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Ultimate tech tools for the household CTO

Jasmine France | May 16, 2013
Running a household is tough work, but employing the right tech can make all the difference. These apps can streamline your operation.

Another option is the combination of an Apple TV and AirPlay, which offers video streaming from iTunes, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Vimeo, and YouTube, as well as music streaming from your iTunes library. Sonos, a TV-free wireless music system, supports services such as Rhapsody, Slacker Radio, and Spotify.

Minor control

Monitor content
You can't keep your kids off the Web, but you can at least make sure they're seeing age-appropriate content with NetNanny. For $40, you can block porn, mask profanity, monitor social media, set time controls, and protect your child from cyberbullies.

Also, a Netgear Wireless N Router offers built-in parental controls powered by OpenDNS. Be sure to read up on child safety online, too: Check out Common Sense Media and SafetyNet for a variety of useful resources.

Schedule children's activities
When a standard calendar app just won't do, turn to the nifty Cozi Family Organizer app (Android, iOS, BlackBerry), which includes scheduling, meal planning, shopping and chore lists, and sharing among family members. If you happen to live in Atlanta or New York, RedRover helps you find family-friendly activities (penguin feeding, anyone?). RedRover is promising to extend its service to more cities soon.

Take advantage of homework helpers
Helping with homework often just reminds you of what you've forgotten in the years since you sat in class. Khan Academy offers an extensive library of helpful and free courses in math, science, economics, computer science, humanities, and test prep. Almost all include video. Give older kids responsibility with My Homework, a mobile and online app that includes homework tracking, reminders, and class schedules.

Mr. or Ms. Fix-It

Be handy around the house
The right tools are essential if you're tackling a DIY job. Multi Measures for iPhone includes a surface level, a ruler, and a plumb bob (for hanging things straight). For Android, try Smart Tools, which includes a level, distance-measurement tools, and a metal detector (for finding studs).

When you're ready to pick up supplies for your next fix-it task, download Home Depot Apps (Android, iOS, Windows Phone). You can browse before you go, check pricing and inventory, and get directions to a store near you. To dole out tasks, use Chore Checklist (Android, iOS, Windows Phone).


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