There’s an App For That

For Christmas this year, Chris’s sister, Annie, gave Chris and I each an iTunes gift card for apps for our iPhones.  I didn’t even know you could get gift cards for apps, but it was an awesome gift!  $15.00 each has gotten Chris and I some really fun new apps and a few of those have become fast favorites for me.

CardBank ($0.99)

This one is my favorite right now.  You know how you carry around all those rewards member cards for various stores?  Your grocery store, CVS, Barnes and Noble, Sam’s Club, etc.  There’s a membership card and number for everything these days.  Nothing irritates me more though when I get to a store only to discover that I don’t have my membership card with me.  Then the clerk wants to look it up by my phone number, which NEVER works.  I also don’t like having a thousand of those little plastic cards on my keyring either.  And I don’t like carrying them in my wallet.  In short, those membership cards drive me crazy.  BUT NOT ANYMORE!!


This app is awesome.  You load in all your membership cards and numbers…


…and then it automatically generates the bar code for your membership.


Now, you have a whole directory in your phone with your membership card information and even a scanner bar. No need to ever carry those stupid cards around again! And if for some reason the app doesn’t have the information for the store you have a membership at (though I’ve only had that happen twice so far), you can still enter a custom entry with your number so that the number is stored. It doesn’t generate a bar code, but it does store your info so you can give it to the sales clerk.

It’s the greatest thing to ever happen to my iPhone, wallet, and keyring.


Occasions ($0.99)

I am terrible at remembering people’s birthdays.  For the first five years of my marriage, I gave Chris his birthday present on the wrong day.  Seriously.  So, this next app is really helpful for people like me.  You know how on Facebook they tell you every day whose birthday it is?  Well, this app does that for your phone.  And you can store all kinds of important dates on there – anniversaries, holidays, birthdays – and then every day you get a little message telling you whose big day it is.  They also have a calendar overview that helps you see birthday and important dates for a month at a time or a year at a time.  I have decided to buy birthday cards for people a month at a time using my Occasions app and then putting the card in my daily planner and mailing it the week of their birthday.  Problem solved!


My First Words (Free!)

This one I got for Bean Man and he loves it.  It’s a flashcard app that shows flashcards of different things babies and toddlers can identify.


First, you choose a category. Bean’s favorite right now are the animals.


Then all you have to do is tap the screen and the cards flip.


I like this app so much because Bean can work it himself. I use it mostly when we’re out somewhere, say, shopping and Bean starts to get fidgety. I go to the app, choose the category, and he can flip through the pictures himself. I love hearing him say all the words as I’m browsing around a store and he loves having total control of my phone. Everybody wins!

Words With Friends (Free!)

I tend to lean towards utility apps, meaning those apps that serve a purpose, make your life easier, DO something for you.  But one of my favorite apps does nothing except work out my English Literature skills.  Words With Friends is like playing Scrabble with your friends.  You can either find your friends by their user names or you can play with random strangers.  I love it because it’s interactive and it makes me use my noggin’, but also because it’s not something I have to pay too much attention to.  You just play your word and then wait until your friend moves – which can be a matter of minutes or a couple days later.  It’s as fast or slow paced as you want to play.  Your phone just sends you a little message when it’s your turn.  I love it.  And I’m addicted.

One time, I put my user name on Twitter and told people to start games with me.  I have over 50 games going at one time.  It was intense and overwhelming and so I quit them all.  (Sorry if you were one of my opponents)  Now, I try to only keep one or two games going at a time.  I’m all about quality, not quantity when it comes to Words With Friends.


So, those are some of my favorite apps right now.

What about you guys? What’s on your phone these days that floats your boat?

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17 Thoughts to “There’s an App For That”

  1. Okay, I’m buying CardBank right now – that looks freaking amazing! Especially because I’ve given up on bringing around all my membership cards, as they made my wallet roughly 2 inches wide, so instead I just give them my dad’s phone number, which is the number I always give out to people, because I’m a loving daughter that way, only then sometimes it doesn’t work and I have to try other numbers and then people think I’m an idiot who doesn’t know my phone number and it gets intense. And I just don’t like intensity. Not in my workouts and not in life.

  2. Claudia

    One of our favorite apps is Pandora. My roommate’s mom lives 4 hrs away and there is a complete radio dead zone for a good hour and a half; so, we hook up either one of our phones and just have Pandora playing. We also love it because it takes us away from the usual radio songs.

    We are also news junkies so the CNN app 🙂

  3. Amy

    Golly, Cardbank looks what my life has been missing! BUY.

  4. For bean- monkey lunchbox! I think it’s one dollar but totally worth it! It builds his counting, matching, puzzle skills. Henry adores it!

