By Kristi Palma
Reviewing: 123 Color HD: Talking Coloring Book
Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: 99 cents
Should you get it? Yes!
What's better than a musical coloring book? How about a musical coloring book complete with virtual stickers? It's certainly a winning combination in my household this summer as my kids ask over and over, "Can I color on the iPad?"
My 3-year-old daughter Paige is obsessed with this app. And her brother Jack, 5, likes it, too. It's a color-by-number (or letter) book, complete with music, sound effects, stickers, and more. Her picture of choice this summer? A gingerbread house set to "Jingle Bells."FULL ENTRY
By Joe Allen-Black
Reviewing: FlightTrack Pro
Available for: iPhone, iPad, and Android
Should you get it? Yes, if you want to be organized while traveling
Planning a trip has always been an intense process for me. I'm the type of person who likes to have every detail mapped out, full directions at my fingertips, and all times laid out in a quickly accessible way. For a trip to Detroit a few years back, I had a 100-page binder with color-coordinated tabs separating all the information I needed like directions, flight tickets, and hotel reservations. I was both impressed by and scared of the organization.
Thousands of forests of trees are probably rejoicing that my iPhone can handle all that organization that I once lugged around in binders. My biggest help? An app named FlightTrack Pro from Mobiata.FULL ENTRY
By Michael Warshaw
There was a time, decades ago, when it was a thrill to stay up late at night with the old family radio, listening to distant voices through crackling static.
If only we had smartphones in those days, and the TuneIn Radio app.
TuneIn is, very simply, an Internet radio app that boasts access to at least 50,000 on-air and Internet radio stations, not to mention program feeds and podcasts. But what makes this app so valuable is how easy it is to find the music, talk show, station, or stream that you want to listen to.FULL ENTRY
By Matt Pepin
Boston.com Sports Editor
As someone who really enjoys the Olympics, I had high hopes for this app, which I discovered when perusing the Team USA web site as I researched some of the athletes from New England who were in line for Olympic team spots.
But it took me a few days to warm up to it and really get to know what content is located where, and the formats in which information is presented. I suspect that kind of learning curve will tax the patience of those who might have been looking for something a little more light-hearted and easy to understand.FULL ENTRY
By Damon Kiesow
Safe to say, the vast majority of Web surfing on the iPhone and iPad is done in Apple's default Safari browser. A handful of alternatives, including Skyfire and Opera Mini are also available. But if you use Google's Chrome browser on your desktop computer, you will want Chrome on your iOS device as well.
Why? Simply because Chrome will synch your bookmarks, passwords and open tabs between all of your devices. If you are prone to keeping a dozen browser tabs open at any given time, and you shift between a PC, iPhone, and iPad on a regular basis, then Chrome is for you.
For everyone else? The app is free, so give it a try. But for the most part, a web browser is a web browser. I did find Chrome to be somewhat less usable than Safari. Shifting between multiple tabs was not as intuitive, but that may be a personal preference. And because of some technical issues with iOS, Chrome is likely to load web pages just a bit slower than Safari. Neither of those are major concerns.
More of a problem - while Chrome works on iOS, you cannot set the app to be your default web browser. So any link you click on will continue to launch in Safari. To open the URL in Chrome, you will need to then copy the address, close Safari, open Chrome, and paste. For most people, that will be a dealbreaker.
By Elizabeth Comeau
Reviewing: Push ups
By: Rittr Labs
Available for: Android
Should you get it? Yes!
On my own blog over at Get Moving, I’ve talked at length about how I’d love to have buff arms like Michelle Obama.
And since seeing a clip of her on the Ellen Degeneres show doing many push-ups in a row, I decided I want to improve my ability to do the exercise.
At most, I can do 10 in a row (although my form starts to slack and by the end I tend to feel like my biceps are made of pudding).
So I scoured the Google Play store for a push-up app, and let me tell you there were plenty to choose from.FULL ENTRY
By Swati G. Sharma
Reviewing: NPR News and NPR Addict
By: National Public Radio, Pass Time Software
Available for: iPhone
Should you get it? If you love NPR
If you're like me and love listening to the radio, but are rarely in a car, radio apps are a must because they offer on-demand listening of your favorite radio shows.
The NPR app is a much better option than subscribing to podcasts - you have options to listen to the live stream and browse programming by topic or top stories.FULL ENTRY
By Teresa Hanafin
By: Waze Mobile
Available for: iPhone
Should you get it? Yes, if you appreciate crowdsourcing
But none have what I have found to be an indispensable part of my daily commute: The wisdom of crowds.
Waze does. It's what makes this app stand out. It's a superior GPS navigator with the added bonus of real-time reports about traffic tie-ups, accidents, construction slowdowns, police, and speed traps -- all from fellow drivers.
As I sit here at Boston.com on Morrissey Boulevard on a summer Friday, for example, I can see in my Waze app that traffic heading south on the Expressway is traveling at just 31 mph, and there's been a minor accident on Columbia Road near the JFK T stop. Oh, wait -- I reported that minor accident on my way in this morning. Never mind.
Here's a look at Waze's best features and a couple of minor annoyances.FULL ENTRY
By Rachel Raczka
Reviewing: Martha Stewart Cocktails
By: Callaway Digital Arts
Available on: iPad, iPhone
Should you get it? Absolutely. And then invite me over for drinks.
The desire to play hostess kicked in when I hit my early 20s. Sterling silver serving trays, gilded rim cocktail tumblers, impractical but aesthetically adorable paper straws in every color of the rainbow ... I felt well-equipped to hand out the swizzle sticks and call in the troops. Unfortunately, my specialty - gin and tonic with extra limes - was not exactly the height of cocktail sophistication.
So I turned to my muse in most situations like this one: Martha. (Martha, Martha, Martha.)FULL ENTRY
By Sophie Bodor
Do you know those crazy animals that have human-like figures and weird hair?
Well, if you don't, then you should download and play Toca Boca Hair Salon. When you get on the app, you press play and then choose a character. Then you do their hair any way you want. My sister and brother both love this app. So do I.
I found out about this app from my friend Sophia. I was at her house for a birthday party sleepover and she was playing it. Then I went home and downloaded the app. I told my friend Tiernan about it and now every time she uses my iPod she plays it. We love making the hair bright and crazy with the colors, scissors, blow dryer, razors, comb, and hair-grow feature.
Here's how it works:FULL ENTRY
By Zuri Berry
Should you get it? Depends on your level of voyeurism or how much you like to track B-list celebrities.
Of the standard apps that come with any iPhone or iPad (think Google Maps, Calendar, Reminders, etc.), there are ten-fold of that which try to improve upon the idea behind each.
Whether it's MapQuest, Google Calendar, or Remember the Milk (tasks), a good quantity of the apps vying for your attention are often some variation of those that already come with the device. For goodness sake, you can bypass your regular joe-blow mail client and get the GMail app you've always wanted nowadays. There are apps up the gazoo that do anything and everything the standard apps do - sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse.
But the thing is, a lot of these apps don't necessarily build off a social experience while at the same time challenging a heavyweight in the app store ring. That's where Socialcam comes in. Socialcam is a free video-sharing app built for the iPhone that is slowing eating away at the YouTube market, thanks to its mobile-only approach.FULL ENTRY
By Damon Kiesow
In contrast to the over-sharing abundant on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like, there is a new trend in mobile apps: not over-sharing.FULL ENTRY