tbh: (Free, iOS/Android) – the latest anonymous app popular among teens
Tbh is the latest, hottest app among teens. It lets them take a series of polls about their friends in their contact lists anonymously. All questions are supposed to be positive and prompt teens to identify their friends with titles like “world’s best party planner,” “makes you laugh the hardest” or “always knows what to say and when to say it.” Still: there are some warnings about this app for parents, and it can easily go sideways into mean-girls territory in a snap. (Read more here.)
Lake is a free coloring book app that’s great for relaxing and winding down after a stressful day, and is great with kids and adults alike. The app comes with a selection of free illustrations, and each day, users can unlock and color a single new illustration, using coloring tools such as an acrylic or watercolor brush, spray paint, or a fill tool, with a gradient color wheel and custom palettes. In-app purchases can unlock new coloring books, and a subscription unlocks all content.
Headspace (Free to try for 10-days, then $7.99/month)
Headspace features guided meditations in time frames as short as two minutes and as long as an hour. There are meditations for specific topics, such as anxiety and relationships. It works on a desktop, iPad, iPhone and Android. The best way to see if it’s for you is to try a free 10-day trial, which will teach you the basics of meditating. If you like it, you can subscribe to the app for $7.99 per month.
Patronus (Free, in-app purchases)
Patronus is a personal security app that provides location sharing as well as an enhanced mobile 911 service that helps emergency responders find you immediately based on your mobile phone’s GPS sensors. An “On My Way” feature lets people share their location and destination with contacts so they can watch your progress on a map link; when you arrive, the app sends a message to confirm your arrival and shuts off location sharing.
Peanut (Free, iOS, Android)
This app is kind of like Tinder for Mom-friends. You create a profile with your own likes and interests, and then you’re shown profiles of other moms in the area. If you think there’s a match and friendship can bloom, then you can “wave” to her; and if she waves back, you’ll be connected to chat. You can also create group chats and meetup invitations, but fair warning: You’ll need a Facebook account to register and verify your mom-ness.
iNaturalist (Free, iOS, Android)
This is an app created by the California Academy of Science in San Francisco. You point it at a plant or animal, insect, or just about in the wild – and it uses artificial intelligence to tell you exactly what it is. If it’s not sure, it will tell you what it most likely is. It’s kind of like a cross between Shazam (for music) and a really big old-fashioned field guide.