5 Android Apps Only a Mother Could Love

There are Android apps that are useful, inspiring, and downright cool. Then there are those apps that are the opposite of fun: boring, overly practical, and stuffy. Here are apps that only a mother could love — both because only a mother would be proud of her son or daughter for making them, and because neurotic mothers are the main people who would actually download them for regular use.

Safe Neighborhood

The Safe Neighborhood app gives you a list of the creeps in your immediate area. That is, you can type in your current city or specific address and receive a list of everyone on the National Public Sex Offender Registry who is in your vicinity, complete with a Google Maps graphic. Not only do you get a list, but also the chance to click on names and see personal information, including age, DOB, height, weight, picture, address and committed offenses.

Sure the app is useful for identifying sex offenders, but having their pictures pop up on your phone seems to be an icky way to go through your day. Only a parent would want to store this information obsessively on his or her Android, and only a mother would appreciate the creation as anything much more than disturbing.

Scanavert

This app for food allergies belongs in the category of awkward-to-use apps. Scanavert is actually not just for allergies, but anyone taking a prescription drug or who had a condition that calls for a special diet. The app lets you enter in your personal dietary concerns and/or prescriptions that you’re taking, and then when you scan an item in a grocery store, it will let you know whether there are ingredients that may harm you.

This tool is actually very useful — it even offers substitutes for products that you shouldn’t eat — and undoubtedly a lifeline for people with critical allergies and conditions. But picture yourself walking through a grocery store, obsessively scanning items with your phone. A little dorky, right? Another awkward aspect of Scanavert that only a mother would love? The slogan: “Detection and Alarm Against Ingredient Harm.” It’s hard to get much more corny.

GPS Tracking

This set of GPS Tracking apps does exactly what you would expect: allow you to track the locations of your friends and family. The LociMobile service offers three levels of apps — Basic, Enhanced, and Real-Time — and oddly, only the two higher levels are available for the Android.

It’s every mother’s (and/or father’s) dream to be able to know where her child is at any given moment, and this app plays into the overprotective, helicopter-parent model. But unlike AOL’s SafeSocial, which at least has some cool features, the Loci Website is very poorly designed, truly something only a mother could love. Plus, only the most advanced version (also the most expensive) offers real-time tracking, which is really the only kind of information anybody would find particularly helpful.

Noise Alert

So at least unlike GPS Tracking, Noise Alert is free to download. The app is a noise detection tool: you plug in a certain noise level, and when your phone detects a noise at that level, it dials a phone number that you’ve chosen in advance. So if you leave your Android by your baby’s crib and your son or daughter cries in the middle of the night, it can call another cell phone, or your home phone, in your bedroom. But you can use it to pick up noises anywhere in your house. Noise Alert is in the tradition of apps for the paranoid, and conjures images of cranky old matrons who want alerts about every little going-on in the household.

Also, safety usages aside, if noise is so bothersome to you, why would you want to then receive a noisy phone call about it? Plus, the fact that you have to be separated from your phone in the process is annoying. If one of your friends designed this app, you’d probably say “ehh.” But if you were a mother and your kid created it, you’d probably say it was lovable.

Checkdent

And finally…an app that might be loved by one other group of people besides mothers — dentists. Checkdent Video Lexicon Pro gives you the chance to remain completely responsible for your dental health. The app is free, but it comes with the price of being a total hygienic nerd. Moms would love it as a resource for important dental questions, but having this one-stop shop on your smartphone for something as un-fun as teeth is pretty overwraught. The weirdest part? The app gives you access to all the dental videos on the Checkdent Website, so that someone can look over your shoulder on the subway and watch you watch a fun information session on gingivitis. Not very pretty, and not very cool, although a mother could still love it as her child’s contribution to a more hygienic society.

If you think these apps will improve your life, go ahead and download them. But my bet is after a short trial period, they’ll probably drive you crazy.