Halloween Tech Tips

1. Forgot your flashlight? Flashlight apps can help keep you safe on Hallow’s Eve

Keeping your trick-or-treaters safe as darkness falls is tantamount to ensuring Halloween fun for all . Free flashlight apps for iPhone and Android devices use the LED light on smartphones and fill your screen with bright white light to illuminate your world when you find yourself in a dark spot or need to cross the street. Some even include fully customizable special effects including Strobe Light, Trippy, S.O.S., Yin-Yang, Halloween, Candy Hearts, Holiday Lights and more!

2. Track Your Trick-or-Treaters

If you want to keep tabs on your favorite trick-or-treaters, but they don’t want you cramping their style, a range of location-based applications and gadgets might help you out. No amount of technology will replace parental or adult supervision when it comes to young children, but the TrickorTracker application for Android phones could help you follow older kids from your phone. The app lets parents type in a security code to get a text message with their child’s location. It also lets kids easily find out where they are or send their location to a parent if they get lost. Google Latitude offers a free alternative. Once it’s downloaded to a phone, other “friends” can spot your location on a smartphone or computer map.

3. Costume Confusion

Scratching your head over this year’s Halloween costume? A handful of applications and websites want to help you get creative. For 99 cents, The Halloween Costume Generator by Synthetic Bits LLC iPhone app helps you choose a costume from more than 200 possibilities. Just enter your gender, the kind of party you plan to attend and your mood, and the app generates a list of suggestions along with a set of do-it-yourself directions. The ideas run from pop culture icons, such as American Idols and Golden Girls, to more typical Halloween fare, like zombie brides and mimes.

Instead of letting costumes collect dust in the closet, trade them with other parents on sites such as thredup.com and swapmamas.com . Both sites let parents give away clothes and other items their kids have outgrown and get items they like for their own families. This Geek Squad “geekonomic” tip will help you stay creative and save money this Halloween.

4. Get Zombified

If you don’t want to stuff yourself into costume but still want to share in the Halloween fun, several apps and websites can help you play virtual dress-up. Choose a picture of yourself, and within seconds of uploading it, Haunted Face will give you a ghostly makeover. This application comes with sound effects and lets you share your haunted face with friends on Facebook and Twitter. If you can handle it, Zombie Me (which comes in $1.99 and 99-cent versions) uses the same concept to turn you and friends into bloody, eye-bulging zombies.
Advertisement5. Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin carving can be a lot of fun, but it can also create a giant mess. If your toddler, or even teen, wants to get into the Halloween spirit, but you don’t want to have to deal with the aftermath, check out Ze Frank’s Pumpkin Me website . The flash-based website lets you carve a virtual pumpkin with your computer’s mouse, revealing a flickering candle inside every time a chunk of the pumpkin falls away. When you’re done, you can share the final product on Facebook, Twitter or via e-mail. You also can upload a picture of yourself or a friend and carve the pumpkin in that image.

If you want to give your kids a way to carve pumpkins on the go, pumpkin carving is all the rage on your smartphone. The free Parents Carve a Pumpkin application for iPads and iPhones from Parents magazine is a great option of younger kids. The easy-to-use application lets kids drag and drop shapes to carve a virtual pumpkin. For older kids, the 99-cent application Carve It! Pumpkin Carving for the iPhone and Carve a Pumpkin! for Android devices let kids carve pumpkins freehand with the tips of their fingers.

6. Enjoy Sugar-Free , Virtual Halloween Treats

If you want to give your kids a no-sugar way to enjoy Halloween treats, you could download the holiday version of the popular Cupcakes app . For 99-cents, the iPad and iPhone application lets kids pretend to bake, decorate and eat colorful cakes. The Zero Calorie Cupcake app for Android devices lets kids decorate and share cupcakes too.

Cookie Doodle , another popular virtual cooking app for kids, also gave itself a Halloween makeover. The latest 99-cent version includes all the basic cookie baking and decorating tools, but also features cookie cutters shaped as ghosts, witches, bats and other seasonal favorites.

7. Devilish Decor

If you like to get your own home nice and haunted for Halloween trick-or-treaters, technology can help you up the fear factor. Hallowindow sells Halloween-themed animations that you can project onto your window or display on your television. They’re fun, spooky animations that are designed for rear projection on windows. It might be too late to have DVDs with the animations shipped to you, but you can download images from the website for $4 to $12. If you want to enhance your devilish decor with sound effects, place wireless speakers outside and pipe in Halloween noises. If you need help setting this up, contact the Geek Squad at 1-800 GEEK SQUAD, geeksquad.com or at any Best Buy store.

The above tips were provided by Geek Squad! Toset up an onsite consultation, find an Agent or location near you at www.geeksquad.com , or visit the Geek Squad Precinct at Best Buy and other locations to speak with an Agent directly.

Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2157 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded LiveMom.com out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.

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