As the tech reporter and resident gadget guru for KTLA-5 in Los Angeles, Rich DeMuro is a busy guy. His show, “Tech Report,” is syndicated across the country and he often lends his expertise to other media outlets. He’s also the father of a toddler, and there’s no doubt about which job he considers most important. With his many responsibilities, DeMuro turns to technology to help him balance family life and work.
For DeMuro, it starts and ends with memories, which he says are life’s most valuable commodity. So, to him, the most important piece of tech a parent can own is a good camera phone.
“A phone with a great camera is incredibly important,” he says. “Otherwise you’ll go a year or two without pictures of your child. The best on the market is probably the [iPhone] 5s, followed by the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the [Samsung] Galaxy S4.”
For parents whose phones are overflowing with pictures of their kids, DeMuro recommends an app called Mosaic. Users can select 20 photos on their phones and the app converts them into a stylish photo book. He also likes the Walgreens app, which allows users to edit their photos and upload them to a nearby Walgreens store to be printed.
Can’t figure out who’s got the time to pick up the family pictures at Walgreens? DeMuro recommends Wunderlist, a to-do list app he shares with his wife. As soon as one of them updates their to-do list on their phones, the update appears on the other’s phone. It’s a great way to coordinate family tasks on the fly.
“It’s $5 for unlimited access,” he says. “My wife and I share one list that updates automatically throughout the day.”
And when it comes to his son, DeMuro’s primary concern is how he introduces technology to him.
“Many pediatricians seem to recommend that children are ready to start using devices at two years,” he said. “But the reality is that children as young as a year old have the fine motor skills to slide and unlock a phone or tablet.”
However, DeMuro also cautions that too much technology can have a detrimental effect.
“You’ve got to be cautious when it comes to screen time,” he says. “We limit our son’s time on the iPad to about 30 minutes a day. Then it’s a regular old storybook at bedtime.”
Follow Rich on Twitter at @richdemuro.