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Learn what's hiding in prepared foods and packaged goods.
Search more than 450 ingredients for potential health risks or side effects—it's especially useful if someone has food-related allergies.
Download details: iPhone; $3.99; webartisan.com.au/apps/index.php/iphone-apps/food-additives
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Find discounts while shopping.
Like an item in the store? Compare its price with those of online retailers or other outlets nationwide. Upgrade for an extra buck and you can submit a photo of a product's bar code for even easier searching.
Download details: iPhone; 99 cents; savebenjis.com
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Track homework assignments and exams.
Kids can organize tests and due dates on a calendar, set up study groups with friends, and get e-mails reminding them of deadlines. A color-coded system makes it easy to prioritize work.
Download details: iPhone; free; myhomework.rigoneri.com
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Receive up-to-the-second traffic updates.
Waze relies on user-provided info (think Twitter) to get the latest on accidents, detours, and jams. You'll know when traffic gets better—or worse—before the local news station.
Download details: Android, iPhone, Symbian Nokia, and Windows Mobile; free; waze.com
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Name that tune.
Hold your phone near any speaker and this popular app identifies the title and artist of the song that's playing. There are free versions as well as the iPhone's Encore option with bonus features ($4.99).
Download details: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, and Nokia; free; shazam.com
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Keep track of weight loss.
This motivational and monitoring tool offers diet plans, sends exercise goal hints, and has calorie counts for 23,000 foods. Share your progress with other moms.
Download details: iPhone; free; loseit.com
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Enhance communication between teens and parents.
GPS-style software updates parents on a teen's location, and kids can check in easily—and often.
Download details: iPhone; 99 cents; icurfews.com
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Send real postcards via snail mail using photos taken with your phone.
Mail a personalized postcard inspired by your location, starting at 99 cents (within the United States).
Download details: BlackBerry, iPhone; 99 cents; shootit.com
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Groove to your own personal DJ.
Type in your favorite artist, genre, or song and Pandora will suggest and play other songs you might like, as well as remember stations you've created. A thumbs-up/thumbs-down system lets you tailor your musical experience.
Download details: Android, BlackBerry, Palm Pre, iPhone, and Windows Mobile; free; pandora.com
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Generate shopping lists and organize coupons.
Once you've saved your grocery lists, you'll get reminders about products you usually buy. Categorize items by store, food group, or aisle. Sign up for coupons and sale alerts.
Download details: Android, iPhone; free; groceryiq.com
Smart Tip: At GetJar.com, enter your cell phone model to learn which apps are available for your phone—and where to get them. Apps are rated on a five-star scale, and the site supports 2,000 different devices.
Originally published in the August 2010 issue of Family Circle magazine.