THREE GREAT SMARTPHONE APPS YOU’LL LOVE…

There is no real local hook for my column this week, except for the fact that a lot of your neighbors are probably using these terrific smartphone apps.  These are my favorite apps, and I wanted to share them with you.

Each app is free and fun whether you are 15 or 50 years old and available on the iOS or Droid platforms (phone and tablet).  Does anyone care about Blackberry?

I love these apps because they take no more than two touches of the phone to get to the fantastic point – no constant scrolling, pages and drop downs.  [more below]

Screen shot from the “Planets” smartphone app from Q Continuum.  Raise your phone to the sky and the app identifies constellations and planets while you are standing in your backyard.

Screen shot from the “Planets” smartphone app from Q Continuum, the writers #1 favorite for his iPhone. Raise your phone to the sky and the app identifies constellations and planets while you are standing in your backyard.

Lose It” by FitNow, my third most favorite free app is designed primarily for dieting – a friend lost 16 pounds using it – however it is great for anyone looking for an easy way to monitor personal nutrition.

Log everything you put in your mouth and the estimated quantity of it every day as well as your level of exercise and “Lose It” assigns the calorie count as well as nutrition information.  The logging becomes easier over time because the app remembers your favorite foods – whether you cook at home, eat a lot of packaged foods (enter via a barcode scan) or prefer to dine out.  The latest version also have a extremely comprehensive library of food items to choose from, but you can still manually enter that exotic dish you love.

If you are dedicated and honest with yourself with the information you enter, over weeks and months you will digitally see your nutrition patterns, helping you to identify possible areas for improvement.  (Err, I did not realize how many calories were in a glass of wine.)  The app also alerts you if your caloric intake aligns with your fitness goal.  [more below]

"Lose It" smartphone app screen shot detailing caloric intake as well as nutrition information.

“Lose It” smartphone app screen shot detailing caloric intake as well as nutrition information.

If you love posting photos on Facebook, CraigsList or any other platform that allows space for one primary image, you will love, “Pic Jointer” by Leping Li, my second top favorite app.  There are hundreds of photo editing apps available but I like this one because it is the most simple.  It does one thing – easily pastes up to five images into one frame.

So whether you are sharing photos of you, a party or a product you are trying to sell, viewers get more images without having to search Facebook albums or Pintrest galleries.

My all-time, ultimate favorite app “Planets” by Q Continuum, is a 3D virtual reality guide to the solar system.  In real-time and on-demand, the app identifies constellations and planets above you, wherever you are.

Standing in your backyard or walking on the boardwalk, lift your phone to the sky and recognize more than the moon and Big Dipper.  As of press time, “Planets” revealed constellations Andromeda, Pegasus and Pisces are above us as well as the planets Mercury and Venus.

Multi-language “Planets” also lists when the sun and moon will rise each day as well as shows a real-time gamma spectrum, which is very cool prior to a thunderstorm.  My five year old godson is consumed with this app.

“I am a huge science enthusiast, so I wanted to do my bit to help promote science education,” said Dana Peters, the app’s developer from Ontario, Canada. “With more than 8.5 million downloads since 2009, it seems to have worked, which is a huge satisfaction.”

Apps that you may enjoy that deserve honorable mention include “Flashlight” by iHandy – which was indispensable during Superstorm Sandy.  The “Ugly Meter Pro” an app ($4.99 but you can get it ‘on sale’ for $.99) that rates your face’s beauty based on scientific parameters of symmetry and proportion is fun for a playful night with friends and the “Starbucks” coffee company app is funded by you fund and then used for purchases instead of cash (leave your wallet in the car).  Every 12 drink purchases you get a free one, which makes a $5 Macchiato a teeny bit more tasty.

What is your favorite free smartphone app?  Email me:  Richard@TheBPlot.com

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