Apps even my mom can (and should!) use

Dear Mom,

You’re finding it increasingly difficult to resist the call of the glowing apple, and I know you’re about to email to ask for my app recommendations.  Given that my Mini and I are attached at the hip, I’m going to preempt you and offer my suggestions for things you need (and “need”).  Why no, this has nothing to do with my attempt to write 7 posts in 7 days (to everyone else, sorry for cheating; I’ll have something of more general interest tomorrow).  Anyway, in no particular order…

Google Chrome, Drive, Hangouts, and Gmail (all free)

Gmail and Chrome are the first apps you want to get.  The iPad comes with an email program, but it’s somewhat different from Gmail, and it’s just easier to use this one.  Hangouts is the easiest way to use gChat (including video chats with certain grandsons).  Drive is the least necessary, but if you have a lot of stuff there it’s nice to be able to access it.

Notability ($2.99)

I very rarely pay for apps, but if you think you’ll ever want to make or read PDFs on your iPad, this is the way to go.  You can type your own documents, open PDFs, and write on them.  I most often use it for knitting patterns (you can see one heavily “highlighted” pattern above).

Solitaire (free)


Not much to say here.  You know you’ll want it.  This version has ads that pop up between games, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay real money for solitaire.

Feedly (free)


At least as good as the desktop version; maybe better.

Kindle (free)

Of course, you can use this to read books you’ve actually purchased, but more often, I check out e-books from the library (it’s easy, really!).

Netflix (free)

20140225-101638.jpgNot much to say here, except that this is probably my most-used app.

Pandora (free)

You know what to do.

Instagram (free)


You know…in case you want to keep up with a certain daughter.

Wunderlist (free)

If you need to make any to-do lists, this is a really simple app for it.  You make an account, and then you can also access your lists from the computer.  I have my grocery list here, and then I just need to pull out my phone at the store.

Evernote (free)

20140225-101719.jpgI use the Evernote Chrome extension to save anything I might want to find later – recipes, quotes, haircut ideas, etc.  The app is just a good way to access them offline (and yes, I use it in the kitchen; what else are screen protectors good for?).

Pinterest (free)


I’m more inclined to use Evernote for things (the introvert in me just wants to keep things to myself), but in case you want access to your Pinterest boards, you should get this.

WordPress (free)

20140225-101704.jpgLast, and kinda least, WordPress.  I only “recommend” it because it’s the only way to get the blogging job done on the tablet, but this app kinda sucks.  It’s okay for quick posts, but as you can see above, the only option is to work in HTML mode, which makes dealing with multiple photos tricky.

So there you have it.  You’ve got my number if you need tech support.

PS – all these nifty screenshots came from pressing both buttons at the same time – couldn’t be simpler.


3 thoughts on “Apps even my mom can (and should!) use

  1. Sue Klejeski says:

    InstaCollage, Followers + for Instagram, InstaFrame, Padgram, but no little icon for Instagram. Clearly I’m doing something wrong, but I did type the correct thing on the search line.

  2. Beth Anne says:

    There’s an app called “posts” that is 10x better than the wordpress app there is also blogpro or something but it’s $4.99 and i haven’t caved to purchase it yet…

    • Holly says:

      Thanks – I’m going to have to try one of those! It’s ridiculous how averse I am to paying more than $1.99 for apps, but sometimes it’s just worthwhile.

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