Parents are busy people. Whether you are employed full-time or a homemaker, you are bound to busy fulfilling your duties as a parent to your kids!
Luckily, with a few nifty apps, your smartphone or tablet can help (and if you don’t have a tablet yet – check out our magikbee Buyers’ Guide!). We have here selected our top 4 apps that can help save you time and afford you a couple of extra minutes relaxing – as we know, every little bit helps!
All of the apps we have chosen are available on both iOS and Android, and we’ve noted prices for UK and US customers.
1. Out of Milk – avoid the grocery shopping hassle!
Out of Milk automatically categorises items on your shopping list. Screenshot on iPhone
Grocery shopping is part of life, and sometimes it can feel like you spend more time at the supermarket than you do at home! Fortunately, there is an app can help streamline the process and make your life that little bit easier.
Out of Milk is a free shopping list app that will save you a lot of hassle and possibly even a bit of money. To create lists on the app, you search for products that then are cleverly categorised (meat, dairy, produce, etc) on your list, making it easy to read and saving you from jumping back and forth from different sections in the supermarket.
Meanwhile, the Pantry List feature allows you to list all the items you already have at home so you don’t double up at the shops. There is also a To Do List option.
2.kiddZtube – safe viewing space for the young ones
kiddZtube is our safe, fun and educational app for preschoolers
Kids love watching videos – they always have, only today, it is not just on TV sets. Children have access to tablets and smartphones, which is both positive and negative. Positive, as these devices offer huge potential for education and communication. Negative, as kids can be exposed to all sorts of inappropriate – and often outright dangerous – material online.
Enter our preschool video app, kiddZtube. We’re biased, but we think it’s the best app out there for the age group. kiddZtube offers a big selection of kids’ favourite videos and channels, all hand-picked from YouTube by real-life teachers, so you know your young ones are in good hands. You can also choose to have pop-up quiz questions in each video that test spelling, counting, colours, and more – so kids learn while they watch.
kiddZtube is just £3.99 or $3.99 per month (3.99 € for European customers), and with new videos frequently added, there will be plenty to keep the kids entertained and always safe.
Spotify is simply the best music streaming service.
It is nice to have music in the background when you are blistering through the day’s chores – whether in the car or in the kitchen. But with no time for fiddling around, you need a system that is easy to use.
You have, of course, already heard about Spotify. We’re here just to confirm how fantastic it really is. The service uses the latest technologies to understand your music tastes, meaning it recommendations are almost always spot on.
Meanwhile, Spotify is hassle-free and synchronises super smoothly across your devices. And with thousands of playlists, made both by Spotify and by users, you will never, ever run out of music to listen to.
Spotify is free to download and use, but to skip ads and listen to music offline, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid package. Spotify Premium for Family costs just £14.99 or $14.99 per month and gets you 5 unique accounts, as long as all users live at the same address.
Managing a family can be stressful. Very stressful. But if you get overwhelmed from time to time – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Calm is a popular mindfulness app that is designed to help with stress, anxiety, and sleep problems.. Chosen as Apple’s App of the Year in 2017, Calm is very popular and is packed with functionality for users of every experience level.
The app focuses on a number of specific issues, such as calming anxiety or relationships, and there is even a Calm Kids feature for under-18s. A subscription costs $12.99/month or $69.99/year, or £34.99/year for UK customers.
So there you have it! Our 4 favourite apps for busy parents this year. Happy apping!
We hope you enjoyed this blog post!
Our team has is sharing some of the knowledge learned over the past three years… Working on and designing technologies and gadgets. We hope to help you, the kids, mum, dad, aunts & uncles, grandparents and the rest of the family make the best tech choices, as well as offering fun ideas for all the family.
We test, set up, and experiment with a broad range of tablets of various models and brands every day in our office. It’s what we do – and it’s essential work that enables us to create the best products for our customers.
Importantly, aside from being hardworking magikbee employees, we are parents – and we too like to play! So we’ve made a list of the top tablets for the whole family using the knowledge we have acquired working and playing with these devices over the years.
