The Yahoo! Weather app features images taken by locals to illustrate the location, time of day and current weather conditions.

The Yahoo! Weather app features images taken by locals to illustrate the location, time of day and current weather conditions.  Last Saturday’s image by AJ Starks.

Resolve to make the most of your smartphone in 2015.  Here are some easy and useful apps to get you started.

Barnes Foundation

Some of the world’s most amazing Post-Impressionist and early modern paintings in the palm of your hand… literally.  In 1922, Albert Barnes created a foundation to share his collection of masterpieces, including the largest private collection of Cezannes.

Today, thanks to the Barnes Foundation app, you can tour the inspirational collection anytime from anywhere.  Scan through the HD images like “The Postman” by Vincent van Gogh or “Card Players” by Cezanne.  Click on an image to get a brush stroke-close look and hear a renowned expert share a two-minute description and history of the specific piece.

The easy-to-use app’s content is beautiful escapism.  Much better than any Candy Crush smartphone game.  Available on iTunes and Play.

Yahoo! Weather

The tagline for this app is “experience the weather like never before” and that’s pretty spot-on. Yahoo! Weather is actually more fun than looking out your window.

You can customize the app to deliver up-to-the minute animated weather info for any location in the world. In addition to detailed weather reports, the app uses locally submitted images (via Flickr) to illustrate the location, time of day and current weather conditions.

Barnes Foundation app offers an audio tour of one of the world's most amazing collections of art.  Inspiring.

The Barnes Foundation app offers an audio tour of one of the world’s most amazing collections of art. Inspiring.

Last Saturday, for Asbury Park the app featured a dynamic overcast beach photo by local photographer AJ Starks.  Available on iTunes and Play.

Google Translate

I promise you will use it more than you think.  It’s the most user-friendly and convenient way to break down language barriers. Type, write or speak a phrase and the app will translate it into one of 80 languages.  The app prints and says your translated words with spot-on diction.

You can also keep a library of words or phrases you will use frequently (when you are on vacation, for example).  Coming soon – take a photo of text and the app will translate it. My high school French teacher must be flipping.  Available on iTunes and Play.

Free Prints

Have you ever tried to upload images for printing to the Costco website?  Your head will explode.  But now there’s a incredibly simple solution to release those digital photos locked in your device.  In four steps, directly from your smartphone (or tablet), you can have professional-quality printed photos compliments of Free Prints.

When you are on WiFi (not cellular – it uses too much data) select the photos from your smartphone, Facebook, Flickr or Chrome.  Choose the photo size and then… upload.  It’s seriously that easy.  Your photos are mailed to you in less than a week.

The company says you get 85 “free” 4” by 6” photos a month but the fact is you pay for shipping.  Overall, the cost per photo is a penny or two cheaper than a local brick and mortar printing service.  For photos 5” by 7” or larger, the savings becomes more significant.  Available on iTunes and Play.


For $2.99, you can throw away your fax and scanner thanks to TurboScan.  Take a photo of a document and the app converts it into a JPG or PDF file and sets it up to be emailed or filed.  You can also execute agreements from anywhere by inserting your digital signature.  As well, TurboScan works well to record whiteboards, receipts and old-school handwritten notes.  The app is best-in-class, five-star rated by 1500 users.  Simple and useful.  Available on iTunes and Play.

Three more smartphone apps you will love here.