Get less burn with the help of a few cool apps at the beach, pool or camp this summer. Here's my latest app review that will keep you productive in between swims.
Pros: Manages all your passwords across all platforms (smartphone, PC, Mac, online) wirelessly with one login. Even periodically changes your passwords for optimal safety. This makes checking your bank account or making a quick transfer of funds as quick as sending a text. So far, it gets positive reviews and no security issues to date.
Cons: Premium smartphone subscription ($12 per year), Browsing with Lastpass on iPhone is only possible with Lastpass's own in-app browser on iOS, Android and Blackberry.
Dragon Dictation / Apple Siri
Pros: Dragon Dictation is a free app that uses voice recognition software as a keyboard replacement. Apple's Siri is a native app on Apple iOS and allows you to web search and offers verbal reminders for scheduling. Much faster than typing with a keyboard. Safe hands-free voice operation while driving. Coming soon to iPhone: the ability to tweet and create Facebook updates by voice
Cons: Must be connected to the web via wi-fi or cellular service to function, so if you're out of range, you're out of luck. Siri is only available on the iPhone 4S.
Pros: Predictive text (gets smarter the more you use it) is very accurate, especially on longer words. When you become proficient with Swyping, one-handed typing is much faster. Voice dictation on this app is widely reviewed as being top of the line (powered by Dragon above) plus it has handwriting recognition.
Cons: There is a learning curve. In Swype mode, typos can result in entire word changes rather than misspellings and words that aren't in Swype's dictionary or saved by you aren't recognized as words and corrected to the nearest word it can approximate. Unfortunately this app is only available on Android platform.
Pros: Free app that brings all of your news sources together (including important social media updates from friends) into one easy-to-use magazine. Sign in once and receive updates from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and YouTube, plus your favorite feeds and news sources. Organizing your feeds by "panes" on the main page that you can tap on to read the contents as digital magazines. Minimal set-up and your account can be accessed across multiple devices.
Cons: Currently, there is a maximum of three pages of panes. Reading offline is not built in to Flipboard - that's only available via third party apps like Instapaper or Pocket (formerly called Read It Later).
Well, that's my summer app round-up. May you enjoy the sand and seawater this summer without them sneaking into your phone!
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