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Smartphone App’s Parents need to have on the Radar

Consistently and without exception children and teenagers are switching to message sharing apps smartphone apps such as Snapchat, as well as having profiles on public platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In the schools I deliver talks in, around 80-90% of the pupils are using message sharing smartphone apps.

So over the past few weeks on here I posted icons of the most popular message and video sharing apps I think parents need to have on their radar. Just a fun quiz – without the names, to see if parents would recognise them on their children’s phone. Most parents admitted they only scored between 0-1 with the odd exception. But it’s not all bad. The good thing is – they tried it

As someone who works delivering education in this space, I don’t expect parents to be experts in being right up to date with apps. It’s just not possible to keep up with the pace of how quickly new apps are developed and released. But what is possible is keeping an eye on relevant information, which helps you become a more informed parent on the world your kids live in and how they communicate in that world.

So following up from those posts, here’s a quick heads up on most popular message and video sharing apps your children may be using:

Periscope App


Is a Twitter-owned app, which allows users to stream ‘Live’ video content via Periscope to all to their Twitter followers. Those who watch within the Periscope app can interact with the stream by sending hearts and posting comments on the stream as the broadcast happens. Other viewers can also watch the stream within Twitter – but they can view only, not comment.

Meerkat App


Hit the market before Periscope and works along the same lines, in that it also allows users to stream ‘Live’ video content from their device to followers on Twitter. Meerkat also has a new Cameo feature that allows users to invite others into their stream.

Vine App


Another Twitter-owned app, which allows users to create and share 6-second video clips which can be a series of images or video played back in stop motion. Once the video is created, a caption and location can be added before sharing/posting the video to a particular channel within Vine. Users also have the option to share the Vine on Twitter or Facebook. Vine is available for iOS and Android devices.



A new Video App from Instagram. The app takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward and is then shared on Instagram. Boomerang is available for iOS and Android devices.




Live streaming video app particularly popular with Teens. According to the app’s description in the app store ‘YouNow’ is the best way to broadcast live and get an audience to watch you. YouNow encourages you to ‘Chat, meet new people and broadcast to start growing your fan base’. The YouNow app seems to be a mashup of Vine and Chat Roulette, in which you watch people live streaming in different channels. If you like a particular performance you can leave a tip. YouNow is available for iOS and Android devices.

Jott Messenger

Jott Messenger

Is a messaging app which allows users to send and receive messages – without a data plan or Wifi. The Jott App works by using what’s known as a ‘mesh network’. It operates on Bluetooth or using a router that can span 100 feet of users, using the trademarked ‘Airchat’ feature. Similar to Snapchat, Jott also offers disappearing messages and screenshot detection.  Jott is available for iOS and Android devices.



Calculator %

Currently available on iOS and Android, Calculator% actually looks and functions like a normal calculator with all the features you would expect. Upon download the user has the ability to set up a 4-digit passcode to secure access to the app. In order for the secret vault which stores images and videos to function, the app needs permission to access the users’ photos and camera. This allows the user to move across any pictures from their phone into the secret vault, which is now passcode protected.


Riff App

An App by Facebook which allows users to create video which their friends can add to – it’s like a video app which allows you to collaborate with your friends with the idea of sharing with a vast audience.  It allows users to create up to 20 seconds of video, which their friends can contribute towards. Riff is available for iOS and Android devices.


Kanvas App

A new photo sharing app which allows users to get a little more creative on the self expression front – with features that include GIFs, flipbooks, paintings, all of which can be easily shared to Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Messenger, SMS and via email. It also offers a video mode on which users can record stop-motion videos of up to 15 seconds long – then adjust the speed and add your text. Currently just available for iOS.

Hope you have found this overview useful.  Want to help keep your Teen safer Online & yourself up to date?  Then pick up a copy of my book. Click on the button below to order your copy of my book.


Posted By Wayne Denner

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Wayne Denner shares his knowledge & expertise on leading tech industry blog.

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