8 helpful iPad/iPhone apps you might not know about


DuckDuckGo. We all know and use Google, right? But what if you just want a quality search engine that doesn’t play “big brother” and keep track of everything for which you search?Try DuckDuckGo. “The DuckDuckGo search app will give you way more instant answers, way less spam, and real privacy.” DuckDuckGo doesn’t “track you like other search engines do” and they make use of “over fifty sources like Wikipedia and Wolfram|Alpha to give you relevant information with zero clicks.” DuckDuckGo is a very good alternative to Google.

Fast Camera. When you’re trying to take a picture of the kids at play, you had better be either (a) ridiculously expert at knowing when to press the shutter button or (b) use Fast Camera. Fast Camera starts taking a burst of pics the instant you press the button and doesn’t stop until you tell it to stop. More often than not, the key to getting that one truly great pic is all about taking a bunch of shots. Fast Camera enables you to do just that. No more “I almost got it” pics when you really want to get it.

iHurricane HD. When I lived in Oklahoma, I didn’t pay much mind to hurricanes. But since I now live near the Gulf Coast, hurricanes have my total attention. I assure you, having a hurricane (Ike) put a tree through your house only a couple of minutes after you left the room it came through will do that for you! Most weather apps with let you track hurricanes, but iHurricane HD does this one thing and does it well. Me like.

Marine Traffic. Since I live rather close to the port of Houston, I see all sorts of ship traffic all of the time. Consequently, I’m constantly wondering “I wonder where that ship came from and where’s it’s going?” Marine Traffic tells me. Think Google Maps meets WolfRamAlpha (see below) for ships.

Oh Ranger! Park Finder. This is “the most comprehensive database of public lands in America, including national parks, national forests and all other federally-managed recreation destinations, as well as every state park in the nation.” They’ve recently added 50,000 local parks to their database, too. “Each location is cross-referenced with information about available activities, so you can search for the park nearest you with your favorite activities.”

Nudge! While there are all sorts of reminder apps available, this one “lives somewhere in the space between the built-in Clock and Calendar apps. It’s perfect for when you just need a quick pop-up reminding you” of something. Nudge! is quick, easy, and flexible.

Peterson Birds of North America. “What kind of bird is that?,” you wonder. Now you’ll know, know all about it, and be able to keep a record of it to boot.

Remember what I said about ships and the Port of Houston? I could say the same thing about living in the flight path for Hobby Airport and Bush Intercontinental. Type “flights overhead” into WolfRamAlpha and you’ll be instantly presented with the flights above you and all sorts of details about them. And that’s only one of a great many things this truly unique search engine can do for you.

xQuestions enables you to create questions and answers in an Excel spreadsheet you upload to your phone or to share with others. Test yourself and truly learn what you’re studying.

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