1. iPad 9.7 (2018)
This affordable model is the best iPad for most of us and is now compatible with the Apple Pencil. From £309.85 on Amazon UK and $339 on Amazon US
Released earlier this year, the iPad 9.7 is focused on education and is offered at a discount to schools. Even without the markdown, this is still the cheapest iPad of its type that Apple has ever released, making it a perfect family option.
Boasting powerful processors and hefty storage (minimum 64GB), the device runs fast and will store a large number of apps, music, and photos without hassle. The screen is large and beautiful – ideal for keeping the kids entertained on long journeys. The size also makes this iPad perfect for streaming apps, games, and interactive toys – such as our very own Magik Play.
2. iPad Mini 4 – Refurbished
We love the smaller iPad which is available from Apple’s refurbishing service at a good price. From £339 atApple UK and $279 at Apple US
The iPad Mini is the middle ground for those of us that don’t need a huge screen but still want an upgrade on the smartphone viewing experience. While it’s a few years old (released originally in 2015), the Mini 4 is packed full of features, boasts a beautiful display and is easily fast enough for pretty much any day-to-day task.
The smaller size is ideal for those that move around a lot, slotting neatly into a handbag or backpack. The device has a premium feel to it and will tolerate a reasonable level of rough-housing from careless big hands or adventurous little ones.
While still not the cheapest on the market, devices refurbished by Apple are practically good as new and come with a one year warranty, making them the perfect option for those who want the iPad but don’t want to fork out the full retail price. We are big fans of these.
3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
In our opinion, the best Android tablet at a spectacular price – from £375.00 at Amazon UK and $442.99 on Amazon US
This Samsung model is suitableboth forregular consumers searching for the basics and forprofessionals seeking a tablet to use for work.
For those in the first category, the combination of stunning sound quality and an excellent screen make this an especially attractiveoptionfor those that like to spend a lot of time in front of the screen – watching parenting documentaries, perhaps!
Meanwhile, the Tab S3 comes with an S Pen – perfect for people looking for a practical and productive work tool. Samsung also has a handy keyboard stand to go with the tablet, though bear in mind that this is sold separately.
The Tab S3 is the most balanced alternative to the iPad 9.7 and is a great option for keeping kids busy. Even if your young ones are heavy users, churning through the substantial battery – and let’s be honest, low battery devices are a key cause of stress in today’s world! – you need not to worry, as the S3 comes equipped with fast-charging.
By the way, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is also available, but factoring in price and capability, the S3 remains our third choice.
4. Fire 7
Amazon’s super cheap Android tablet that now comes with Alexa – from £49.99 at Amazon UK and $49.99 on Amazon US
OS: Customized Android 5.1 (Lollipop)
Screen size: 7-inch
Resolution: 600 x 1024 pixels
CPU: Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7
microSD slot: Yes, up to 256 GB
Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 2980 mAh battery
Rear camera: 2MP
Front camera: VGA
This tablet is not likely to impress: it is slow, the screen is poor, and the plastic body feels cheap. No surprises there, then – as that’s exactly what this tablet is: cheap. Very, very cheap. But at this price level, it’s hard to kick up to much of a fuss about the quality.
And that’s what makes this a great tablet – especially if it is exclusively for the kids, as you won’t worry too much if it ends up with orange juice inside it or a crayon shoved in the aux input.
And, in fact, if you are willing to double up to 100 big ones (in either £ or $), Amazon also offers a “Kids Edition” decked out with a protective case and a 2-year, “worry-free” guarantee. If your kids have a tendency to break things, this could be the perfect choice.
5. Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
A fantasticAndroidalternative to the iPad Mini – from £299.99 at Amazon UK and $319.99 on Amazon US
Are you the type that just doesn’t like Apple software? If so, this is the best alternative on the market in the mini tablet category and is in our opinion a superb Android option. And, if you like to be able to control your devices with just one hand, this Huawei MediaPad is perfect.
The cute size is perfect for when you are on the move – take it on car journeys or whip it out in times of need at restaurants (let’s be honest – we all do it!).
