Tech review: Going Fourth with these apps

Apps that help users stay connected.

Apps that help users stay connected. Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

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Friday is July 4, kicking off a three-day weekend that many hope will include fun in the sun. If a visit to the shore is on your agenda, these apps can keep you safe and entertained.

Jersey Shore Beach Guide

(iOS, Android; free)

You probably don't need an app to tell you about your favorite Long Island beaches, but perhaps your July 4 weekend includes a road trip to a foreign shore -- like New Jersey. This app has information on nearly 40 Jersey Shore destinations from Sandy Hook (about a two-hour drive from the Nassau-Queens border) to Cape May. The app's "beach finder" ensures you get off at the right exit on the parkways. Hungry and thirsty after a day of swimming and sunbathing? The app has reviews of hundreds of restaurants, bars and clubs.

SunWise UV Index

(iOS, Android; free)

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This official app from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has forecasts, updated hourly, for the expected intensity of ultraviolet radiation. You can localize the app's forecast by entering a city or ZIP code. The app will also give you information on what precautions you should take, depending on the amount of UV light expected.

Google Play Books

(iOS, Android; free)

People have been taking books to the beach for centuries. In the age of mobile devices, you can take an entire library. Of the scores of reading apps available, Google Play Books is among the best because it is crammed with features and offers current bestsellers at discounted prices and hundreds of classics for free. Want to get a jump on next semester? They may not make great beach reads, but the app has access to hundreds of textbooks.

Beach Safety

(iOS; free)

Developer My Surf World produces apps focused on surfers, but Beach Safety can help anyone who heads to the shore, whether he's in the water to hang 10 or take a 10-minute dip. There are sections on how to avoid getting caught in rips and currents and what to do if you're stung by a jellyfish. If you need the information offered on sharks, you've probably swum out too far.


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Tech bytes


Tiiime management

Plan to do some binge-watching on the long July 4 weekend that starts Friday? Know what you're in for before you start. Website computes how long it takes to watch whole seasons of TV shows. Watching all seven seasons of "Mad Men," for example, takes 31/2 days, so you may have to take July 7 off, too. -- PETER KING

Air-to-Surface missile

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Microsoft's advertising campaign says its new Surface Pro 3 is "the tablet that can replace your laptop," and it's putting its money where its slogan is. Microsoft is offering up to $650 toward a Surface Pro 3 for customers who trade in a working MacBook Air laptop at a Microsoft Store. The Surface Pro 3's normal retail price starts at $800. The offer ends July 31. -- PETER KING

Twitter: Not blocking Russian sites

Twitter said it hasn't agreed to block accounts in Russia, rebutting statements by the country that access was being restricted. Russia wants to block content it considers extremist, such as that of Ukrainian national groups. President Vladimir Putin said in April his government needs to impose greater control over the Web, which the former KGB colonel called a creation of U.S. spy agencies. -- Bloomberg News

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