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As I wrote a while back, I switched from a Pantech Duo to a Blackberry Pearl cell phone last June as it had an antenna strong enough for the apartment I was living in. While the Pearl was better for phone calls and the antenna was definitely stronger, the phone itself was not the greatest when it came to texting or working on the internet. In addition, the keyboard colors were harder for me to see than my Pantech Duo. (Can you tell I REALLY missed my Pantech Duo!!!) On top of which, I was REALLY tired of forgetting to take the two steps necessary to prevent acccidental 911 calls and then discovering my phone had called the emergency number yet again. VERY stressful for this Sandwich Generation granny nanny! Don’t get me wrong. The Blackberry Pearl was a big help in that apartment and it has a lot of great qualities. I am keeping it as a back up and in case I need some of its specific business options. It is, however, not one of my favorite cell phones.
I was, therefore, thrilled when a dear friend, who had recently upgraded to the iPhone 3g, gave me her old original iPhone. It still works wonderfully but it doesn’t have a couple of features she really needed. Since I don’t need those particular features, I’m in iPhone heaven!
First I had to learn some basics. Once those were mastered, I moved on to one of the really fun features of the iPhone – Apps (mobile applications). Guess what! I discovered there are plenty of apps for the Sandwich Generation. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you. Naturally, since I am always on the lookout for great ways to save money, most of these apps are free, or have a free option. I’ve linked the apps to their primary website for your information (as well as an opportunity to see other apps some of the creators have designed), but all of these are found and downloaded directly from iTunes – either using your computer or your iPhone. 🙂
- Pocket First Aid & CPR I wrote a review about Pocket First Aid & CPR app a while back. It’s one of the most expensive on this list but it’s definitely worth it.
- WebMD has a useful and free medical app for both IOS and the Android. I really appreciate it’s symptom checker.
- If you or an elderly parent can’t sleep, and are looking for different ways to fall asleep but don’t want to listen to a sermon or music, you might like to try some “white noise.” Two apps that offer that option are White Noise Lite and Sleep Machine Lite. Both of the LITE versions are FREE.
If you’d like to have some fun mobile apps for your kids or grandkids, perhaps while waiting for dinner at a restaurant, there are a lot of great options out there, including:
- Hangman Pro – A fun version of the ever popular word game that doesn’t require a paper or pencil. We prefer the paid version. It supports 1 or 2 players, and includes pre-set games with topics like animals. That’s easy for us to play while I am driving. We select a category, and the grandchild fills in our guesses, reading off where we are. It’s fun for them and exercises my brain as well. 🙂
- Tic Tac Toe by Optime – Gives you the option of one or two players. Easy and fun to play by yourself while waiting or with your grandchildren. Please note: There is a network option which allows you to play with other people you don’t know. You might not want your grandchildren to select that option. Tic Tac Free has a free and a paid version. I often upgrade but this game is great as the free version which is very nice. 🙂
- Wooden Labyrinth 3D – A very cool iPhone app your grandkids and you will love. It’s based on one of those wooden maze boxes with holes. The goal is to get a marble through the maze without dropping into one of the holes. It is so realistic looking you’ll go wow! Free and paid versions
- Brain Challenger
- Basic Math – Math Multiplication Trainer
- Crayola Color Alive
- TV Guide has an app that I really like. It works well, including providing TV show listings, and can be quite handy for a long distance Sandwich Generation caregiver. Set it up for your long distance caree. Then, if they need help finding a show, you are all set to help them. FREE.
- Kindle – This book-reading software is quite handy for everyone, but particularly those of us who might need to spend prolonged and/or unexpected time sitting in doctors’ offices or emergency rooms without enough time to grab a book. The nice part is that Kindles are great ways to save money as the Kindle versions of books are often less expensive than a physical book. And the best part about this app is that it is FREE.
- PocketBible by Laridian -“There is no charge for the PocketBible program, and it includes access to the King James Version Bible and 39 other free Bibles and reference book,” including the ASV, Matthew Henry’s concise commentary, and Pilgrim’s Progress. I first downloaded the Laridian software years ago with my Windows Mobile 6 cell phone. At that time, I also purchased the NIV and Message options from Laridian. I love that, once I purchased them, they have worked on all the different cell phones I’ve had, including the Blackberry and the iPhone. I’ve always enjoyed this Bible software for cell phones but it’s especially easy to use on the iPhone! It definitely makes it easy to look up inspirational Bible verses on tough days away from my primary computer. FREE for the basics. Fees for additional Bible versions or other books.
Well, that’s it for now, though I’ll have more suggestions “down the road.” How about you? What are your favorite apps? We’d love to hear about them. 🙂
P.S. UPDATE 3/22/12 My old iPhone 3gs has been replaced by my equally wonderful, and even better 4s – BUT the 3gs is still going strong as my grandkids iPhone turned into an iTouch. I keep it in my purse for car trips, long lines, and fun bedtime snuggles as we play the Words with Friends game apps together. They’re BOTH outstanding! For those who don’t want to change phones, the iTouch is just as great a resource for grandparents AND caregivers in AND out of the Sandwich Generation as the iPhone and I highly recommend both! 🙂
P.S. Update 3/17/18 I’m now on the iPhone 7+ and have updated the above apps. Some are ios, some Android and many are both. 🙂
My husband has and loves an iPhone. I can’t see a need for one in my life as a stay-at-home mom, yet. My daughter has a Tinkerbell game on it that she plays. She’s watched little movies on it in the car and plays a drawing game. It has been great in a pinch when she’s bored (age 4). The camera on it is good enough to print a decent 4×6 photo. I have my husband snap a photo when opportunities arise and I’ve left my camera at home. Also a friend just told me there’s a grocery store App to save and organize your grocery list. I would love that but would need my own phone!
Hi Joey, Thanks for the info and ideas. I’ll have to look for that grocery list. 🙂
16 iPhone Apps For The Sandwich Generation | http://ow.ly/Szvo
Thanks for posting this. I’m starting to feel like such a Luddite with a Blackberry. I’m thinking of making the switch soon, mainly because of the video camera on the iPhone. We’ve got a couple of little boys and my wife and I would love to have a quick way to capture those moments that happen when you don’t have the big video camera all set up.
Does yours have video? If so, do you like it?
Thanks…and Happy New Year!
Hi Matt, The Blackberry does have some advantages over iPhone. I did learn to love the Suretype – most of the time. I am using an iPhone original and don’t currently have video. My friend with the iPhone 3g also does not have video. She said it’s the 3gs that offers it. I’ve heard the ones on the 2g are not great but the ones on the 3gs are good enough to use online. Engadget has a great review on the iPhone 3gs. They wrote “In our opinion, the 3GS video quality is high enough that we’d consider this a viable stand-in for lower end camcorders or flip cams,” and “The second reason we’re a fan of the 3GS video functionality is simple: editing.” I’m definitely hoping to upgrade to that one when I’m eligible later this year. 🙂
Hi Stav, Thanks for the heads up. I have a few of those, but many were new to me and i’ve added four to try out. Thanks so much for the info.
Visiting Nurse Service of New York blogger Amy Dixon Drouin just posted her 10 iPhone apps for caregivers here http://blogs.vnsny.org/2010/06/20/ten-iphone-apps-for-creative-caregivers/. Check it out.