5 great summer apps

Consumer Reports News: June 13, 2013 03:08 PM

Whether you're taking an epic vacation or staycationing, the right apps can help make your summer more fun, and safer, too. We found five that we love.


Pocket (free, iOS and Android) can help make a trip or down-time by the pool at lot more fun. It lets you collect pages, articles, or videos from anywhere on the Web and saves them for later perusal. Once you select what you want to save, it syncs the content across all your connected devices.


EPA's SunWise UV Index (free, Android and iOS) helps keep sunburn away: It offers daily and hourly UV index ratings based on your current location or searchable by ZIP code, as well as advice for how to handle various UV levels. We searched several locations around the country, and information popped up without an issue. It would be useful to be able to search by city or state, though.


Dark Sky (iOS, $3.99) keeps you out of the nasty weather: It gives you real-time current weather and hour-to-hour forecasts for your exact location, along with beautiful visualizations. Arcus (Android, free or $1.49 pro version) uses Dark Sky's technology but is more basic.


iExit Interstate Exit Guide (free for iOS and Android, $.99 for full version on iOS) helps take the guesswork out of road-trip pit stops by identifying which restaurants, gas stations, hotels, and other services are available at each exit by name. Make a selection, and the smart-phone application gives the option of turn-by-turn directions or calling ahead to a business.


My TSA (iOs and Android, free), direct from the Transportation Security Administration, lets you find out exactly what you can and can't carry onto a plane, which personal items could set off alarms, and whether your airport is experiencing any kinds of delays. Even cooler, travelers can check and send in real-time updates about delays on security-checkpoint lines.

Here are a few bonus apps, too: Delta, Jet Blue, United, and many other airlines offer free apps for iOS and Android (some for BlackBerry and Windows) that let you book flights, check in, and get flight updates right on your mobile device. Search in your app store by the airline's name.

Carol Mangis

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