Not surprisingly, July and August are the two most popular months for vacations. Whether you've already made plans or still haven't selected a destination, these apps can give you ideas of where to stay and guide you to popular or quirky attractions once you get there.

Airbnb

(iOS, Android; free)

This popular -- and controversial -- app allows vacationgoers to rent rooms, apartments or houses from homeowners through a database of 500,000 listings. Do lots of research before booking. While some Airbnb renters have found hidden gems, others said they ended up with vacation-killing accommodations. To take advantage of Long Island's desirability as a popular vacation destination, you can use Airbnb to rent out your place. The app has a feature that allows you to "get acquainted" with potential guests; the more you investigate the better your outcomes. Airbnb collects service fees from hosts and guests once a reservation is booked.

>Minube

(iOS, Android; free)

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Can't decide where to go this summer? Minube's "Inspiration Tool" can help you find a perfect vacation spot in nearly 200 countries. The recommendations and reviews come from Minube's worldwide community of more than 1 million travelers. Once you set up a profile, Minube offers personalized recommendations.

Triposo

(iOS, Android; free)

Travelers can use Triposo to take a virtual tour of thousands of vacation spots around the world. Once you choose your destination, you can download the city or country guide and access it offline. Triposo's guides include maps, some simple phrase translations and a currency converter. When you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can get continually updated weather information and local news.

Gogobot

(iOS, Android; free)

With this well-designed app you get vacation ideas by joining "tribes" made up of Gogobot's large user base of travelers. There are nearly 20 tribes, each devoted to a distinct category such as family travelers, foodies, business travelers and students. Want to show the folks back home how much fun you're having? Snap a picture and create a "Gogobot postcard" to tell them "wish you were here."

 

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Tech bytes

 

Techie support

Tired of traditional beach reads? Try some geek reads. Microsoft is offering more than 300 e-books for download ranging from technical manuals to user-friendly quick-start guides for Excel and Word. Also available: "The Windows 7 Power Users Guide," a 174-page handbook to Microsoft's most popular operating system. Best of all, the e-books are free. Go to nwsdy.li/ebooksms. -- PETER KING

Soaked by the stream

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Digital music downloads from providers such as iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Google Play Music are declining as users sign up for services that offer unlimited streaming of songs. Research firm Nielsen says sales of single digital music tracks fell 13 percent in the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. Bucking the trend: Sales of old-fashioned vinyl records rose 40 percent. -- PETER KING

Time for a change

Apple has hired a senior executive from Swiss luxury watch brand Tag Heuer as it prepares to launch the iWatch. Patrick Pruniaux was vice president for sales and retail at Tag Heuer, a unit of luxury goods group LVMH. Expected this fall, the iWatch would be the closest Apple has come to selling a fashion accessory and marks its first foray into the personal luxury goods market. -- Reuters