Silicone mums

Mothering in the technological age is easy with apps

Mobile applications are making life easier. From time management to reminders, from maternal duty to linguistic assistance, a lot of free apps online are shaping the way we organise our lives. Google, among other multinational companies specialising in internet-related services and products, is spearheading this trend with its handful of apps that guide your everyday life.

Google Translate lets users view dictionary results for single words or phrases.

Women with children that are at an impressionable age have found that they can set the safe search for their kids, which basically screens explicit content unsuitable for schoolchildren from the search results, to be highly beneficial when they happen to search for information online.

At the "search setting" menu on Google search, parents can set "SafeSearch" to filter sexually explicit content (text, image, video). By logging into their Gmail account, a parent can set the filter levels: highly strict, medium, or low, and whenever their kids search the internet, a picture of balloons will show up on the pages signifying they have been set by the "SafeSearch filters".

Parents can also look for locations of music schools and other miscellaneous items for their child on Google Map. While taking them for their classes on the weekend, a mother could use Google Navigation to view not just the traffic conditions, but the app can guide her, in realtime, with turn-by-turn instructions.

Working like a GPS, the application can speak in both English and Thai.

Another tool which can assist in reaching our daily appointments comfortably is the Calender app. We can set the alert feature in advance, and also from the Calender app we can directly send email to a third party informing them to carry out a chore.

If you happen to be travelling abroad, you can use an app to talk to, for example, Japanese people, asking them for directions to a place by speaking English into the phone, then the app will articulate in Japanese and once the Japanese person replies in Japanese, the app converts to English.

(The voice search in Thai is not complete at this moment).

Users have found this app to be very helpful, they just snap the picture of food in the menu, the app then translates the Japanese menu into Thai, and it can function without a network connection with Google offline language packages.

Even though Facebook is still dominant, Google+ is fighting to gain ground it seems. For those who are Google+ social networking users, the Party Mode allows people attending an event to instantly share photos in real time right from their phones and they can share their photos to a single photo collection, so photos aren't scattered across different websites, albums and email attachments like in the past.

Users recently learned that the Google+ Hangout is really dependable when in need to connect with someone out of town. With one touch, they can start a video call with a spouse or friends. The video calls ring everywhere your husband or friends have Hangouts. Whether they're on their computer, phone or tablet, they'll know who is calling. Hangouts are like real-life conversations. Users can show photos and share how they are feeling with Emoji.

Google Keep, catering specially for absent-minded people, has also been receiving great reviews. If you happen to forget to bring along the grocery list to the supermarket, you need not fret any longer. The Keep app enables grocery shoppers to turn a note into a checklist by adding checkboxes, you can retrieve these notes from anywhere as they are safely stored in the cloud and available on the web at drive.google.com/keep.

Users can also enter a voice note or snap a photo and annotate it. Everything they add is instantly available on all devices, desktop, smartphone or tablet. Another key feature of Google Keep is it can transcribe voice notes automatically.

According to Pornthip Kongchun, Google Thailand head of marketing, people nowadays are likely to deal with multiple devices and multiple platforms, and the world of internet use has been more expansive from desktop to mobile. All the features and mobile apps of Google have been developed to serve users anywhere for both of Android and iOS devices and have to be able to sync their data across their devices, said Pornthip.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Sasiwimon Boonruang
Position: Life Writer