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“There’s an app for that” is an understatement as Apple’s App Store has thousands of apps that turns browsing for cool apps into an overwhelming experience. Some we couldn’t begin to fathom an app exists as you’ll see from this list. Here we pick a handful that you’ll find useful.

BeFunky Photo Editor

BeFunky Photo Editor

The built-in iPhone camera app doesn’t have editing features. It takes too much time to upload the photo to a computer or use a web-based app to edit it. Save time by editing right in the iPhone with a photo editor app like BeFunky Photo Editor. Its features include crop, effects, rotate, sharpen, photo frames and photo sharing through popular social networks.

Find My iPhone / Find My Friends

Find My Friends

With iCloud.com and Find My iPhone, you can locate your misplaced iPhone. It may not be able to tell you the exact spot in your home, but at least you have it for those times when you lose track of it. What if a family member or friend hasn’t heard from you and wants to check on you? Using iCloud.com isn’t an option because you’d have to share your Apple ID — an unacceptable option. Work around that with Find My Friends. You send an email request to family and friends to get and give permission to track each other. When they approve, you’ll be able to track each other as long as the “Hide from Followers” option isn’t off.

Flashlight (O)

Flashlight for iPhone

The light from the iPhone can help you navigate darkness, but it may not be bright enough or you have to keep touching the screen to prevent it from dimming. Flashlight (O) is brighter and comes with a strobe light and a built-in compass. Be aware apps like this drain the battery when in use.

LuxeFinds Color Shopping Engine

LuxeFinds Color Shopping Engine

You need to find black shirts for everyone for the family photo or you need a pair of shoes in a certain color. Just pick the color you want and LuxeFinds Color Shopping Engine lists items matching the color. If only the app could search for tables, bedding and kitchen items.

OpenTable

OpenTable for iPhone

While you’re out, you decide you want to go to a restaurant. Rather than using one of many local places finder apps, use OpenTable. You not only find nearby restaurants, but also you can view menus and make your reservations within the app.

PaperKarma

PaperKarma for iPhone

Tired of getting snail mail spam? Take a picture of the latest junk mail and submit it to PaperKarma. The app keeps track of all your submissions letting you know the status of each. It works because we’ve received noticeably less junk mail since we started using this.

ShopSavvy

ShopSavvy for iPhone

Don’t you hate it when you’re in a store and don’t know if the product you’re looking at is a good price? Use ShopSavvy to scan the barcode or QR code to get a list of prices from local and online stores. The app won’t have every local store, but it’s adding more stores.

Tunein Radio

Tunein Radio

TuneIn radio lets you access over 70,000 radio stations and two million on-demand programs that include streams from BBC, CBS and ESPN. Want to listen to a song? Search for it to see what stations are currently playing it. TuneIn can play in the background while you use other apps as well as allow you to pause and rewind live radio.

Zello Walkie Talkie

Zello Walkie Talkie

Remember talking to your friends on a walkie talkie? Now you can do it from your iPhone with Zello. Zello works with Android, BlackBerry and PCs, so your friends without iPhones can use it to talk to you. Zello also has community channels so you can network with others passionate about a shared interest or learn a new language with users from all over the world.

What apps do you recommend?

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TuneUp Utilities 2012

Every move you take on your computer adds to its workload. Downloading, uninstalling, browsing, moving, deleting. All these activities leave a trail of worthless data getting in the way of computing processes. Optimization applications can help erase the trails while keeping your machine clean, lean and mean.

TuneUp Utilities 2012 Functions

However, optimization apps can be dangerous for the everyday computer user. Some require careful decision-making before cleaning up because deleted files can mess up the registry or be something you need. Although you can do many of the cleaning activities yourself, they’re time consuming because you have to locate them in different places on your computer.

TuneUp Utilities 2012 brings everything together in one user-friendly interface. It also includes Economy and Turbo modes. Economy is for optimizing battery life and power consumption on laptops, so you can compute longer. Turbo speeds performance. Standard mode is how your computer performs without any adjustments.

The well-organized and clean TuneUp Utilities interface has five components:

  • Status & recommendations: Optimize performance for hardware, software, Internet and visual effects, fix problems and change settings for undoing TuneUp Utilities changes.
  • Optimize system: Disable programs not in use, remove unnecessary programs from startup, uninstall apps, managing Economy and Turbo modes and running individual maintenance tasks.
  • Gain disk space:  Delete unneeded files, remove old backups, turn off unwanted Windows features, find the largest data files and delete data so it can’t be restored.
  • Fix problems: Are icons showing up weird or is the taskbar invisible? Get help with fixing common programs, check hard disk for errors and restore deleted files. TuneUp Utilities has a detailed version of Windows Task Manager, the window that opens when you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
  • Customize Windows: Microsoft adds fancier features to Windows’ interface with every release. The older window interface was blocky, bland and hard on the eyes. The new looks cooler, but sacrifices performance and system resources. With TuneUp Utilities, you can find a happy medium between Windows performance and good looks.

TuneUp Utilities 2012

Some apps like Adobe Reader quick launch, iTunesHelper and QuickBooks default to start up so they load faster or automatically check for updates. The apps may load faster, but they affect performance even if you rarely use them. It’s easy to find where to disable startup programs in TuneUp Utilities and it also provides more information than System Configuration Utility’s Startup options tab does. Besides, we always forget how to open it. (Click Start, Run and enter “msconfig.”)

You can also disable programs that you want to keep, but only enable them when you run the program. For example, QuickBooks Pro runs a process whenever Windows boots. Disabling the app turns off the process until you actually run QuickBooks. After closing QuickBooks, TuneUp Utilities 2012 turns it off.

To see how TuneUp Utilities 2012 affects performance, we use PC Mark, AppTimer and good old-fashioned manual tracking of program load times. The answer to the big question is no. The app doesn’t improve PC performance. The results are minimal despite our best efforts to replicate all tests before and after running TuneUp Utilities 2012. This isn’t a surprise because this is often the case with most optimization apps.

While we notice little performance improvements from running TuneUp Utilities 2012, its simplicity in providing access to all optimization features saves time and cuts clutter. It also makes solid recommendations for cleanup, an area of weakness with some optimization apps. Always take care when using any optimization software in checking recommendations before accepting them.

Have you used TuneUp Utilities or other computer optimization software? How did it work out for your computer? What do you like and don’t like about it?

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