Build Family Slideshows with iPhone and Apple TV

Our family was busy making memories over winter break. Many of these memories were captured on iPhone Camera Rolls in a blend of colorful photos and whimsical videos. Wouldn’t it be a shame for another year to go by without a soul enjoying the footage?

Thanks to tech tips from our tweens and the latest Apple technologies, we have modern tools to build slideshows in a flash. Here are five simple suggestions for creating and displaying your family’s content:

Snap photos while taking a video

Sometimes when I’m taking a video, I need to interrupt and switch to photo mode for a still picture. While I was fiddling, a young family friend showed me how to shoot a still while taking a video. From the iPhone Camera, go to video mode and start recording. Once you are recording, click the white button to the left of the red record button. This automatically saves a photo to the iPhone Camera Roll. What I like about this integration is that it encourages short video clips without missing “the shot”, and slideshows come alive with both types of media.

Beam content with Airdrop

When a groups snap photos together, the snapper may get left out of their own photos. For example, as photographer, I have many more photos of my husband and kids versus me and the kids. Airdrop is a great way to collect photos from each iPhoner without having to “email or text them later”, which rarely happens. “Hey, Airdrop that to me” lets you beam it right away to round out the photo album. To Airdrop, swipe up on your iphone, make yourself discoverable, choose a photo, click the share icon, and select Airdrop. Besides, Airdrop literacy may be important to know if you have older kids. I hear teens are using it for all sorts of things. Knowing how privacy settings work in advance could be very helpful to avoid future snafus.

Favorite your best shots

With hundreds or thousands of digital images on a single phone, editing into albums could be a laborious task. But favoriting them by clicking a heart is very simple, and populates an album of top choices at your fingertips. With your favorites identified, ordering prints or playing a slideshow requires less sorting. To favorite, go to Camera Roll, select a photo, and click the heart. To view, go to Camera Roll, view Albums, and select Favorites.

Mirror on Apple TV with Airplay

Why keep awesome holiday images locked up in the confines of your personal device? Apple TV makes it possible to view them on the big screen. To view, turn on Apple TV, swipe up on your iPhone, click AirPlay, click Apple TV, and toggle Mirroring to ON. Make sure wifi is enabled in your Settings. If so, you should be able to see your iPhone screen on the TV.

Select Slideshow for all to see

If you followed steps 1 through 4, you should have a fun album of favorited content in your Camera Roll. Assuming this is true, go to Photos, Albums, Favorites, and select the first picture. Click the share icon, and choose Slideshow as an option from the bottom menu (choices should be Copy, Print, Slideshow, AirPlay, etc.). A dynamic collage of photos and videos will display through Apple TV to preset music. Slideshow options let you choose music, themes and pace. Voila!

The only problem with family slideshow night is that it’s too much fun. Everyone wants to share photos on the big screen. Before you know it, people can’t stop TALKING. Kids retell highlights from their latest trip. Relatives ask questions about the details. Parents gawk at the scenery. All ages, young and old, begin to connect over common multimedia magic, which is refreshing after being glued to individual mini universes for so long.

Lorraine Akemann | Cofounder and Editor | Moms With Apps

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Gifting Apps for the Holidays

With millions of apps in the mobile marketplace, chances are likely that a specific interest can be matched to a specific app. Gifting apps for the holidays is a way to deliver thoughtful and contemporary content to friends and colleagues. Do you have a favorite app that enhances your daily life? How about gifting it for your best friend? Ideal for simple and tailored seasonal giving, apps can be sent directly to the recipient. Let’s review how it’s done.

All you need to get started is an app store account, the email address of the recipient, and a link to your favorite app. I am an iPhone user so this tutorial will cover gifting from Apple’s iTunes Store directly from the phone, but all mobile platforms should support app gifting.

Find your app of choice from the App Store app, and press the share icon (circled in red)


Select the gift option (also circled in red)


Type in the recipient’s email address

Send Gift

Pick a theme for your gift!

Confirm your purchase


There you go! App gifting can be fun and easy. For kids app recommendations, check out my blog post featuring a list of holiday themed educational apps. For tweens and teens, you may want to read about Apple Music memberships or ways to set up an iTunes allowance. Whatever your preference, app gifting is a great way to check off your to-do list in a friendly and helpful way.

@LorraineAkemann | Cofounder and Editor | Moms With Apps


Make Holiday Shopping Merry With These Five Apps

It’s time to put the phone in Elf Mode and get ready for the holiday shopping season. Mobile Moms are here to stay, and according to Baby Center’s latest report, apps with tools for savings and convenience top the wish list. Here are five tech savvy resources for managing the holidays from the palm of your hand.

Save money with app coupons

Have you ever meant to use a coupon, but forgot the paper at home? Apps solve this problem by making coupons available straight from your phone. These days, I look up major retailers to see if they have an app. Michael’s Crafts has a coupon section in their app which is linked to a local store. The most recent savings are always with me just by opening the app in the checkout line. Ching!


