Smartphones are so ubiquitous these days that it's nearly mandatory that everyone is familiar with how to operate them in today's world. Having the newest iPhone or Android, however, isn't just an exercise in keeping up, it's a great way to establish a new connection and further your relationship with your grandchildren. Here are apps that your grandkids want you to download.
Depending on the age of your grandchild, they may not know that they want you to have this app. When they're older, though, they'll cherish the time you both spent discovering your family history together. Ancestry puts the photos and stories of your distant relatives into an easy-to-use interface and allows you to keep an entire family tree in your pocket. Bring it to your next family gathering.
Chocolate chip cookies will keep your grandkids coming back, but whip them up a bibimbap salad and they may never leave. Epicurious adds 30,000+ food and drink recipes to your kitchen arsenal and helps you find the right meal for every occasion. Create a shopping list instantly in the app, follow the easy step-by-step stove-side instructions, and save hit recipes to your favorites.
Modern families don't always live in the same locale as their grandparents, but modern tech helps them stay connected. With Ustyme, you can read books and play games with your grandchild from miles away. A video call at the top of the app puts you both in the same room and your grandchild can even turn the pages.
Next time you take your grandkid to a museum in the city, let someone else do the driving for you. Ride-sharing apps have become incredibly popular among young professionals due to their ease of use and affordability. You simply request a driver, enter your current location, and input your destination. The app even takes care of the payment so you don't have to bring cash.
Another staple app among young adults, Spotify gives you access to millions of songs across all genres of music. While other music apps get more exclusive albums, this is the most fun to use with friends and family thanks to its social capabilities. You can start a collaborative playlist with your teenage grandchildren, showing them the songs of your youth as they keep you up to date on the latest hits.
If you have a grandchild in another country, WhatsApp is great way to cut down on calling charges. The app uses your phone's wifi to make calls and send messages, so you can talk as much as you like without worrying about the bill. The app also lets you record voice messages -- great for telling stories when you don't want to fuss with the keyboard.
Tired of typing long messages? Download Dragon Dictation. The app turns what you say into text and from there you can copy the paragraph to your phone's clipboard or transfer it to an email, Facebook, or Twitter. While most smartphones come with built-in dictation features, Dragon Dictation will hang with you until you're finished speaking (unlike Siri, who's been known to cut users off mid-sentence). The app works well for writing letters and may even help you finish that memoir.
Google is hoping to make virtual reality (VR) the next big thing in tech, so they've created a simple app for taking 360-degree VR images on your phone. That may sound daunting, but it's not much more difficult than taking a photo. Just press record and rotate slowly, taking care not to move the phone up or down. When you complete the circle, you'll have a snapshot of the entire area. The app even records audio that you hear as ambient sound when you view the image through a Cardboard headset. Take a few VR images on an outing with your grandchild and relive those moments the next time they visit.