Have a better time with your phone’s help

 App-solutely summer
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  June 7, 2013


This summer, use your phone for more than day-drunk-texting and retrieving blockbuster movie times. The following smartphone apps are perfect for road-tripping, festival-going, and making the most of the best three months of the year. [Necessary disclaimer: There’s more fun to be had if you unplug every once in a while.]

This top-rated weather app’s sensors “comprise the largest commercial-grade weather and climate network in the world,” which is why it’s able to offer real-time weather info and forecasts, plus lifestyle features like golf forecasts, lightning detectors, and pollen counts. 
Free | Android, iOS, Blackberry

Perfect for road trips, this user-sourced app helps drivers locate the nearest — and cheapest — gas. Pay it forward by sending in your
own on-the-road observations to help other vacationers.
Free | Android, iOS, Blackberry

Want to put those hours in the car or at the beach to good use? Learn a second language while on the go. Offering courses in Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese, Duolingo claims to be as effective as university-level language programs. It sure is a hell of a lot cheaper than the Rosetta Stone.
Free | Android, iOS

There are scores of fitness-tracking and calorie-counting apps out there, and many of them can help you stay (or get) in summer shape. This one, however, has earned accolades from both Wired and PC Magazine for its easy-to-use interface, enormous food database, nutritional summaries, and more.
Free | Android, iOS, Blackberry

Festival Ready
Brought to us by Victorinox (the same folks who make the Swiss Army Knife), this app for festival-goers is multi-functional, complete with packing checklists, a navigational tool that helps you find your way back to your campsite, a flashlight, and group messaging to ensure you don’t become separated from your companions.
Free | Android, iOS

Non-GMO Project
Whether you want to make sure your sunscreen isn’t toxic or to ensure that your guacamole is free from genetically modified organisms, this app (searchable by product type, brand name, and keyword) can help.
Free | iOS

Seafood Watch
Seafood is practically synonymous with summer in Maine, and for that reason (and considering the state of our ailing oceans), we recommend adding this to your app arsenal, for discovering fresh, regional, safe-to-eat fish at the market or while dining out.
Free | Android, iOS

Big-time sports fans (and fantasy team managers) will appreciate real-time game feeds and the ability to create custom scoreboards and follow favorite teams as well as individual players.
Free | Android, iOS, Blackberry

Coppertone MyUVAlert
Sun safety is a cinch with this mobile app, which gives UV index info and allows you to set reapplication reminders. Plus, Coppertone coupons!
Free | Android, iOS

Riverside Golf Course ME
This recently unveiled, hyper-local app allows golfers to book tee times online, map their course while viewing a hole flyover, track scores, “and even remotely order a snack from Through the Woods, the golf course restaurant.”
Free | iOS

The Maine App
An app for staycationers and tourists alike, this year-round guide helps you find eateries, lodging, and recreation options by searching “What’s Nearby” or by region or town.
Free | Android, iOS

Goal Zero Guide
10 Plus Recharger
Not an app, but crucial for on-the-go phone usage, this rechargeable battery pack can juice up AA/AAA batteries or your smartphone using the power of the sun (or a USB port).
$119.95 | GoalZero.com

Related: The latest apps, Unwanted apps, Digital Rhode Island: Vital links and apps for your tablet and phone, More more >
  Topics: News Features , summer preview, apps
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