Use Google for price comparisons and sale scheduling

During a recent SheKnows Twitter party about Black Friday, several attendees suggested Google Shopping for price comparisons on popular products. Done in advance, this research can help identify the best deals for holiday gifts. If deals are time-limited, Google Calendar can be used to schedule reminders. I’ve color coded sale events on Google Calendar, marking them in holiday red.


Personalize the holidays with Shutterfly’s photo gifts

Many of the year’s best photos are stored in my iPhone’s camera roll. Using Shutterfly’s mobile app, I can select images directly from my phone to design a print or photo gift. Time I save shopping and uploading albums is redirected to thoughtful and personalized holiday gifting with a simple swipe and tap.


Find the perfect gift card with Amazon

Gift cards are ideal for teachers, coaches, colleagues, or anyone we’d like to recognize across the miles. Amazon’s holiday gift cards can be tailored to meet every need. Would you like the gift card emailed, printed at home, in a greeting card, in a gift box, in the form of a bookmark, or animated? Your choice. And yes, I said a “bookmark” — how cool is that?


Make shipping fun and easy with USPS

‘Tis the Season at USPS. United States Postal Service just launched a site especially for the holidays at Navigate to the site from your phone’s web browser and share to your home screen for an easily accessible mobile version. Once there, you can order free holiday shipping boxes (so festive!), browse holiday stamps, schedule a pickup, track a package, and even download an augmented reality app for festive postal animations. No kidding!


How have you been using apps to help get organized for the holidays? I’m sure the Elves would love to know. Ho Ho Ho!!!

@LorraineAkemann | Cofounder and Editor | Moms With Apps


5 Reasons LinkedIn is a Great App for Moms

Many mothers who spend time raising children also spend time making valuable contributions to their communities. Chances are, you know a mom who has produced a school play, organized a fundraising event, or volunteered for a youth activity. Add them up, and these efforts demonstrate translatable skills for a resume.

The goal of this article is to help moms realize how their community contributions can have professional relevance. Mothering skills, like management skills, require leadership, critical thinking, and continuous decision making. If managers are logging their skills on LinkedIn, why shouldn’t mothers?

When future employers look for demonstrable activities during the child-rearing years, LinkedIn provides many options to showcase a colorful resume. Let’s take a closer look at how the LinkedIn platform accommodates a wide variety of skills for the modern professional profile. Clicking on “Profile” should display these options:


1. Volunteer Section

There is a specific section on LinkedIn for Volunteer experience. For parents this can be used to track school year commitments such as in class tutoring, event coordination, or PTA leadership. Logging a description of these roles could be important for long run resume building. One year I project managed the construction of a frog pond wildlife habitat at our elementary school. I learned an entirely new skill set during this process, which could provide plenty of talking points about past managerial experience during an interview.

2. Courses

Have you ever taken a community college or community center course while parenting? Track it! Whether it’s a cooking class or coding class, such courses demonstrate interests and dedication to personal development. Last year I took three courses in computer science at my local community college. I’d like my future employer to know that staying technically literate is one of my top priorities. Now, they can see this outcome on my LinkedIn profile.

3. Projects

Consulting assignments or specialized professional opportunities that don’t fall within a typical employee/employer framework can be recorded in the Projects section of LinkedIn. I’ve described my work on the App Friday program (an indie developer marketing program for kids’ apps) under Projects, and am able to link to these colleagues using LinkedIn connections. This shows how I still collaborate with others even during my time at home.

4. Organizations

Have you been a Girl Scout Troop Leader, Mother’s Club member, or Humane Society Volunteer? Where are you a member? When I first stayed home with my girls, I joined our local Redwood City Mothers Club. It was such a helpful organization that I decided to lead a community program connecting neighborhoods. As a result of “Neighborhood Connections”, mothers all over the city had more help getting to know each other. I should log that work on my LinkedIn profile!

5. Honors & Awards, Publications

Do you have any certificates? Have you been asked to speak at an event? Have you written an article that was picked up by an online or print publication? When I first saw “Honors and Awards” I figured it was for esteemed honors like the Nobel Peace Prize. Then I viewed a friend’s profile who listed her speaking engagements in this section. What a great idea! Think of how you’ve been acknowledged publicly, and consider listing those acknowledgements in this section.

Aside from the profile sections, LinkedIn’s features also help maintain connections. Inviting others to connect, endorsing their efforts, or posting articles or updates are all ways to maintain and grow a network.

When I reflect on the years spent raising my daughters, I don’t want to think of it in terms of a black hole on my resume. Far from it, this period of enrichment is turning out to be remarkably diverse. It’s up to me to stay positive and active, while keeping track of the many opportunities around me.

@LorraineAkemann | Cofounder and Editor | Moms With Apps