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Tech review: Apps to keep your car rolling along

The Smart Dash Cam app can help if

The Smart Dash Cam app can help if you find yourself in an accident. Credit: Newsday/IPCamSoft.com

Memorial Day and the long July 4 weekend are in the rear-view mirror, but there’s a lot of summer driving ahead. These apps will help you keep your car gassed, juiced and rolling.

PlugShare

(iOS, Android; free)

If you’re one of the many Long Island car owners who elected to go electric, you’re probably enjoying your car but with a few qualms — especially on longer road trips. While there are gas stations everywhere, electric-car charging stations are still a work in progress. PlugShare offers a continually updated listing of more than 140,000 charging stations in the United States — and you can filter the results for stations that are compatible for your vehicle.

MyCarfax

(iOS, Android; free)

From the company that produces the popular Carfax reports that detail a vehicle’s accident history, MyCarfax is aimed at helping owners keep their car well-maintained. The app accesses Carfax’s vast database (although not for accident reports), so if you enter your car’s VIN you will see, for most cars, a listing of past service going back years. You can then tell MyCarfax to alert you when it’s time for an oil change or other scheduled maintenance.

Smart Dash Cam

(iOS, Android; free)

Using your smartphone to talk or text while driving can led to accidents, but you can put it to work to help you in case you are in an accident. This app turns your phone into a dashboard camera that will record video of what’s going on outside your windshield. If an accident happens, especially one that’s not your fault, the video can help you collect money from the insurance companies. 

GasBuddy

(iOS, Android; free)

Most Long Islanders know which gas stations near them typically have the lowest prices — or the highest. But if you’re cruising away from your neighborhood, this popular app lists gas stations in the area along with their prices. You can filter results by price, grade or brand, or even whether the gas station has a restroom. There is also a vibrant message board with reviews and other commentaries.

Music streams top 500B

Music streaming services — both audio and video — set a new record in the first half of 2019. Nielsen said more than 507 billion singles and albums were streamed, up 32 percent from the first half of 2018. Among the most popular artists were Lil Nas X, Ariana Grande, BTS and Halsey. Vinyl records sales were also strong, rising 19 percent year over year.

— PETER KING

Older phone users are PIN pals

Want to act younger? Drop the PIN and raise your finger. A small University of British Columbia study found that older smartphone users prefer to unlock their devices using a personal identification number while younger users opt for using the fingerprint scanner where available. Older users are also more likely to keep their phones unlocked at home compared with younger users.

— PETER KING

Research firm: China behind cyberattacks

Cyberattackers linked to the Chinese government infiltrated at least 10 global telecommunications carriers over several years and stole customer data, according to Cybereason. The Boston-based research firm said a team acting on behalf of China sought to take communications data related only to specific individuals. Cybereason declined to identify the companies or customers targeted because of concerns about the lives of individuals.

— BLOOMBERG NEWS

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