Author: Liz Gumbinner

TripIt’s new feature makes air travel so much less stressful. We’ll take it!

If you’ve ever tried dragging a bunch of tired kids and all of their luggage around an airport while searching for a charging port, a snack, or a bathroom — let alone the gate for the next leg of your flight that boards in five minutes — you’ll know why I’m so happy about the new interactive airport maps that launched today on the TripIt app for Pro users. Yes, airports have their own maps (if you can get most of their stupid websites to load while you’re in the airport) but this one is easy on the eyes, it’s...

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Inbox Pause: The new amazing new Gmail feature that can get you more work-life balance.

For ages now I’ve touted the wonderful benefits of Boomerang for Gmail to help me better manage my incoming and outgoing email, and it seems the folks at Google like the feature themselves. Because now Gmail has actually incorporated Boomerang’s technology into a brand new feature called Inbox Pause. And it is awesome. Especially if you struggle with work-life balance. Or email-life balance, as it were. Sigh. Here’s how to activate Inbox Pause Click on the big blue button and you’ll get a quick walk-through that explains basic functions: 1. Stopping email during certain times that you specify. This is...

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The Star Wars ride-on that will blow up kids’ holiday wish lists. Parents…get ready.

If you…oh. I mean, if your kid (ahem) ever wished they could zip around on Luke Skywalker’s Star Wars X-34 Landspeeder, that wish is about to be granted. Thanks to the help of Radio Flyer, Lucasfilm, 12v rechargeable battery power — and of course, some incredibly generous parents or grandparents. Related: The coolest Star Wars gifts for kids, teens and fans of all ages The ultimate dream, Galactic Civil War-era ride-on in convenient toy form is available now for preorder, for a September 5 launch date (oh hai, early holiday shopping!). And I’d say do it. Because I think...

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A website that could put an end to I’m Bored Syndrome.

My kids love writing and they love doing art, but sometimes they don’t know what to do with that blank sheet of paper or the empty Procreate screen. (That’s my manga-obsessed daughter’s digital illustration iPad app of choice, by the way.) Since anything suggested by Mom automatically sucks, I found ArtPrompts.org, a clever, very simple site that helps spark imagination. Click on categories like creature, (“warden of the wild”), character (“centaur picking flowers”), environment (“alchemist’s lab”), object (“a delicious looking bowl of steaming ramen”), then go to town on the results. My own favorite category is situation which yields imaginative,...

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5 emoji collections we’re dying to see for International Emoji Day

Yes, International Emoji Day is a thing. 21st century, y’all! And while we’ve described that the upcoming addition of custom emojis to your keyboard will lead to some creative options, there are some awesome sets of emojis we’d really like to see as soon as humanly possible. (Hint, hint, Unicode Consortium.) Any of your favorites we missed?   Star Wars Emojis via the official Star Wars App by Lucasfilm, illustrated by Truck Torrence The chibi style Star Wars characters in the app fulfill most of Star Wars emoji needs with these 50 options from across the franchise, even if they don’t...

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The Sparkr flashlight is your zombie apocalypse must-have

If you’re an Amazon Prime member that survived Prime Day 2017 without spending all your money on vitamin supplements and Hummel figurine knockoffs, take a breath, clear your palate, and be sure to check out the new Amazon Exclusives page. The program feels like Kickstarter meets Groupon meets Fab.com or Quirky, giving you short-term deals on decidedly cool products and brands. But this week, it was the The Sparkr flashlight that immediately grabbed me. (And sorry to use that term when we’re thinking about brain-eating walkers here.)  CMT is an Amazon affiliate Related: 4 ways tech is keeping your family...

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A pastel phone case pretty enough to eat. But don’t. Because it’s a phone case.

Sometimes I see a phone accessory so gorgeous, I just want to eat it up. Which I know sounds weird, until you see the beautiful ice cream-colored pastel leather wallet-style phone cases for iPhone and Galaxy phones, via UK’s Snakehive London. Take a look at the pink leather Samsung Galaxy 8 case here and you can see you get more than just a pretty case. A rubberized holder (or uh, rubberised if you’re a Brit) and magnetic clasp secures your phone inside, while the bifold structure converts to a stand for small-screen binge-watching. Or, slightly larger-screen binge-watching, if you’re...

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Tubular ’80s redux alert: Mixxtape brings mixtapes into the Bluetooth era.

The mixtape will just not go away, and that’s just fine by me. In this case, the beloved cassette of the days of yore now comes in form of a new MP3 player called the Mixxtape, courtesy of wildly popular Kickstarter campaign that blew away its funding goals faster than you can say don’t stop believin’. Order now and by the end of the year or so, you’ll be ready to start transferring your music library onto this sweet Bluetooth device that has a built-in LCD display and touch controls, a headphone jack, streaming capabilities, and an internal rechargeable...

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How to get money back from your kid’s $*%! in-app purchases on Amazon.

While it was announced on May 30, a lot of parents still don’t know that the FTC announced refunds are now available for unauthorized in-app purchases on the Amazon Appstore. That means you, kids, and your itchy little in-app purchase-happy fingers. This is all because the FTC decided that between November 2011 and May 2016, it was too easy for children to make purchases on Kindle devices using real cash, should it have been presented as “coins” or “lives” or “donuts” or whatever else that does not sound like “mom and dad’s actual hard-earned money that will be needed...

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Tech trick: How to hide app purchases so your kids can’t download through Family Sharing.

I’m grateful to my daughter who (much to the chagrin of tweens and teens everywhere, I’m sure) tipped me off to a trick I wasn’t aware of: Kids can easily download new apps to their devices without your knowledge, if you have Apple Family Sharing in use. Now my kids do need my approval to download any new apps, because of the Ask to Buy feature I have enabled. And I love Apple Family Sharing, because it means I’m not paying three times when we all want to play Alto’s Adventure. (Don’t judge.) Related: A new study about kids’ online behavior might surprise...

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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