Apps Designed for Easier Living

(Family Features) Just a generation ago, it was difficult to imagine a single palm-sized device that could serve as a phone, camera and day planner all in one. Today, smartphone users are discovering that new technology and sophisticated apps make it unbelievably easy to manage virtually every aspect of life.

There are dozens of apps and innovative technologies that improve quality of life by helping individuals save money, stay comfortable and feel secure.

Home security: Take peace of mind to a new level with an app like Lockitron. This app not only serves as a replacement for a clunky key ring, it also allows you to control the locks on your home remotely. It’s handy for letting in friends or family when you’re running late and keeping track of when kids arrive home from school and unlock the door.

Home cooling and heating: Imagine coming home to a house that is always the perfect temperature, no matter the season. Controlling the climate in your house is easier than ever with an app like kumo cloud, a programmable remote control app that works with the Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating Wireless Interface to manage indoor cooling and heating units from anywhere in the U.S. In addition to controlling multiple locations and units in a home, the app allows you to program cooling and heating events, monitor errors in the system and see when your filters need cleaning. This all-in-one cooling and heating control app is available for iOS, Android or Fire OS enabled devices with the latest software. Learn more at

Grocery shopping: Even making a grocery list is more convenient with smart list-making apps. A top pick from the analysts at The Sweet Setup is Any List, which remembers historical list items to make building new lists progressively easier with time. One of the app’s list-building shortcuts is the integrated recipe manager that populates your list with ingredients based on the dishes you’re planning to prepare. The app also lets you share and export lists, making it simple to hand off the shopping to another member of the household.

Fitness tracking: Many fitness gurus recommend monitoring and logging your fitness routine to create a tangible record of your progress and keep track of effective workout programs. Integrating that data into your smartphone is instantaneous when you sync your data to your phone with a device such as Fitbit. The app lets you set and monitor progress toward daily goals, create reminders and track trends over time.

Finances: Whether you’re a busy parent or a recent college graduate, apps can do wonders for keeping close tabs on your finances. An app like Mint puts your entire financial status at your fingertips – from a budget that helps you track income and expenses to a credit monitoring feature that lets you know where you stand.

Smart devices bring a new world of convenience and reassurance to modern consumers. Finding the right apps to fit your interests and lifestyle make it possible to manage your day, from home to work to play and back home again.