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Tech Review: Hit a home run with baseball apps

Apps that help users stay connected.

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

After a long winter, there's nothing better than hearing the words "Play ball!" The Mets and Yankees open the 2014 season this week, and these apps, while keeping you entertained and informed, can help you follow the home teams or feel at home while visiting every stadium in the league. At Bat

iOS, Android; free)

This official app from Major League Baseball is free to download, but there's a price to unlock its most powerful features. A yearly subscription of $19.99 (or $2.99 a month) allows access to live game audio, a useful feature if your favorite team is not the Yanks or Mets. There are live video "look-ins" of selected games. Without the subscription, the app offers basic features such as scores and recaps.

MLB Ballpark Empire

(iOS, Android; free)

Think you can build a better Mets or Yankees? Maybe you'd like to cover the outfield wall of Citi Field with ivy from Wrigley Field. Or -- sacrilege! -- add Fenway Park's Green Monster to Yankee Stadium. This simulation allows you to build ballparks and rosters using real players, bring in revenue to support your team and build your field of dreams by making good decisions on the field or buying MLBucks through in-app purchases.

Flick Home Run

(iOS, Android; free)

If you're looking to keep busy during a rain delay or pitching change, this game can keep you entertained, for a while. The object is simple -- flick your finger at a pitched ball and try to hit a home run. The ball will travel further and straighter depending on your speed and accuracy. At the Ballpark

iOS, Android; free)

You may feel at home in Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, but suppose you want to take a day trip to Philadelphia or Boston or an extended road trip around the league? This app, with information on all 30 major league ballparks, helps you find the park when you get to the city and find the concession stands when you get to the park. A journal feature allows you to record your ballpark visits and upload photos.


Notes from the underground

While waiting for subway connections, New York straphangers are staying connected. Transit Wireless says it recorded 2.6 million data connections last year at 36 subway stations where it offers free Wi-Fi. Smartphones accounted for 76 percent of the usage, followed by tablets (14 percent) and laptops (10 percent). Times Square was the station with the most connections, followed by 59th Street-Columbus Circle .-- Peter King

Pandora One is $1 more

Pandora is raising the price of its premium Pandora One music-streaming service. The service, which is ad-free and streams music at a higher quality than the free version, will cost $4.99 a month for new subscribers. Pandora says existing subscribers will continue to pay $3.99 a month. -- Peter King

Shooting for the moon

A Hasselblad 500 camera sold for the out-of-this-world price of $760,000 at an auction gallery in Vienna last week. The reason: It went to the moon and back with Apollo 15 astronauts in 1971. The gallery initially described the Hasselblad as the only camera ever brought back from the moon but later said it was one of several after experts questioned that claim. -- The Associated Press

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