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June 7, 2013

App roundup: 5 Windows apps for my dad

In my blog post for Mother’s Day, I wrote about apps related to my super-cool mom, Laurie. Since Father’s Day is coming up, I thought I’d write about some apps for dads, and take the opportunity to brag a little bit about my incredibly awesome dad, Mike.

My dad, Mike D (not the one from the Beastie Boys) is somebody I’d be pretty lost without. Even though I’m grown up now (kind of), he is still always willing to help me figure something out—from car troubles to financial decisions to…well, anything. My dad has always worn many hats—he’s been a full-time musician and songwriter, a teacher, a banking analyst, a student, and more. Through many changes, moves, and big responsibilities he’s had to shoulder, he’s always been an amazing dad to me. This was true even during the previously mentioned times when I mostly listened to angry music and wrecked my parents’ cars. (Thanks, dad. Love you.)

Here are some apps that are right up my dad’s alley.

Best Buy

Best Buy app

My dad has never been one to rush into purchases. I can remember stopping by a few stores every time we had some new technology to buy, on our way to making an informed and balanced decision about what to spend our money on and where. Now he can save a lot of travel time by doing research before he even leaves the house. The Best Buy app allows you to shop through different brands and products they carry and even to find local stores close to you—including what those stores have in the way of clearance or open-box items. It’s great for smart shoppers regardless of if you’d like to buy online (which you can do right from the app) or find out what your local store has and go in to buy something later.


Amazon app

Like my mom and me, my dad likes to shop at Amazon. As a family we’re collectively impressed by how easy it is to shop there for nearly everything. From guitar cables to books to vitamins, you can find it, buy it, and get it delivered right to your door in a matter of days. The Amazon app is a fast way to search Amazon for what you need, order it, and be on your way. The app does a great job or organizing, so it’s easy to see where to search, where to check out, and where to find Amazon’s recommendations based on your shopping history. They’ve also got a killer deals section, which really appeals to my dad’s wise purchasing habits.

Office Depot

Office Depot app

My dad worked from home for a long time when I was growing up, and from a young age I was impressed by how impeccably organized his home office was. (I could stand to learn a thing or two from him in that area.) In fact, I’m pretty sure that I inherited my love of office supplies (especially pens) from my dad.

The Office Depot app lets you find stores close to your location, tells you what their hours are and what services they have available, and then shows you what deals are currently available on different products. You can find deals on everything from laptops and office chairs to printer ink—anything you could need to keep your office (home or otherwise) well-stocked and organized.


Staples app

Like I said, my dad and I are both really into office supplies. So much so that I had to include two office supply apps. The Staples app has all the features of the Office Depot app plus one amazing little innovation: The Ink & Toner Finder. I am terrible at remembering what kind of ink my printer uses, and there were a few times back in high school when my dad and I got a bit flustered in the store trying to figure out what kind of ink we were supposed to buy the night before I had some kind of paper due. The Ink & Toner Finder is a huge help in moments like these: you pick your printer model or put in your ink cartridge number, and then the app magically shows you what kind of ink you need. You can add it to your shopping cart or check it for availability in stores near you. It’s pretty amazing.

Yellow Pages


I still remember my dad thumbing through the yellow pages of the phone book to find businesses or nearby restaurants when I was a kid. I remember being amazed at how so many places nearby all had their contact info and addresses in one big book.

While phone books are becoming a thing of the past, the Yellow Pages app still provides some nostalgia, while giving you all that local comprehensiveness and specificity. As you can see, they have a “Pizza” section by default, which I really appreciate. It’s a great app and it’s easy to look through—definitely easier to read than the small print of the yellow pages in your phone book, and it won’t ink up your fingers.

If you’re a dad, what kind of apps have come in handy for you? And if you dad is around, make sure you wish him a happy Father’s Day. Maybe buy him something cool using one of these apps—dads love that.


[Note: Some apps might not be available in all countries or regions.]