November 28, 2011 | by Jamie Maltman
Evaluated version: 2.4
Pros: Works Great, Easy Setup, Great Mommy's Voice Function,
Cons: Phone-Only, Need a second phone/line, Bathroom Noise Can Trigger, Can't Use Your Phone
To all the Moms and Dads out there with little ones, you should take a serious look at this Baby Monitor & Alarm from Tappytaps, and you can turn your Android phone (not tablet) into a very effective baby monitor.
We got to test it live with the perfect subject, our 10 day old son, thanks to the folks at Tappytaps. Our kids share a room with us, so we had never bought a traditional baby monitor with our first son. After trying it, we’re sold.
Setup was very easy. Choose a phone number for it to call, put the phone 3-6′ (1-2m) from your sleeping baby, and click start. If your baby makes noise for long enough, it will call you at that number, and when you pick up you can hear whatever comes through the speakerphone. If you ignore the call or hang up, it will reset itself and continue to function. This is great if it was some other sound triggering it, like my older son going into the adjoining bathroom.
A fantastic additional function was Mommy’s Voice: where on the first sound, the device can play a recorded message from Mom (or Dad) to try and soothe the baby back to sleep. This even seemed to work some of the time for settling our son back down. Only if the baby continues to stir will it make the call, and your baby will get to hear Mum’s voice while you’re heading up to check on him or her.
There’s an alternative option to play a sound recording as a lullaby instead.
Additional settings include:
- 5 levels of microphone sensitivity
- disable Loudspeaker during call
- option for SMS for low battery warning
- Experimental SMS commands for retrieving remote info
- time to leave room before monitoring begins
- call alert after number of seconds
- time before playing Mommy’s Voice, and between playing and call alert
We did have to experiment a bit with placement to make sure that my wife showering in the adjacent room didn’t trigger a call, and she was able to keep an eye on her phone to make sure it didn’t go off. First time Dads, take note. If you can make it easier for her to shower with the newborn in bed, she’ll love you for it!
The only downside is that it must make a voice call to notify you. For families like us that have gone fully wireless and don’t have a home phone, we would have to have both our Android phones at home to use the app: one with the baby, and one to receive the call. Since the app would be most useful when only one parent is home, this does limit how much we’ll be able to use it. It also ties up one of our phones, so if you plan to use your phone a lot in another room while your baby is sleeping, this won’t work for you. If I could install this on my Android tablet and have it do the monitoring and then contact us some other way, that would be a very nice addition.
Considering that a hardware baby monitor can run anywhere from $50 to hundreds, at only $2.99 in the Market this is a great buy for any new parents. Especially with so much more flexibility than a regular hardware baby monitor, not to mention the added benefit of not having to carry an extra device around. Its a great idea for families staying with relatives, or where a parent will be in the yard or other areas where that might have distortion, static or be out of range, and for families that go camping with babies it would be a fantastic solution.
There is also a free trial version that lets you try it for 20 minutes of monitoring, so you can make sure it works properly on your device before putting your money down.
Like a regular baby monitor, this device is by no means a substitute for real human care, even though you could theoretically be across town and get the call!