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Tech Review: Keeping ahead of the weather

Apps that help users stay connected.

Apps that help users stay connected. Credit: AFP / Getty Images

Long Islanders just enjoyed an unusually mild summer, but far less placid days may be on the horizon. Hurricane season doesn't officially end until Nov. 30, and then comes winter. These apps all offer forecasts and weather alerts to keep you informed as storms barrel up the coast or across the country. Just as some people like sunny days and others like rainy days, the weather app you choose is a matter of personal taste.

Yahoo Weather

(iOS, Android; free)

Yahoo Weather puts its information on a single, scrollable screen illustrated with gorgeous, location- and weather-appropriate photos from Yahoo's Flickr service. While it has fewer features than the other weather apps, you get a good idea of what's happening -- and what is forecast to happen -- at a glance. You can add up to 20 locations. The large ads can be distracting, however.

The Weather Channel

(iOS, Android; free)

Leveraging the expertise of its popular cable and satellite TV channel, the Weather Channel app offers daily and extended forecasts, maps, alerts and videos. The app also has a social mode, where you share reports and photos with other users. The free version has ads that can be intrusive, but an in-app purchase of $3.99 makes it ad free.

AccuWeather

(iOS, Android; free)

This visually attractive app has configurable forecasts, radar maps and other useful features, but what sets it apart is its MinuteCast, a "hyperlocal" two-hour forecast based on your exact location. You can store an unlimited number of locations, a nice feature for snowbirds who like nothing better than tracking a blizzard bearing down on Long Island while they're in Florida.

MyRadar Weather Radar

(iOS, Android; free)

For those interested in current conditions and who don't want to scroll through screens of data, this no-frills MyRadar may be perfect. The app displays weather radar based on your GPS, so you can quickly see if a storm is approaching and how intense it is. There are in-app purchases to remove ads ($1.99), access national weather warnings ($3.99) and add a hurricane tracker ($2.99).

Fab Five

Paul McCartney has released five of his post-Beatles albums as individual apps for iOS devices ($7.99, each). Two of the albums are with McCartney's band Wings ("Band on the Run," "Wings Over America"), two are solo albums ("McCartney," "McCartney II") and the fifth is "Ram," which he did with then-wife Linda McCartney. Each app contains the complete album along with video clips, rare photos, interviews and other content.

Campus book store

Google is offering unlimited storage on its Drive cloud service to students and educators signed up with its free Google Apps for Education program. Google says students can use the "infinitely large, ultra-secure" Drive as a "free book bag for the 21st century," allowing them to store all their papers, photos, notes, digital textbooks and other school-related and personal documents.

Game time

Playing video games for more than three hours a day is bad for kids. But not playing at all may be just as bad. Researchers at Oxford University found that kids who played video games for less than one hour a day were "better adjusted than those who had never played" or those who played for three hours or more a day.

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