AppMinute host Sam Levin gave Best Baby Monitor his endorsement in an interview leading up to Macworld. It was one of his favorite “productivity apps.” These are apps that at little to no mental expense make the user's life easier and allow her to be more productive.
“This is basically your iPhone, iPad or iPod becoming your baby monitor,” he said of the app. “It's incredibly simple. You can talk to your baby, you can play lullabies.”
In fact, from what I can tell, this is exactly the same as carrying your baby in your pocket, without worrying about it pooping down your pant leg (but you also don't get to touch or feed it -- nothing a remote-controlled robotic arm couldn't fix).
Best Baby Monitor comes with two settings: Video and Alert Call. If you have a spare iDevice, you can set it up next to your infant on Video mode; at work on your laptop, you can see your baby sleeping in the background of the screen. With Alert Call mode, you set your iDevice next to your baby; when it detects the sound of awake-baby, you'll get a phone call. You can also opt for a FaceTime chat if the infant is particularly easily mollified by a game of peek-a-boo.
Levin also suggests using the app as a security camera. And why not? Watching your slumbering child for an outburst is pretty similar to watching a slumbering house for a break-in. You could do this arrange a closed-circuit TV thing on your iDevice or ask it to alert you if something noisy happens in a normally quiet room. Then you can use FaceTime to peek in on things.
Or you could use it for the most prosaic of activities: keeping an eye on a pot so you know when it's boiling.
While the might make your ever-present digital screen even harder to ignore once your brood is on it, there's no getting around it: this is a damn useful app. Most of Best Baby Monitor's competitors act more like real baby monitors and don't support something like the continuously-monitoring Video mode.
There is one hidden upshot of this: all of these apps require devoting an iPod or iPhone to be one end of the monitor -- which means having an iDevice on-hand for your infant while he's still an infant. And as developers crank out education apps and toys for young kids, I'll bet you're going to find more and more reasons for him to keep it. It's starting to look like this might just mean the birth of the iGeneration.
iFam: This is the secondin a series of Macworld pieces about how new technology has affected family life. Read the other two on parenting tips and youth trends. For more of Allvoices' coverage of Macworld | iWorld 2012, check out allvoices.com/macworld2012.