Whether you are on a sunny beach vacation or just lounging in the backyard with family and friends, staying on top of sunscreen applications can save your life (or at the very least help you avoid nasty burns). Here are five savvy sun-care apps for your smartphone or tablet that will help you keep your skin in tip-top shape.
The free Coppertone MyUVAlert app for the iPhone allows you customize a sunscreen profile for each of your family members so you always know what SPF level to apply to your kids every time you hit the pool or beach. The app also gives you access to the UV Index, lets you set up sunscreen application reminders and provides access to coupons for sun-care products -- by Coppertone, of course.
Wolfram Sun Exposure
(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad; $0.99)
Find out your "time to sunburn" with the Wolfram Sun Exposure Reference App. You tell the app your location, skin type, date, time and the level of SPF you plan to use, and the Wolfram Sun Exposure algorithm computes your sunburn time. It will also advise you if you need a higher level of SPF. Wolfram Alpha's answer engine technology is used by the Siri Personal Assistant in the iPhone 4S (among other things). The Sun Exposure app is one of several niche titles available for iDevices. For Android smartphones and tablets, the general WolframAlpha app at $3.99 is a worthy download that will also provide answers to many sun exposure questions.
(iPhone, iPod Touch, Android; $2.99)
Set an alarm with the nevus app so you know when to reapply your sunscreen. You can skew the alarm time based on conditions, such as swimming or just hanging out on dry land. The nevus iPhone app also supplies the UV Index as well as a "Sunscreen Visualizer," so you know how much sunscreen to apply to your body for maximum coverage. You can also use it to keep track of mole development all over your body so you can be prepared when you visit the dermatologist for your annual skin checkup.
(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad; free)
If you really want to play it sun-safe, don't go outside at all. You can use the free ModiFace Tan app to give yourself the perfect summer tan! No beach needed. Tell the app how long you would have stayed in the sun and what SPF level you would have used, and it will automatically highlight your photo to reflect your perfect summer glow!
(iPhone, iPod Touch; free)
Are you nervous about applying sunscreen because of all the chemicals? Consider trying an organic brand of sunscreen. The free Soleil Organique app allows you to learn important safety information about the product's ingredients in addition to using its visual search technology to find a retail location nearby. This sun-savvy app also has a UV Index and weather information.
-- By Appolicious.com,
Tribune Media Services
Hotmail's cool makeover
Hotmail, Microsoft's free email service, is being rebranded as Outlook.com to better integrate it with Windows 8. Unlike the much-criticized Hotmail interface, Outlook.com has a cleaner look with much less clutter, and Microsoft says it does a better job handling spam. Outlook.com also seamlessly integrates with Twitter, Facebook and Skype.
Too smart for own good?
Smartphones are great for running apps, playing games and browsing the web, but when it comes to calls, "dumbphones" may be smarter. A survey from Pew Research Center found that 35 percent of smartphone owners had problems with dropped calls at least once a week. By comparison, 28 percent of regular cellphone users had problems with dropped calls.
Discs still top digital
The DVD is not going the way of the 8-track tape, at least not yet. DVDs from brick-and-mortar retailers, kiosks and by-mail services such as Netflix made up 62 percent of movie rental orders during the first half of the year, according to Port Washington market research firm NPD Group. The other 38 percent was from video-on-demand services, Internet streaming and other digital orders.
-- PETER KING