10 Apps to Help You Survive the Summer
Whether you’re planning a vacation or a staycation, here’s how to use your smartphone to help you and your family make the most of the season.
Now you can relax outside without constantly worrying that you and your family are frying in the sun. The Wolfram Sun Exposure Reference App ($.99, iOs) calculates exactly how long you can be out without burning based on your complexion, location, time and the SPF you’re using. It also provides a UV forecast for wherever you are.
Simply plug in the details of your trip, and what’s on the agenda—say, hiking, a business meeting and a fancy night out—and PackPoint (free, Android and iOs) figures out exactly what you should bring based on the weather during your trip and your activities, right down to how many pairs of socks. Better yet, the app saves your list for future trips.
Whether you’re a total amateur or a budding astronomer, Sky Guide ($1.99, iOs) teaches you how to spot constellations, planets, and even satellites simply by pointing your smartphone towards the sky. It even makes stars more visible in an overcast sky and works practically anywhere, even if you don’t have a data signal.
Along the Way ($2.99, iOs) works equally well for discovering attractions and sights during road trips or finding the nearest coffee shop or gas station on the average day. But what’s really great about it is that it points out desired destinations directly on your route instead of taking you way off course.
Peek (free, iOs) is a one-stop shop that helps you take the guesswork out of sightseeing, offering fun experiences in over 20 major tourist destinations—say, a chocolate-tasting tour of San Francisco, surf lessons in Cabo or a New York City gallery walk—that you can book straight from the app. Search by intuitive categories like “what to do if it rains,” “what to do with kids,” and “what to do in groups” or choose from the planned itineraries of tastemakers, like Wolfgang Puck and Diane von Furstenberg.
Field Trip (free, Android and iOs) shows you cool points of interest, like historic spots, interesting architecture, or film locations, wherever you happen to be. As you reach each destination, a card pops up (or if you want the full effect, a voice speaks to you via headphones or Bluetooth) to pepper your exploration with little-known fun facts and details about the locale.
Studies show that time spent in nature reduces the effects of stress and depression and improves overall well being. Clueless where to go? Look to RootsRated (free, iOs) to get the inside scoop on local swimming holes, trails, bike routes and other outdoor adventures. The detailed guides provide practical info (how to find it, where to park) as well as thorough reviews and expertise straight from in-the-know experts.