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These apps can optimize your vacation

360 Panorama can create a once-in-a-lifetime photo from

360 Panorama can create a once-in-a-lifetime photo from that a once-in-a-lifetime destination. Credit: 360 Panorama can create a once-in-a-lifetime photo from that a once-in-a-lifetime destination.

Summer vacation plans set? The hard part is over and the fun part can begin. When you’re finished packing, make your trip even more enjoyable by packing these apps on your mobile device.

360 Panorama

(iOS, $1.99)

Consider this scenario: You’re at a once-in-a-lifetime beautiful scenic vista, and you really want to take that once-in-a-lifetime photo. With this app loaded on your iPhone, you can create a stunning 360-degree panorama photo. As you move the camera around the scene, your photo is stitched together into an immersive 360-degree panorama. You can upload the photo to Facebook, where it can be viewed in panoramic mode. Android users can check out the similar Panorama 360 Camera (free).

Google Translate

(iOS, Android; free)

If your vacation takes you thousands of miles away overseas, or perhaps only 400 miles north of Long Island to Montreal, this must-have app will help you hurdle the language barrier. You can see translations in the app and hear pronunciations before you speak them. Use your phone’s camera to snap a picture of a sign or menu item and see it translated, just in case you’re not really sure what escargot is.


(iOS, Android; free)

This app specializes in helping you find the best ways to get to your destination in more than 30 cities around the world, whether it’s by subway, bus, taxi or walking. The app also includes live departure times for buses and subways. If your vacation is a Long Island staycation that includes a trip to Manhattan, Citymapper has LIRR and New York City subway and bus information.

App in the Air

(iOS, Android; free)

When it comes to airports and air travel, getting there is definitely not half the fun. This app keeps you informed of flight delays, cancellations and gate changes, and also helps you navigate around the airport. Notifications can be sent to your smartphone or your Apple Watch or Android Wear device. The app also has an automatic check-in feature for your flight.

Unveiling veils, and more

Amazon has launched the Handmade Wedding Shop, an online marketplace where brides and grooms can find thousands of products. Couples can find items in an array of categories, including invitations and thank-you notes, venue décor, fashion accessories, mementos and even confetti. Amazon says the goal is to offer “handcrafted and custom items while supporting local artisans.” — PETER KING

Next iPhone’s ‘wow factor’

A new iPhone is expected this fall, and augmented reality, which involves using a screen to overlay digital objects onto the real world, may be the “wow factor” that helps Apple reclaim its mantle for innovation. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich says the next iPhone may use the cutting-edge technology to power gaming and retail apps as well as apps for job training, facial recognition and medical diagnoses. — Washington Post

Plug and play

Your summer vacation may be a time to unwind, but don’t expect to unplug. A new survey from software maker McAfee found that 57 percent of respondents would like to completely unplug their smartphones while on vacation but can’t because of work considerations. Overall, 52 percent will spend at least an hour a day using their mobile devices during vacation, often for work-related tasks. — PETER KING

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