Smalltalk: Building a Network for Parents Like You

Image via
Image via

Ours is a world of social networks. There’s Facebook and Twitter, sure, but it also seems as though we’re moving more toward smaller, more specialized services. While there are a myriad of options for everything from cultivating business contacts to online dating, Smalltalk, GeekMom’s newest sponsor, seeks to create a special place just for parents.–a one-stop shop for families searching for housekeepers, tutors, and caregivers–created the Smalltalk mobile app to allow parents to communicate openly about pediatricians and childcare options, share recommendations for local businesses and events, and, ultimately, form their own personal parenting networks.

Smalltalk has all the features you’ve come to expect from mobile sharing services. You can comment on existing posts or begin your own conversations with just a couple of taps, upload and share photos, and, while the app uses your current location to connect you with nearby users, you can easily shift the focus to a different geographic area via an intuitive map interface.

Post are limited to 222 characters to encourage brevity and keep conversations lively, and individual posts can be voted up or down–think Reddit, sans the relentless image macros–to make the most compelling, relevant conversations more visible. Users can keep current on the conversations in which they’re involved via the ever-present “My Topics” tab, and even report posts that break the service’s rules of etiquette by long-tapping the offending entry.

Contributions to Smalltalk conversations are attributed to users via first name and last initial, but a toggle system on the compose screen enables users to switch effortlessly to anonymous mode. This feature provides an additional layer of insulation to foster frank, open discussions, even about difficult topics.

With all the features you want in a simple, sleek interface, Smalltalk has everything the modern parent needs to connect, collaborate, and even occasionally commiserate. All that’s missing is you, so download the free app now!

CLZ Comic Book App: An App Worth Its Weight In Books

CLZ Comics \ Image: CLZ Comics
Image courtesy of CLZ Comics.

At $14.99, CLZ Comic Books is the most expensive app on my iPhone. It’s also the one that has saved me the most money at the comic book store.

I only started collecting comics two years ago, but in that time, I’ve amassed a humble collection of trades and monthly issues. It can be hard to keep track with what I’ve bought, read, and what I’m looking for at times. CLZ Comic Books helps me keep track of the books I have by keeping an inventory for me. Every time I pick up a new title, I scan the barcode with the app and it adds it to my collection. The app also gives me the option of adding a book to my wish list. This keeps my “wanting to read” and my “already bought” lists separate and easy to manage.

In the past, I found a book I didn’t think I had, only to get home and discover it on my shelf. This can get pricey if you pick up doubles of your graphic novels.

There are a few features of this app that I’m particularly fond of:

  • It Keeps Your Books Organized. After scanning books into your collection, you can organize them in folders by publisher, series, or whatever suits your fancy.
  • Barcode Scanning. The built-in barcode scanner helps you inventory your books quickly and efficiently. If the app finds more than one variation of the book, it will ask you which one you want to include.
  • Back Up. You can back up your database to the cloud in case you need to switch to a new device. This is nice because it protects the time you’ve spent organizing everything.
  • A Detailed View. For those who like to know all the details of their titles, CLZ will give you all the information you could ask for including writer, artist, issue plot, and characters.
  • Edit and Add Personal Notes. Once you enter in a book, you can edit the details to include personal information, such as condition, location, purchase price, rating, whether it’s been read or un-read, tags, and personal notes about the issue.

Even though the app costs $14.99 in iTunes, CLZ Comic Books has already saved me more than that when I’ve gone to purchase a book I already had.

If you collect comic books or are an avid reader in general, you should consider CLZ Comic Books and CLZ Books (for literary titles) for your organizational needs.

CLZ Comics is currently available in the iTunes store and works on iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices.

GeekMom received this item for review purposes.

Hip-Hip-Hooray for Peppa Pig’s Sports Day

We’re big fans of Peppa Pig in this house. My son has been into the Nick Jr. cartoon for years and now at the ripe old age of 7, that love is stronger than ever. The only thing he loves more than that snorty little pink pig is sports—any sports. Imagine the frothing that ensued when I let him know there’s a Peppa Pig’s Sports Day app!

Designed for iOS and Android devices, Peppa Pig’s Sports Day packs all of the cute little characters from the show into one app. Even better, that app includes seven different activities.

To start, you’re going to need to create a player profile. This basically involves entering a name and choosing an avatar. There are several avatar options in Peppa Pig‘s world. My son currently uses the dinosaur (which is a favorite of Peppa’s brother, George). I’m a frog.

Once you choose a player, you can pick from six different games. Peppa and her pals are very unique, so the “sports” are pretty unique as well. There’s an “Obstacle Race,” “Tug of War,” the “Long Jump,” a “Bicycle Race,” an “Ice-Cream Maker,” and “Rosette Making.” Each of the games does require a little hand-to-eye coordination, which is nice. It’s also worth noting that as you play, you get “stickers.” Aha! Yes, there’s the seventh activity, which involves placing your stickers on different backgrounds.

According to app developer P2 Games, Peppa Pig’s Sports Day is designed for kids aged 2 to 6. That didn’t seem to deter my 7-year-old from having a blast. And yes, I played plenty of sports as well. Using the iPhone 4, I was really impressed at how nice the graphics are in this app. It looks pretty identical to the cartoon.

This is the type of app that’s perfect for little hands. As previously mentioned, we’re Peppa Pig fans and we’re also sports fans. However, you don’t really need to know either one to get your money’s worth with this download. My little app athlete just loved all of the different games, as well as the interaction with the characters. He said that his favorite by far is the “Long Jump” activity, “because it has muddy puddles.” Fair enough. After all, if you’re at all familiar with Peppa Pig, you know how important this is. If not, this app should still provide plenty of fun.

Peppa Pig’s Sports Day is currently available via iTunes and Amazon for $4.99.

Designed for iOS and Android devices, “Peppa Pig’s Sports Day” has seven different activities. Image: P2 Games.

GeekMom received this item for review purposes.