Family-Friendly Apps at CES 2013

I'm fired up about some of the family-friendly apps I discovered at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES)! My goal was to find tech products that are user-friendly, help us enjoy and manage our lives, enhance our families and connect us. Here are two I've fallen in love with:

Magisto: If you're like me, you have a string of videos in your phone, computer, tablet or other device. You love capturing these moments, but once taken they just sit there. Here's a fast and easy solution that takes those clips and magically transforms them into movies complete with graphics and music. You simply open the app, select the videos you want to include, choose a title, theme and music (you can even load your own music.) The app does the rest! The app is a year old and adding features all the time. Oren Boiman, CEO of Magisto, tells me he had a lot of videos of his adorable kids but no good way to edit them and organize them - so he found a way to streamline editing and production into just a few clicks. The Magisto folks tell me their most common users now are teenagers and parents, but I predict baby boomers will grab this app and run with it. What a great way to document our travels, family gatherings, caregiving and those awesome grandchildren (the "cute" theme is perfect!) To illustrate the versatility I found, here are two of my personal Magisto movies - one about my Mom learning to walk again last year after fracturing her spine (I used the "Sentimental" theme and poignant background music - I cry every time I watch it) and my 2013 CES Highlights embedded here using the "Let's Party" theme and Psy's "Gangnam Style" music for fun. Magic - and it's free!

AboutOne: I recently had a conversation with my boyfriend about how to best inventory our parents' possessions and prepare for the day when we will both be executors of their estates. We also talked about how I struggle to keep track of two homes on opposite sides of the country, all of mine and my parents' health and financial information, two cars, many insurance policies and legal documents. And now I've found a great solution...for my caregiving responsibilities as well as my own life! The app organizes information about memories, health, home, possessions, education, career, volunteering and other documents easily entered from a smartphone, scanner, or other web-enabled device. I really like the feature that actually provides information automatically about things like your home, car, appliances or other possessions - a great time-saving feature.  The app even sends reminders and notifications, and creates hard copy memory books, family newsletters, health summaries, care instructions, and greeting cards that mail themselves. It will allow me to manage my own and my parents' lives and share info seamlessly with other family members from anywhere from because it lives in the cloud. I spoke with CEO and Founder Joanne Lang, who is dedicated to incorporating feedback from users, so the app is updated every three weeks for constant improvement. You can try AboutOne at the basic level up to 1GB of data for free, upgrade to a $5 per month premium version (up to 5GB) or Premium Plus for $10 per month (up to 50GB.)

Happy app-ing to you - let me know what you think of these in the comments section below!

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