Tech review: Apps for spring break
It's spring-break season for families and college students alike. Below are some essential mobile apps for taking care of vacation expenses, finding local events and forecasting the weather. So whether you plan to hit the beach or the ski slopes, these app selections will better prepare you for getting the most out of your time away.
My Disney Experience should accompany every family traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The mobile app provides detailed maps of the parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Typhoon Lagoon, etc.), fast access for booking dinner reservations, plus event guides and schedules. If your rugrats want to meet Tinkerbell or attend "Dream Along with Mickey," you can sign in and view wait times for events and rides.
Families aren't the only groups that'll be traveling to warmer climates and going on adventures during spring break. A road trip with college friends across unfamiliar parts of the United States can be an amazing and liberating experience. The more people you can safely cram into your car, the less money each person pays. Trip Splitter from DC Software is for managing expenses and divvying up costs among a group of travelers. In the full version of this highly rated iOS app, it's simple to create a trip with an unlimited number of participants, and then enter the amount that everyone owes for gas, lodging, food and other accommodations. You can even add photos of receipts, events and travelers.
Eventbrite the website has amassed an impressive following, selling more than 90 million tickets to various events. The mobile app is a solid pick for both planners and spontaneous types, as you can search for local events and buy tickets through the app's thoroughly delightful interface. Browsing through categories like "Music" and "Conferences" produces some entertaining results, and iPhone owners can also sync up all ticket purchases with Passbook. The app's search is refined, and results can be sorted by relevance, date or distance. For extra specificity, search filters can nail down events in specific categories, distances and prices.
(iOS, $1.99; Android, $3.99)
EWeather HD displays the weather live through radar-infused maps and notifies you about severe weather changes in the United States or the European Union. We don't expect much to go wrong during your spring break vacay, but sometimes it pays to download the best mobile app instead of settling for a free one.
Ski & Snow Report
(iOS, Android, free)
Ski & Snow Report boasts information for more than 2,000 locations for skiing, improvements to layout and its TrailMap, and live webcams of the slopes. Ski & Snow Report lists various "Powder Points" and locations where snowfall has been particularly impressive. The reports not only inform skiers and snowboarders as to which lifts and trails are open, but they also list recent comments by eyes on the ground so that planning your snow day can be a social affair.
Tribune Media Services
Is that your TelePod ringing?
Would an iPhone by any other name be as sweet a device? Apple apparently contemplated several names for its breakthrough smartphone before going with iPhone. According to website 9to5Mac, names considered were Mobi, TelePod, TriPod and even iPad. The revelations were made at a marketing event at the University of Arizona last week by Ken Segall, an ad executive who worked on the iPhone launch. -- Peter King
Aereo expands to LI
Aereo, an Internet-based service that allows subscribers to watch and record over-the-air network and local television broadcasts on mobile devices, has expanded to several areas, including Nassau and Suffolk. Previously, Aereo was available only to residents of New York City. The service, which has been the target of copyright-infringement lawsuits from several broadcast networks, offers subscription packages of $8 and $12 a month. -- Peter King
The Pentagon will allow its personnel to share classified and protected data using a wider number of mobile-device platforms starting next year. This sets the stage for an intensified struggle for Pentagon customers among BlackBerry devices, Apple's iPhones or iPads, and units running Google's Android system. Defense Department personnel currently use 470,000 BlackBerries, 41,000 Apple devices and 8,700 Android-based products. -- Reuters