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Tech review: Interesting apps released in the first half of  2019

Spotify Stations re-creates the experience of listening to

Spotify Stations re-creates the experience of listening to songs on the radio. Credit: Spotify

As in most years, the first half of 2019 saw release of a number of blockbuster games and only a handful of nongame apps. These are four of the most interesting and useful nongame apps of this year. Next week, a look at the 2019’s biggest games.

Spotify Stations

(iOS, Android; free)

This new entry from popular music-streaming service Spotify won’t let you listen to a specific playlist of your songs, but that’s not its purpose. Instead, Spotify Stations re-creates the experience of listening to songs on the radio. You can set a genre of songs or artists you like, and you’ll hear an ever-streaming selection of tunes that Spotify thinks you’ll enjoy. The straightforward interface makes it easy to get up and listening in a snap.


(iOS, Android; free)

OK, it’s movie night. But before you can decide which movie to watch, you have to decide which streaming service has the movie you want to see. For those with subscriptions to multiple video streaming services, Dinggo, released in February for Android and March for iOS, lets you enter the name or even genre of movie you want and it will find it on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Netflix.


(iOS, Android; free)

Facebook-owned Instagram continues to grow even as its mighty parent suffers declining usage and growing controversies. Gbox, released this month for Android and updated in March for iOS, calls itself a “Toolkit for Instagram.” Gbox allows you to take your photos and videos and using a number of filters, make them more eye-catching. There’s also a “best hashtags” feature aimed at increasing your number of followers.

Tor Browser

(Android; free)

This Android-only app, released in May, has been hugely anticipated by a small but growing segment of internet users — those concerned about tracking and privacy. Tor Browser keeps your internet browsing secret: Even your internet service provider won’t know the sites you are visiting. It also prevents you from being tracked by advertisers, cutting down on the number of intrusive ads and pop-ups you have to slog through. 

App can be a lifesaver

A new app from a Long Island-based developer may help save lives. Mobile MDT (iOS, Android; $7.99), aimed at EMTs and paramedics in New York City’s 911 system, helps them find the right hospitals for patients being treated and helps first responders navigate city traffic to get there. The app was created by Deer Park resident Phil Scarfi, a former EMT and current FDNY firefighter. For more information, go to


Getting jobbed?

There’s a slew of job-search sites on the internet, but if you think many jobs are out of reach, you may be right. North Carolina State University researchers found that recruiters often target candidates for higher-wage jobs on LinkedIn — candidates often not even looking for a job. Meanwhile, there is intense competition for lower-wage jobs, often with hundreds of thousands of applicants applying for each listing.


Facebook to curb health misinformation

Facebook is taking steps to limit the reach of false and sometimes dangerous claims promoting natural treatments for cancer and other ailments. Facebook will “down-rank” posts that it believes contain health misinformation — such as swallowing bleach can cure autism or that apple cider vinegar can cure cancer. Facebook will treat the information similar to how it treats clickbait or spam.


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