Tech Review: Pregnancy, mommy and baby apps
More babies were born in September than any other month during the past few years, according to research done at Harvard University. If you've recently welcomed a new arrival, or will soon do so, these apps can help make your parenting tasks a little easier.
Baby Connect Activity Logger
(iOS, Android; $4.99)
With your life suddenly a blur of mealtimes, nap times, bath times and diaper-changing times, this app can tell you what's been done and what still needs to be done. Baby Connect logs your newborn's daily activities, offering the results in graphical form on the app or you can export the data into a spreadsheet. Beyond logging daily activities, the app keeps track of vaccination schedules and your baby's daily weight and height changes, which you can compare to national averages.
(iOS, Android; free)
This app from the popular medical website helps parents care for their children as they go from newborns to toddlers. The app offers medical advice in hundreds of searchable articles and tips. In addition to health guidance, the app has a digital scrapbook you can fill with videos, photos and text keyed to milestones in your baby's life.
(iOS, Android; free)
For those who avoided the September newborn delivery rush but are expecting now, Pregnancy Companion has a wide range of tools based on the number of weeks you are pregnant. There is a searchable-topics feature that offers answers for serious problems and reassurance for mild annoyances every woman faces during pregnancy. As you get closer to your delivery date, there are lists on what you will need when you and your newborn leave the hospital.
Baby Monitor & Alarm
(iOS, $2.99; Android, $3.99)
First, you must be at least a two-phone family to use this app. You put the phone that has the app installed near your baby's crib. When your baby cries, the phone in the baby's room will alert you by calling the second phone. Hint: Set a specialized ringtone in the second phone so you know immediately it is the monitor calling. You can adjust the sensitivity level of the microphone based on whether your baby is a loud or soft crier.
Google adds your face to ads
Google wants to use your name, photo and product reviews in ads it sells to businesses. Your reviews of restaurants, shops and products, as well as content bought on the Google Play store, could show up in ads that are displayed to your friends, connections and the broader public when they search on Google starting Nov. 11. Google says users can opt out of its "shared endorsements" feature. -- AP
Microsoft wants your iPad
With the Apple iPad 5 expected to be unveiled Tuesday, what will you do with your current iPad? Microsoft will give you $200 for your "gently used" iPad 2, 3, or 4. There is one catch: The $200 is in the form of a gift card redeemable only at the Microsoft Store, where they won't, of course, be selling Apple's new iPad. The offer expires next Sunday. -- Peter King
Cybercrime down, costs up
Fewer adults are becoming victims of online fraud or scams, but those who do are paying a steeper price. Security software maker Symantec says 41 percent of adults who go online were victims of malware, viruses, theft or fraud this year, down from 46 percent last year. But the average cost per victim rose to $287, up from $197 in 2012. -- Peter King