  5. Lisa

    I tend to fly a lot so I’m big on the game apps like Angry Birds, Flight Control, Jigsaw Jumble and Scrabble. As far as utility apps go, I love Skype, Shazam for identifying songs, and XE Currency which is useful for figuring out what something costs while traveling in comparison to your home currency.

  6. Cozi is one of my favorite apps. You set up your account at and there are two apps–one is free. Cozi is a family organizing tool. You can keep track of appointments, birthdays, etc–AND it syncs with Outlook so husband’s class schedule and meetings sync right in. And you can set it to remind you of various events via text message or email (we have one set that says: Monday night is trash night!) It also allows you to keep shopping lists. Cozi lets your whole family access the info–so the grocery list on my phone is the same that is on my husband’s. Super handy!

    For Porter, we have Baby Flash Cards (which he LOVES!) and Zoo Box. The flash cards are really something–he has learned so many words and objects with that app.

  7. I love pocket god and fruit ninja for games. I also love red laser, lets you scan barcodes of items and check prices at other local stores. This is very handy when I impulse shop. The flashlight app is also super helpful

  8. I love angry birds….totally addictive. Totally worth $0.99

  9. Michelle @ Mambo Gook

    I’m with Jessica! Angry birds is the best!! I don’t have an iPhone (with Verizon) but I always borrow my friends’ iPhones just to play the game. It is addictive and SO fun!

  10. Amy

    My favorite apps are:

    Redbox – This allows me to see what movies are available at my nearest Redbox and also to reserve them for pickup that day.

    TMZ – I love celebrity gossip!

    Flixster – You can enter your location and it lists the closest movie theaters. It lets you check what movies are playing and the times. It also has a feature that lets you check what movies will be released on dvd, with a new releases section and coming soon.

    Baby Piano – This is for the munchkin. He gets a kick out of playing with it and will keep him entertained if I need a few seconds in a store.

  11. Games: I love Angry Birds and Spider Solitaire

    We recently adopted a puppy who is quite the escape artist from his playpen. The iCam app lets me use my phone to check in on him (think nanny cam) while I am at work and make sure that he is safe. Sounds crazy but worth the peace of mind.

    I also love the Goodreads app that links to your goodreads account. When I am out and see a book that I want to read, I plug it in this app to remember the next time that I am at the library.

  12. ooooo…seriously – this makes me feel like someone who has been living in a dark sludy hole for the last 5 years. I don’t own anything with an i in the title. I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW ITUNES WORKS!!! I need to catch up with the world. They sound like pretty useful apps though!

  13. I am obsessed with Words with Friends, but it is hard to keep up with a ton of games. I have an iTouch, so I really just keep fun apps on there since I don’t have it with me all the time. There’s a cooking game app that is super fun and addictive called Cooking Academy.

  14. I have an iPhone and I’m ashamed to say that I have exactly….2 apps. I have Shazaam (turn it on while a song is playing and it will tell you the name of the song) and Bump (bump someone else’s hand while they hold their iphone and their information is entered into your phone). The end. I really need to browse around and get some more apps!!

  15. Hi, Katie. I’m a long time reader, first time commenter…I’ve been looking for the perfect post to comment on…I thought it was going to be when you mentioned you were becoming a teacher (I’m a middle school LAL teacher!!!) or when you said you were pregnant for a second time (I KNEW you were going to have a girl), but this seems like the perfect post because…I recently restarted my blog ( which is all about teaching middle school…I refocused my blog because I just got a set of 24 iPod touches to use in my classroom (!!!!!!!) and I’m writing about how my students are using (free) apps in the classroom…I’ve found a million great apps for younger children (great ones for Bean), but I feel I have to be creative in the way I use apps for middle school kids because the ones that are specific to LAL are too young…anyway, in my classroom I use BrainPOP (free daily videos), Scrabble, SATVocab, Merrian-Webster Dictionary, jidioms, a couple more, plus I had my students record their own presentations (flipping the camera to front view), instead of presenting in front of the classroom…the school gave me an iPod to use but I’ve only put Pandora and a French review app for myself, everything else is what I use in the classroom

  16. I have the Occasions app as well and love it! I also use Grocery IQ a lot. I can never remember everything I need when I go to the store or when I’m writing out a list right before I go, this way I check it off as I see I’m running low or I just scan the product’s bar code. You can even organize it by store if you shop at multiple places. I also use Baby Piano a lot for my little one,she loves to play with my phone and this way she gets to pound away and make music or animal sounds too.

  17. Nikki

    I just got the new Sprint Evo, which I love! It basically stole all of the ideas of an i-phone, which is awesome for me so now I can ditch the boring black berry. I have a footprints app that saves places you have been. You take a picture of it, it will GPS the location, and you can put in a special note about it. I’m lucky to travel a bit, so I think this is going to be so fun to use!

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