Tech Review: Apps help you get from Point A to Point B

In this March 15, 2012 photo, Ben Gleitzman In this March 15, 2012 photo, Ben Gleitzman uses a traffic and navigation app called Waze on his Apple iPhone as he drives to work in Menlo Park, Calif. Photo Credit: AP/Paul Sakuma

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What's the worst part of a three-day holiday weekend that begins on a Friday? There's an even more dispiriting back-to-work Monday. These apps can get you ready for your reality trip to the office after the long July Fourth weekend.

LIRR TrainTime

(iOS, Android; free)

This official app from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is more than a train schedule and fare finder. It has real-time updates on train status and delays and issues alerts on expected schedule changes because of planned train and track work. There is also information on each station, including ticket office and waiting room hours and bus connections.

NICE GoMobile

(iOS, Android; free)

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For Long Islanders whose commute includes a NICE bus, this mobile payment app from Nassau Inter-County Express can make it easier, albeit a bit more expensive. Instead of fumbling for quarters, you purchase an electronic ticket on your smartphone, which you show to the driver when you get on board. A single ride e-ticket is $2.75 compared to the $2.25 if you pay cash, but multi-ticket discounts are available. Make sure you have your ticket activated and on your phone's screen before you board the bus.

Waze

(iOS, Android; free)

If you're a motorist heading to Manhattan, will Monday be a Northern State or LIE day? This enormously popular navigation and maps app has continually updated traffic alerts from other users who have hit the road before you so you get crowdsourced advice on routes to take and to avoid. Since being acquired by Google last year, Waze has undergone numerous upgrades. It now automatically sends messages to designated recipients that you are "almost there" or, more likely for a Monday morning commute, "stuck in traffic."

Moovit

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(iOS, Android; free)

Moovit compiles real-time, crowdsourced information on subway, commuter rail and buses from its large user base. It guides you using GPS and even tells you how far you must walk from the LIRR station, subway station or bus stop to your destination. If you're planning a vacation in a major city this summer, Moovit has information on public transit systems in 40 urban areas in the United States and Canada.

 

Tech bytes

 

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Hall monitors

There's still time to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown this long July Fourth weekend, and you don't have to leave your home. Using its street-view technology, Google has digitized the museum's many rooms and three floors, making it possible to use your mouse to "walk" through the Hall and view the exhibits, plaques and memorabilia. Go to nwsdy.li/hof-google. -- PETER KING

New light

GE has unveiled a new LED bulb called Link that consumers can control using the Wink mobile app (iOS, Android; free). The bulbs are about $15 each, although a separate "hub" that wirelessly connects the bulbs to the app must be purchased for about $30. The bulb is expected to be available this fall. -- PETER KING

Adidas ends eBay, Amazon ban

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Sportswear maker Adidas has decided to allow the sale of its products on marketplace areas of eBay and Amazon. Adidas had previously said it wanted its products to be sold only by expert and specialist retailers rather than eBay and Amazon to ensure they were presented "in the best possible way and in the right environment."

-- Reuters

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