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The App Starter Kit

You have this great piece of technology. Here are some Apps to get you going.

Have a new iPhone or iPad? It comes with about a dozen built-in apps, but the fun comes with searching for and adding your own.

Here are a few apps to start with and they’re all free.  

Around Me - Have you ever been en route to the airport but forgot to fill up your rental car with gas? Find the nearest gas station with this app. It finds all sorts of businesses in your surroundings - coffee shops, ATM’s, drug stores, etc.

Looking for a restaurant? Use UrbanSpoon or Yelp to find ones in your area.  Yelp even provides you with comprehensive reviews. Once you’ve found that restaurant, make a reservation using the OpenTable app.  

Listening to a song on the radio or TV and can’t identify it? SoundHound and Shazam are two apps which can tag the song and provide you with the name and artist. They have similar features so download both and decide which you prefer.

Always looking for a bargain? Get your local deals on your device with the Groupon app. Use ShopSavvy to scan in a bar code and find the best price.

Are you a social media junkie? Download Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  Interested in what others are interested in?  Want to catalog and share what interests you? Check out Pinterest and StumbleUpon.

For travelers, there’s TripAdvisor and TripTracker. Trip Advisor, like the corresponding web site, provides reviews posted by travelers. Trip Tracker allows you to track flights for any airline. It eliminates the need for each airlines’ app but those can be handy if you want to book a flight, check-in on your phone or use a mobile boarding pass.

Most of the larger banks (Chase, BofA, PNC, etc.) have their own apps. You can check balances, initiate transfers and even make payments.

There are dozens of apps which provide you with the latest news. Among these are NY Times, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, Fox News and HuffPost. Download a few and see which has the layout and usability you prefer. And, of course, for all your local news, the Patch app is a must-have.

If you are searching for recipes, I recommend BigOven, Epicurious and AllRecipes

For photographers, my favorite apps are Hipstamatic and Instagram. Both offer a variety of filters and sharing features. Instagram was awarded Apple’s iPhone App of the Year. Hipstamatic offers additional lenses and filters that you can purchase for a small cost.  

As you can see, there is something for everyone. And, I didn’t even touch on games! Even if you don’t own an iPhone or iPad, you’ve probably heard of Words with Friends and AngryBirds.

I encourage you to search, download and try out your apps. It’s easy to remove an app if you’re not thrilled with it. To remove, hold down any app icon until they all begin to wiggle. Touch the “x” in the upper left corner to delete the app.

If you find something we can’t live without, let us know in the comments on this article.

Happy Holidays and Happy App’ing!

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