Posted on 12/17/2014

5 Free Apps to Download On Your Teen’s New Phone

Apps/ Birthing/ Family/ Tech/ Teen

Phones are a fairly common gift for special occasions like holidays and birthdays, but before you gift these awesome new mini communication devices, there are some apps you should download for both your child’s safety and your own peace of mind. Keep reading for some innovative apps necessary to any kid or teen’s phone.

Credit: Dollar Photo Club

Credit: Dollar Photo Club

Life360: Parents are always asking their kids to check in when they get to their friend’s house, or after school. This app makes checking in so much easier (for both parties). If your daughter forgets to call, you can still see that she made it to the theater in time via the app, or request a location check in, which will remind her to let you know she’s OK. I used this app during Thanksgiving weekend to communicate with family and really enjoyed it. You can read about my experience, here.

Available: Android, Windows and Apple

Type While Walk: Teens are always looking down at their phones, right? This app allows texters to see what they’re texting and what’s in front of them so that they can still walk and text (but a bit safer).

Available: Android, Apple

A Scheduling App: One great app for Apple is iStudiez Lite (pro is $2.99), which helps keep students organized and on track with their classes and activities. Since this isn’t available for Android, I looked up a great alternative: the highly rated Schedule Planner. This app creates a list of daily activities and tracks progress on tasks within different life categories.

Lookout Security & Antivirus: Cyber crime can be very scary, and even more frightening when you’re a teen simply trying to use an app. Lookout Security makes sure any app your teen downloads on their phone is a safe app and that all websites viewed are also safe using anti-virus software. This app also serves as a backup service and can locate and block lost devices then notify you with an alarm when you’re close. This is a safety app everyone should have installed.

Available: Android, Apple

A Text-Free Driving App: There are a few different options for these types of app, both paid and unpaid so I’m going to give you a few options. If you want your teen to hear a message while driving and have the app auto-respond that they’re driving and will respond later then the No Text While Driving app for Android is great. A similar (and award-winning) option is DriveSafe.ly, which is available to both Android and Apple devices. But if the talking is still distracting, Esure’s DriveOFF Android app completely locks all apps when your teen is driving and doesn’t give off distracting notifications.

Even with all these fantastic apps installed, be sure to create a list of ground rules for your teen’s new phone, too, even if your child has had a phone in the past. This is a brand new phone with new capabilities and there are new apps released daily (some pretty scary ones, like these)— It’s important your teen understands age-appropriate usage, what’s OK and what isn’t OK to download and use on their phone, and any other important rules you feel should apply.

What are some must-have phone apps you’ve downloaded on your teen’s phone? Share in the comments below!

A special thank you to Life360 (a free app available for Android, Windows and Apple/ios products) for sponsoring this post.

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