Research and development in the mobile app venue doesn’t cease to amaze. Google’s latest, Google Play, allows you to find music, movies, games and apps in a single place, accessible from any web-browsing gadget, in an Android-like version of Apple’s iTunes store. Among its list of top free apps: Voice Search, the voice-activated search engine, Street View on Google Maps, YouTube, and the (recently Facebook-acquired) photo sharing program, Instagram. Also popular are Pandora (streaming music station), Flixter (social movie rating venue) and Shazam (song identification tool), but the list of apps is never-ending. Here are a few others to keep you in the loop—at least for now.
- Astrid. Creates customized to-do lists for every occasion. iOS, Android. astrid.com.
- Waze. A community-based traffic navigation app that connects you to other drivers in real time to improve commutes. iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia. waze.com.
- Instant Heart Rate. Turns your phone into a heart rate monitor to track your numbers, or those of family and friends. iOS, Android. azumio.com/apps/heart-rate.
- Kepler Explorer. Provides interactive displays of the 2,300 alien planet candidates detected by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. iOS. itunes.apple.com.
- LucyPhone. For those who hate being on hold, this app makes it easy to look up customer service numbers and place calls without the wait. iOS, Android. lucyphone.com/csr.
- IP Cam Viewer. Allows you to view multiple webcams at once: street views, weather cams, your pet cam at home… iOS, Android, Blackberry. hit-mob.com.
- Lapseit. Creates easily-rendered time lapse recordings. Watch the sun rise or fall, a plant grow, or a 30-second version of a long road trip. iOS, Android. interactiveuniverse.net.
- Grocery IQ. Creates your shopping list by adding the products you scan as they run out, such as an empty milk carton. iOS, Android. groceryiq.com. iBi