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Tech review: Apps to explore iPhone 5

Samsung and Apple, the world's top two smartphone

Samsung and Apple, the world's top two smartphone makers, are locked in patent disputes in at least 10 countries as they vie to dominate the lucrative mobile market and win over customers with their latest gadgets. (Sept. 28, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

So you're the first on your block (or in your office) to get a brand new iPhone 5? Congratulations!

Once you show off the new look and feel of the device -- which manages to incorporate a larger 4-inch screen on a lighter and thinner phone -- you will want to explore its new capabilities, including the new iOS 6 operating system, 4G connectivity and a faster processor.

These five apps will showcase your shiny new device:


(iPhone, iPod Touch, Android; free)

There are two really important reasons to download YouTube to the iPhone 5. First, YouTube does not come preinstalled as it has since 2007. This is the result of ongoing bickering between Apple and Google+ which are constantly competing for our mobile attention spans. The second reason is to take advantage of the larger screen and new aspect ratio that enhances high-definition video. GGooglerecently created a vastly improved version of YouTube. The new app has a more polished look and feel, and it also makes it easier to share videos through FFacebook Twitter, Google+ or email.

Camera Awesome

(iPhone, iPod Touch; free)

The iPhone 5 includes a better camera than any other iDevice so far, and iOS 6 adds in new capabilities to Apple's Photo Stream software, which lets you share images with friends and family without having to share them with everyone on the Internet. Among the best cameras on the App Store is Camera Awesome, which packs in a ton of features and filters not included with the iOS camera app.


(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android; free)

Siri, Apple's famous voice-enabled personal assistant, was arguably the biggest new feature of the iPhone 4S last fall. Anyone hungry for new Siri features will be pleased to know that the service is now integrating more third-party apps. Ask Siri where the best Thai restaurants are near you, and it will respond via OpenTable and help make reservations.


(iPhone, iPod Touch; free)

Anyone who has ever taken a quick video of her kid at the park but had trouble uploading because of a spotty network connection will love the faster and more reliable 4G network. Viddy is an app that might do for video sharing what Instagram did for photo sharing.


(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad $6.99; Android, $0.25)

Just about all of the internal hardware of the iPhone 5 has been upgraded, which improves the display and graphics of the device, as well as its speed. Translation: a much better gaming experience, with slicker visuals and faster competition. Horn, published by social gaming powerhouse Zynga, is ready with the new aspect ratio. Horn is gorgeous and pushes the capabilities of Apple's devices, so players who enter its fantasy world on the iPhone will get the best experience with the sharpest, smoothest graphics available.


Tribune Media Services

Tech bytes


Kid-friendly app

Netflix has a new app that may ease parents' concerns about what their kids are watching on their iPads. Just for Kids offers a wide selection of age-appropriate TV shows and movies aimed at children 12 and under. The free app, which requires Netflix membership, is available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Netflix says it will launch an Android version later this year.

-- Peter King


Unleashing productivity

Want to motivate workers? Instead of PowerPoint, try puppies. A new Japanese study found that subjects performed tasks better after they were shown "cute images" of baby animals. The researchers said the subjects became more focused on their tasks because of "the cuteness-triggered positive emotion." Other seemingly pleasing images, such as pictures of food or adult animals, did not work as well.

-- Peter King


California enacts online privacy law

Employers and school administrators in California cannot demand log-in information to social media sites from job applicants, employees and students. Under new laws, employers are also barred from firing those who refuse to disclose passwords to their personal e-mail accounts. Colleges are prohibited from demanding social media log-in information from students or prospective students.

-- Reuters

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