Halloween Apps for Trick-or-Treat Safety
Kids love Halloween because there’s nothing more exciting than dressing up, scaring friends and stockpiling candy—and plenty of adults feel the same way. But before your family experiences the thrills and chills of Halloween night, it’s important to plan ahead, so you can maximize the frightful fun while keeping everyone safe. Face it, there’s not a ghost or goblin more frightful than being unprepared on a potentially precarious evening. So whether you’re participating in the door-to-door adventures, sending out the older kids to trick-or-treat alone or staying home to pass out treats, here are some apps to ensure your night isn’t a total nightmare.
The days leading up to Halloween night are usually filled with endless to-do lists, but the Evernote app can help you organize your spine-chilling commitments with just a few quick taps. Use this family app to create text, audio and photo notes about your October 31 priorities—costume possibilities, school bake sale recipes or family rules for trick-or-treating (and maybe make a note to download other helpful Halloween apps referenced below). It’s an excellent way to keep all of your scattered Halloween ideas in one place for quick reference—and you can even sync the digital notes to your computer and the cloud. (Free for Android and iPhone)
It’s important that everyone in your family is on the same page (or app) when it comes to safety. Keeping track of everyone’s whereabouts and surroundings is what Life360 Family Locator does best—especially on Halloween night, when older kids with mobile devices are allowed to go out with friends (unsupervised—yeah, that’s scary).
Not only does the family app let you see where a Life360 user has “checked in,” it also reveals what types of offenders reside near that address or location and which hospitals and police stations are closest—pertinent information for all involved. If a problem arises at any point for a family member, he or she can tap an easy-to-find panic button to immediately alert the rest of the family and show the person’s current location. Life360 Family Locator makes for a great Halloween app, keeping you in the know and out of the dark. (Free for Android and iPhone)
One of the best and quickest tricks your mobile device can do to help you navigate the streets on Halloween night is transform into a flashlight. The LED Light app is practical, frighteningly easy to use and handy for maneuvering through the inky blackness between houses—or inspecting candy buckets in the dark. Beyond the basic LED light, there’s also a “strobe” feature and the freedom to change the pace to create your very own Halloween special effects. (Free for iPhone, various free versions available for Android)
Odds are you probably know your neighborhood pretty well, but if you’re taking the family trick-or-treating in a new location or venturing to a Halloween party at an unfamiliar address, you’re going to need a reliable guide to make sure you stay on track.
Looking for a gas station to buy treats on your way to the party? Underestimated the number of trick-or-treaters and need to restock on candy? Or do you want to find a post–haunted house meal? VZ Navigator is your Halloween night GPS guide app. With its advanced mapping and routing technology, it’s perfect for getting you door-to-door-to-door and back home safely. (Free to download for Android and iPhone, $4.99/mo for premium features)
If you’re using a smartphone to document the kids in their adorable costumes this October, be sure to download this Halloween app to decorate your photos with black cats, flying bats, witch hats and more. You can add Halloween-themed frames, spooky graveyard scenes and crazy masks, wild facial hair, scary vampire teeth and outrageous sunglasses on your non-costume-wearing (or party pooper) family members. For even more fun, instantly upload the photos to Facebook or Twitter for spook-tacular reactions from your friends. Think of it as scrapbooking made easy with a seasonal twist. (Free for iPhone)
Don't forget to check out Adam Curry's video demos of these Halloween apps (and more) in his weekly App Spotlight.