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Tech review: Apps to make your commute less painful

The LIRR TrainTime app features fare and schedule

The LIRR TrainTime app features fare and schedule information and more. Credit: Newsday/Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Going from here to there is not easy when you live on Long Island, especially during rush hour. These apps won’t make your commute something to look forward to, but they may make it less painful.

LIRR TrainTime

(iOS, Android; free)

You might have tried this official app from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority over the years and been disappointed, but it has received several bug fixes and is performing better. LIRR TrainTime has fare and schedule information (including delays) and information about services and ticket office and waiting room hours at each LIRR station. There are also links to LIRR services such as MTA Police and lost and found.

INRIX Traffic

(iOS, Android; free)

In this digital age, car commuters rely on built-in navigation systems or third-party apps like Google Maps, Waze, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. But you may also want to add this app to your traffic-fighting arsenal. From the global traffic data and analytics firm INRIX, it offers real-time traffic information including construction delays, lane closures and accidents and offers alternatives to get you to your destination faster.

Transit: Bus & Subway Times

(iOS, Android; free)

This super-popular app (more than 10 million installs) is the Swiss-army knife of commuting apps. It has real-time schedule information on all forms of transit in New York City and Long Island, including subways, buses and even bike-share programs. It will tell you when the next train or bus is due to arrive and how long it will take to get to your destination. Going on vacation? The app has transit information for more than 200 cities.

Audible Audiobooks

(iOS, Android; free/subscription)

Audible won’t reduce your commuting time, but it will make the time go faster. The Amazon-owned app is a gateway to thousands of audiobooks on virtually every topic. You can buy the books, but if you listen a lot, a subscription that will reduce the price of each book may be the way to go. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, a collection of free audiobooks is included in your membership.

Coronavirus response: Video meeting app now free

With fears over coronavirus rising, Google is making its advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing app free to all users of its G Suite and G Suite for Education productivity apps until July 1. With more employees working from home and more schools holding online classes, Google says the app ensures safe face-to-face get-togethers and reliable work and school collaboration wherever the participants are.

— PETER KING

Clued in

Wondering who the murderer is in that movie you’re watching? Mystery solved: It’s not the person with the iPhone. “Knives Out” director Rian Johnson told Vanity Fair that Apple has strict rules about showing its products in movies and “bad guys cannot have iPhones.” Johnson added that “every single filmmaker who has a bad guy in their movie that’s supposed to be a secret wants to murder me right now.”

— PETER KING

Apple, TikTok won’t testify on China probe

Apple and TikTok each declined a request to testify at a congressional hearing that would have probed their relationships with China, a move that threatens to ratchet up tensions with lawmakers. The tussle illustrates the growing appetite for answers among lawmakers who see Beijing as a threat to online privacy and security. Both companies declined to testify at a hearing last year on the same issue

– WASHINGTON POST

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