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Got a New iPhone or Android? These Mobile Apps Make Life Easier

Apps to help make life a little easier while you're on the go around town.

A smartphone makes a great gift—whether it's for you or someone else. But receiving a smartphone is a bit like buying a pet: the fun parts also come with some work and some adjustments.

Downloading apps that make life easier and incorporate local information is like training a puppy. It results in less hassle and more fun.

The major difference between a smartphone and your computer is that it’s tough to see the whole Internet on that little screen. Apps are simply ways of displaying something you usually do on your computer’s web browser, but in a simpler and more elegant way that makes sense on a little screen.

Each app is represented by a small square icon that you touch once to launch its features and functions, whether it be GPS navigation, local business listings, your to-do list, or your favorite game.

Try these apps to get started:

- UrbanSpoon and Yelp have apps for iPhones, Droids and Windows phones that are great for finding a local restaurant in a hurry, based on your location.

- MapMyRide and MapMyRun offer apps for fitness enthusiasts looking for a new route in their neighborhood.

- Most smartphones have a built-in app for local weather, but you may find it worth experimenting with the Weather Channel’s app, as well as other competitors.

- The Google+ Local app will show you search results similar to what you are used to seeing on the map listings part of Google Search on your computer.

- The GasBuddy app will help you figure out which of your local gas stations has the best price.

- And, of course you can't forget the Patch app! Patch for iPhone keeps you connected to the latest community news, weather, local business listings and events happening around your block. Patch’s app lets you stay engaged and mobile by delivering 24/7 coverage of your neighborhood. Patch Places is the go-to directory of local businesses in 900+ Patch towns. Select any Patch community or use your location to connect to a mobile directory of every place near you with Patch Places for Android.

A little secret many smartphone users don’t know is that you can make any of your favorite websites look like an app on your phone. If you are frustrated by using your phone’s browser and typing in the web URL, tell your phone’s web browser to “Add to Home Screen.” The resulting button will look like an app, but the button will take you to your favorite website instead of launching an app.

What's your favorite app to use around town? Tell us in comments.

Gregory Brittain December 26, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I am waiting for my free Obama iPhone. If he going to be president for 4 more years, I want my free stuff too.
John December 26, 2012 at 10:48 PM
By the looks of your photo you do not qualify. Most likely you are one of the people paying for all the "free stuff" including healthcare? Would be nice to qualify for some of it though. I remember when I was a young boy (40 yrs ago) my father would say "son, there are two kinds of people in this world, those that will work hard and those that will let you". That seems ever so true now more than ever. I'm proud to be a hard worker but wonder from time to time what it would feel like to be the other?
Dave Martone December 27, 2012 at 08:02 AM
Read the full story about "the obama phone" the phone lifeline was started during the Regan administration.
Nate December 27, 2012 at 09:30 AM
If you work hard then you don't need free stuff. Be content with what you have and be proud of your effort. Obama didn't start the free phone lifeline, it's almost 30 years old.
Nate December 27, 2012 at 09:31 AM
If you work hard then you don't need free stuff. Be content with what you have and be proud of your effort. Obama didn't start the free phone lifeline, it's almost 30 years old.
Nate A December 27, 2012 at 09:32 AM
If you work hard then you don't need free stuff. Be content with what you have and be proud of your effort. Obama didn't start the free phone lifeline, it's almost 30 years old.
kellic December 27, 2012 at 09:54 AM
Jebus, Can republicans get any more butt hurt over Obama winning? Its dang article about phones and you drag that crap into it.
kellic December 27, 2012 at 09:56 AM
PS if by free stuff you mean the right to get medical care, which we all know is just as important as a dang iPhone, then yes. If I was unemployed and sick. I want my free stuff to keep me alive. Call it a pesky little thing.
Sheku Sheriff December 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM
Gregory you guys lost, stop whining like a child and deal with it
alan December 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM
I recently switched from an iphone to an android. Although I'm very happy with my new phone and operating system, I was really disappointed to learn there is no Patch app for android. The Patch Places app is worthless when compared to the iphone Patch app. Are there plans to create a true Patch app for android at some point? Sorry to stray from politics and focus on the point of the article.
Washy December 27, 2012 at 02:03 PM
And Lifeline isn't free....it is a discount program....all utility companies have them since the 80s Yep the decade of the Repubulicans....Yep back then when we paid more in taxes then we ever did. Yep then
Washy December 27, 2012 at 02:04 PM
republicans! (is how it should be spelled lol)
John December 27, 2012 at 11:42 PM
They were not talking about "lifeline". They are talking about the cell phones. And yes if you work you don't need free stuff but you shouldn't be forced to pay for others free stuff either! Since we have medical from my wifes job we will have to pay an additional $1600 tax penalty per family member to pay for the others to get "free" healthcare. I'm willing to bet that we would be better off if my wife quits that job (we both have two each) so we can get the "free" healthcare and still not pay a tax penalty.
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Mark Bansal January 02, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Thank’s for information. It is a good news for business owner who wants to promote his brand. I in significance enjoyed reading your blog and make it both instructional and interesting.I enjoyed the article and thanks in consideration to posting such valuable tidings extras of all of us. I want to add more information about this type of mobile application for iphone, android mobile. For more information can be found online at www.ukmobilebusinessdirectory.com
Bwood January 02, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Maybe you'll find out when you start getting Social Security and Medicare.
Bwood January 02, 2013 at 07:23 PM
spam, spam, spam….

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