

Whisper App – another anonymous sharing app parents should know about

Whisper logo

I hope that you never find Whisper on your teen’s phone. I could end this article right here! But that wouldn’t be too helpful. If you haven’t heard of Whisper, it is an anonymous sharing app where you can divulge your deepest, darkest secret to an audience of unknown people, and voyeuristically read and respond to their confessions.

Vacation Planning Apps, Tips, and Tools

Vacation Planning Apps

Is a tech-free, screen-free vacation possible? As our family gears up for a summer road trip, this question has come to mind. I like the idea of completely un-plugging while on vacation. But at the same time, we are using a number of apps and sites to plan our trip, and will also rely on a few while out on the open road.

Snapchat changes: Chat, Stories, and No, they never really disappeared!


Seems like the creators of Snapchat have had a change of heart recently. And perhaps this change was not so much out of the kindness of their hearts, but in reality a “mea culpa” due to FTC charges that Snapchat delivered false promises of forever-disappearing photos. So what does this mean to the many tweens and teens who use Snapchat? Everything shared online, has the potential to stay online, despite claims to the contrary.

Yik Yak anonymous messaging app

Yik Yak

I mentioned Yik Yak in my recent post “Not all Apps are for Kids”. This anonymous messaging app is back in the news again due to a story on the Today show. Here are a few things parents should know about this popular anonymous messaging app that is popular on college campuses, but also wreaking havoc in high schools across the country.

Keep your kids and community safe with the Lassy App

Lassy Project App

I think we’d all agree that one child abduction per year is one too many. Sadly, there were over 258,000 child abductions in the United States in 2011. One recent case was that of Jessica Ridgeway, a ten-year old who was kidnapped on her way to school in 2012 and murdered. The Lassy project app, a child tracking system, was inspired by Jessica’s story. The Lassy app uses the power of a village of neighbors and community members who can receive an “escalated” alert about a possible missing child.

Do You OoVoo? Maybe your kids do!

OoVoo logo

OoVoo is a video chat and messaging app, and is available for iPhone/iPod/iPads and Androids. You can also use OoVoo on a computer (PC or MAC). With OoVoo you can video chat with up to 12 people at a time; you can see four people at once on screen during these video chats. I think this is the feature that kids really like. While kids can use FaceTime on their iPods and iPads, FaceTime only allows for a two-way call. OoVoo will let them have a little video chat party.

What is Tango? Is Tango okay for Kids?


It takes two to Tango, but with the Tango app you can tango with up to 50 people at once. Tango is a messaging app, similar to popular apps like Kik and WhatsApp. Tango seems to have about a billion features, and describes itself as the “all-in-one” social networking app. With over 160 million registered users, it’s quite possible your teen may have heard of or is using Tango. settings for Safety and Privacy (to the extent that is possible)

This isn’t an article warning of the dangers of using; you can find that online already. I wanted to offer some advice to parents whose teens already use this service. If you read some of the articles on the web and say “no way!” that is totally understandable! These are simply suggestions for settings to use if you should decide it’s okay for your teen to continue with As a parent you know your kids best and set the rules you are comfortable with.