Good Morning
Good Morning

These apps can help keep you focused during the holidays

The Couch to 5K app offers an exercise

The Couch to 5K app offers an exercise routine sure to keep you active over the holiday season. Credit: Active Network

Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror, but the rest of the holiday season is speeding into view.

During this busy time, it’s easy to lose track of some important things, whether it’s eating well, exercising or retrieving that important document while you are traveling. These apps can help.

Couch to 5K

(iOS, Android; $2.99)

No, your pants aren’t getting smaller, you’re getting bigger. The average American is expected to pack on at least one pound during the holiday season. (Yes, it will feel like more.) Main reasons: eating more and exercising less. Couch to 5K can take care of the exercising-less problem. The app has a nine-week regimen that should keep you active over the seven-week holiday season.

Eat This Much

(iOS, Android; free)

As for overeating, this app can help you keep the calories in check, at least when you’re controlling your own menus during the holiday season. The app creates a meal planner and can be filtered for special diets such as food allergies or gluten-free. For those times when others are deciding your menu, such as parties or dinners out, you can use the app to get an idea of how many calories you are about to eat.

Chrome Remote Desktop

(iOS, Android; free)

There’s a good chance you’ll be out of the office a lot more days or away from your home computer more than usual over the next few months. But you can still retrieve files and call up documents if you install Chrome Remote Desktop on your mobile device and desktop, and, of course, if your desktop is powered up. There are several remote desktop apps available, but this one from Google is easiest to use. 


(iOS, Android; free)

For the times when too much holiday spirit is just too dispiriting, this meditation app can help you relax. There are several paid plans, but there are also a number of free basic mind exercises aimed at stress relief. The app also includes a variety of “sleep sounds” that may help you fall asleep faster.

Free coding sessions at Apple Store

Apple is holding free Hour of Code daily coding sessions at all its Apple Stores, including the four on Long Island. As part of the tech giant’s Everyone Can Code program, kids ages 6-12 can learn the basics of programming. Separate coding sessions are aimed at kids 12 and older. The sessions run until Dec. 14. To register, go to



Passwords don’t pass muster

Younger people may be more tech-savvy than boomers and seniors, but they tread on dangerous ground online. A recent poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 66 percent of people younger than age 45 used the same password on several sites. For people 60 and older, only half reused the same passwords. Security experts recommend using a unique password on every site. 


Glucose-measuring lens scrapped

Google sister company Verily has halted a four-year project to develop a contact lens that measures glucose levels of people with diabetes. Verily said it couldn’t get the lens, which measures glucose in tears, to deliver consistent assessments of blood glucose. Measuring blood glucose is critical for diabetics to calculate insulin doses. Both Google and Verily are owned by Alphabet Inc.


More news