Did you enjoy these tips? Well, we have some good news!
The magikbee team has decided to share some of the knowledge learned over the past three years of working on and designing technologies and gadgets. We hope to help you, the kids, mum, dad, aunts & uncles, grandparents and the rest of the family make the best tech choices, as well as offering fun ideas for all the family.
Funding round of $250k to grow our EdTech portfolio
We are delighted to announce today that Magikbee has secured a further $250,000 round of funding that will help us to continue to develop our EdTech portfolio.
Over the past two years, the company has introduced a number of innovative technologies in the education segment including Magik Play, a set of interactive building blocks that synch with the iPad, and a video streaming app for preschoolers called kiddZtube.
New Products launched!
In addition, building on the same technology found in Magik Play, the company recently launched Magik Book. A paper catalogue that links to a tablet, with digital content synchronised to each page. At the same time, we intend to further expand the content and customer features of its video app, kiddZtube.
Growing the company!
The latest round values the company at $3.3 million and is funded by Portuguese angel investor Ideias Glaciares, which also led the first round, Bluemind Investments and a private investor, James Fitzgerald, Global Vice-President of Silicon Valley-based cloud services company ServiceNow. James, who will join Magikbee’s Board, successfully led ServiceNow’s expansion in Asia. He also has years of international experience across the globe that will be critical to Magikbee’s growth.
“We are delighted to have investors that share our vision and our passion. This round represents an important milestone in the company’s strategy. It will allowing us to expand the team, strengthen the product offering and test the market with some new products.”
Headquartered in Portugal, Magikbee is a member of the Portuguese Startup Braga Innovation Hub and a Microsoft Ventures partner. Our mission is: reimagine kids’ education by using their own actions and choices to teach them in a fun and engaging way. Furthermore, in a 100% safe environment.
Magikbee has earned several international recognitions such as: Finalist of the Silicon Valley World Cup Tech Challenge in the AR/VR category, finalist of the Prémio Nacional Industrias Criativas and a STEM award from Purdue University in the US.
The new platform allows teachers to create educational videos and quizzes from YouTube content
Preschool teachers have a new tool to spark learning in their classrooms or to take on-the-go. Edtech startup magikbee has launched kiddZtube Academy, a platform for early years educators that enables them to create educational video-quizzes from YouTube content by augmenting pop-up questions to each video. The technology allows teachers to transform kids’ favourite video content into an educational tool to teach spelling, counting, colours and other core skills. As children watch cartoons and listen to songs they are asked questions aloud about what they are watching.
The free platform is aimed specifically at professionals in the early years education sector. kiddZtube Academy is a natural extension of the existing kiddZtube offer – an app available across iOS and Android with 1,000 video quizzes selected from YouTube and curated by magikbee’s group of teachers. Now the technology is open to educators worldwide for use at school and at home.
The real value aboutkiddZtube is the way it transforms watching videos!
On the one hand includes classic cartoons and on the other hand, features the most modern and favourite videos of children. This provides an active and educational experience by adding pop-up questionnaires to each video. Besides, questions are contextual and use imagery from the video in question. Because of that, kids are more engaged with the experience, rather than watching passively.
“Our team loves the fact that all the videos are selected and curated by real-life teachers. They can add educative quizzes that ask children questions about what they’re watching.”
Magik Play hits the market at the world’s biggest online store!
Portuguese Startup Magikebee…
…launched the world’s first smart toy and was selected to be part of Amazon’s Launchpad program in the UK.
Magik Play, the world’s first smart toy for iPad. Introduces a special type of augmented reality where the smart toys interact with the iPad near the screen. Thus, the educational game creates a seamless experience between the physical and the digital play.
The Magik Play Starter Kit is already available on the Amazon Launchpad, just in time for the Christmas season. The starter kit price is £46.9 (49.99 €), includes a set of smart wooden blocks, a wooden iPad Stand and 4 exclusive educational games for iPad, designed for kids to enjoy the challenges through physical manipulation.