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Tech review: Essential apps for international travelers

The Cruise Finder app allows users to filter

The Cruise Finder app allows users to filter searches by destination, pricing and more. Credit: Newsday/iCruise.com

Many Long Islanders will be getting out of town for the holiday season or end-of-the-year vacations, but others will go even farther and get out of the country. If an international trip is on your agenda, these apps will be helpful tour guides.

Mobile Passport

(iOS, Android; free)

Hate filling out those paper arrivals forms on the plane when you return to the United States? With Mobile Passport, enter your passport information and you will receive an electronic code from Customs and Border Protection you can use instead of the paper form. When you arrive, look for the “Mobile Passport Control” sign directing you to a special line. More than 30 airports support Mobile Passport, including Kennedy and Newark Liberty. The paid version ($15) allows you to save information for future trips.

Timeshifter

(iOS, Android; free)

If you need a vacation to recover from your vacation, you’re probably suffering from jet lag. Timeshifter uses what it calls circadian neuroscience to help you avoid that debilitating problem. Give the app an idea of your normal sleep patterns and your destination, and Timeshifter offers advice on adjusting your “circadian clock” for different time zones. Your first jet lag plan is free. Additional jet lag plans cost $9.99 per trip.

SmartTraveler

(iOS, Android; free)

This official app from the U.S. State Department is a good travel companion if major problems arise overseas during your dream vacation. Whether it’s a natural disaster or if you simply lose your passport, the app will give you directions to the U.S. embassy where you can find help. But even if there are no problems, the app can help you create itineraries to get you better organized.

Cruise Finder

(iOS, Android; free)

For those leaving the United States by sea rather than air, this app is a must-have. Cruise Finder helps you find more than 350 ships in about 40 cruise lines. You can see destinations, route maps and prices and browse through photos of staterooms. To make your search faster, you can filter the results any way you want, for example by destination or pricing.

Domino’s rolls out e-bike delivery

Your pizza may soon be delivered by pedal power. Domino’s Pizza has been testing delivery by e-bike in several cities, including New York. Domino’s says the e-bikes mean more efficient delivery in congested areas and can attract a wider pool of workers, especially those without cars or driver licenses. Domino’s intends to roll out the service in several cities by the end of the year.

— PETER KING

U.S. probes TikTok

Multiple published reports say the U.S. government has launched a national-security review of the China-owned app TikTok. The social media app, where users share short videos, has become wildly popular with U.S. teens and young adults. The government has concerns about how TikTok collects users’ personal data, its censorship of political content and its growing influence in the United States, according to The New York Times.

— AP

Tipping point

Do you tip your Uber driver? If so, how much? A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 60 percent of riders never tip their drivers, and only 1 percent always tip. Crunching the numbers means only 15 percent of Uber rides results in a tip. Overall, the average tip — for those who actually do tip — is $3.

— PETER KING

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