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Tech review: Apps that showcase autumn colors  

The Leafsnap app from Columbia University, the University

The Leafsnap app from Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution enables users to identify tree species by shooting a photo of a leaf. Credit: Columbia University, University of Maryland, Smithsonian Institution

When it comes to weather on Long Island, the cool but not yet cold days of October are a great time for outdoor activities. And perhaps the most enjoyable outdoor activity of all is reveling in the changing colors of fall. These apps will help you find fall foliage in its peak beauty.

I Love NY

(iOS, Android; free)

October is beautiful on Long Island, but the rest of the state also has more than its share of autumn delights. This official app from New York State offers up-to-date information on activities going on throughout the Empire State. Do a search for “fall foliage” and get ready to enjoy a colorful experience, or just take in some Octoberfest activities happening throughout the state.

Strava Training

(iOS, Android; free)

A great way to see and fully enjoy the fall foliage is with a leisurely bike ride. And while you’re enjoying what you can see outside, you are improving what you can’t see inside your body. Strava Training will help you maximize your bike ride or hike with its activity and fitness trackers. You can also map and save the best fall foliage route so you know just where to go next year.  

Panorama 360

(iOS, Android; free)

Find a cluster of trees or leaves that are breathtakingly bright with fall colors? A simple photo might not do. This app lets you stitch together a 360-degree panoramic photo that really lets you relive the experience. Making a seamless panoramic photo takes practice, so do a few run-throughs with the app first. There are several panorama apps for iOS and Android, but this one from developer TeliportMe is quick and reliable.


(iOS; free)

This odd app comes from a combination of powerhouse academic institutions: Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution. It calls itself “an electronic field guide,” and its goal is to let you identify tree species by shooting a photo of a leaf. One caveat: It still seems to be a work in progress rather than a fully finished app.

E-ticket to ride

An old-tech mainstay is motoring into the 21st century. Greyhound has begun offering e-tickets for its buses on its iPhone app. Customers can purchase tickets on their smartphone and also see their trip itinerary. When it’s time to board the bus, they just have to show the driver the e-ticket on their phone’s screen. Greyhound says an Android version will launch soon.


Trust but verify

Advanced driver assistance systems such as blind spot monitoring are trustworthy aids in reducing accidents. But some drivers trust them too much. An AAA study found that 30 percent of car owners with blind-spot monitoring sometimes rely on the system and don’t visually check for vehicles while changing lanes. AAA points out that blind-spot monitoring can’t detect vehicles passing at very high speeds.


Google Search gets a face lift

Google has unveiled a host of updates to its core Search product designed to highlight visual information as pictures and video become more central to the internet experience. The updates underscore the shift from text-based browsing to a more image-heavy Internet. Google said the updates will improve image-oriented searches, for example when people shop for products, look for interior-decorating inspiration or tackle DIY projects.

— Washington Post

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