Spring is already two-thirds over, and, as you may have discovered, your house or apartment is not going to clean itself. These apps may give you the impetus and the tools to finish -- or start -- your spring cleaning chores.
Kids not cleaning their rooms? Let ChoreMonster scare them into doing their share. Actually, ChoreMonster is about as frightening as Cookie Monster, and kids may find it just as entertaining. The app's goal is to make cleaning a game, and the more chores kids complete, the more monsters they collect. Parents can also bestow real rewards such as money or treats for completed tasks.
This European import organizes tasks by rooms or areas to help you set up "a customized cleaning plan." There are a range of preset chores you can add to your list, or you can add your own specific tasks. Each task gets its own time frame, so, for example, you can be reminded to dust every week and clean the sink every two weeks. There are no annoying alarms, but a gauge tells you when a task is overdue.
Chore Checklist Lite
If your cleaning routine is messy, your home will probably be even messier. This ultra-organized app can get you mopping, cleaning and dusting with a purpose. Tasks are categorized on an easy-to-follow checklist. Separate purchases of the full version ($1.50) and Chore Checklist CloudConnector ($1.99) offer the ability to sync lists between devices so multiple family members can tackle the same chores.
Press a button, and this app uses a "magic broom" to clean while you just sit there. Don't get too excited: It cleans your Android device of clutter -- you're still on your own for the dust on top of the refrigerator. While some experts say optimization apps are unnecessary and may be detrimental if used incorrectly, there's no questioning Clean Master's popularity. It has been downloaded more than 200 million times. IOS users can check out Cleaner -- Memory & Cache Manager (free), with the same caveats.
NYC plans 7,000 hot spots
New York City wants to replace the network of aging, often inoperative street pay phones with 7,000 free Wi-Fi hot spots. The city is asking companies interested in building the hot spots for proposals, which will be evaluated on the structures' efficiency, security, durability and how they aesthetically look in historic districts and near landmarks. The city hopes to sign a contract with a company by the end of the year.
-- PETER KING
Mute button for tweets
Twitter has unveiled a mute feature that allows you to tune out users whose tweets you no longer want to see on your home timeline. The feature, which is rolling out over the next few weeks, will be available on the Web and in Twitter's Android and iOS apps. Users will not know you have muted them, Twitter says.-- PETER KING
Report: iPhone6 due in August
Apple's iPhone 6 may be available in August, one month earlier than industry watchers are expecting, according to a report in a Taiwanese newspaper. A 4.7-inch screen version of the iPhone 6 will reach stores first, the Economic Daily News reported. A 5.5-inch or 5.6-inch model will be released in September, the newspaper said.-- Reuters