Apps, Apps and More Apps

It's been a while sinceI shared some of my favorite apps. So without further ado, by category, her's what I've been experimenting with these days.

Photo Apps

Photo apps just seem to keep getting better and better, giving us the ability to turn pictures taken with our smartphones into professional-looking shots.

They’ve been around awhile, but here are seven apps that deserve some attention.

PhotoPills is made for landscapes with its ability to tell users the best times of the day to shoot based on location – perfect for if you want the brightest part of the day or warm glow of a setting sun. The app also offers a slew of other options, too, giving users the opportunity to do things like calculating exposures, depth of field, and more. The app is $9.99 for iOS.

Photogene is a full-featured photo editor. It’s perfect for fall colors because users can do so much with the app: crop, straighten, adjust color, sharpen, retouch and more. Users also can store photos easily to cloud-based storage like Dropbox or post to Facebook, Twitter, and more. And if users don’t want to mess with adjustments, just use one of the many presets. The app is $1.99 for iOS.

The Perfectly Clear app makes up for what a phone camera lacks by applying 18 so-called automatic corrections to photos. The developers of Perfectly Clear say it’s like having a top-level digital camera in your pocket all the time, making it perfect for an unexpected display of fall colors in just the right sunlight. It has features such as panorama, and the ability to brighten up photos. The app is $2.99 for Android.

Micosoft Pix is a recently released free photo app available for iOS. It allows for all of the features you would expect, such as editing tools, filters, gallery view, and sharing. The key difference is the ability of Microsoft Pix to enhance photos on the fly, to stabilize or make changes based on the subject of your photo, such as human faces.

Facetune bills itself as the way to “perfect every photo or selfie” and is designed for photos of faces. It widens smiles, brightens teeth, changes hair color – even emphasizes eyes. The app is easy to use and powerful. It costss $3.99 in the App Store and there is a version for Android. The Windows version of Facetune is $2.99.

Enlight is the last photo app you’ll ever need to download, according to the developers. This app offers precision light and color adjustments that are as easy as dragging a finger across the screen. Enlight also includes numerous filters, and even the ability to make photos look like sketches. It’s $3.99 for iOS.

Lightroom is a very serious app from Adobe, the folks who make Photoshop – the leading photo editing tool for professionals. Adobe has updated its Lightroom app for iOS to take advantage of the enhanced cameras on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The latest version of Lightroom for iPhone, v2.5.2, brings specific lens and sensor profiles for both of Apple's new devices, featuring specific dual-lens optimizations for the 5.5-inch handset.

Apps to watchTV shows for free

Breaking free from cable or satellite TV – aka cord-cutting – is all the rage these days, especially since it’s easier than ever to find quality content right on our mobile devices.

Here are three great apps with all kinds of TV and movies, absolutely legal and free.

The Pluto TV app offers more than 100 channels of so-called Internet stations – movies, music, cartoons and more. There’s a channel for surfing, for example, and a channel for hockey highlights, even one that recaps late night TV. Users don’t need to register, but if they do, it’s possible to get reminders for when favorite shows are coming up. The app is free for iOS and Android.

The Crackle app offers free movies and TV for just about any device. Crackle offers original content, too, such as Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and “Sports Jeopardy!” Users who want to register get the added feature of being able to stop shows or movies, shut down the app, and pick up where they left off. The app is free for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Amazon Kindle.

Tubi TV also aims to deliver free movies and TV for everyone in the family. Movies and TV shows are broken up into categories, including “Not On Netflix”. There’s something for the whole family, from kids’ movies like “All Dogs Go To Heaven” to adult-geared movies like “Fargo”. New content is added every Wednesday and users can create and manage their own video queues. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Apps to find pet sitters and pet-friendly places

There are times in our travel when accommodating our dogs can be frustrating.

Fortunately,  a number of apps make it easy to accommodate our furry friends and family members.

BringFido helps travelers find pet-friendly hotels and attractions like dog parks, doggie beaches – even restaurants where canines are welcome. The app allows for in-depth research on pet polices so users know if they can bring big dogs, or more than one and BringFido includes a rating system so owners can see what others think of it. It’s free for iOS.

DogVacay is for dog owners who can’t take their dogs, yet aren’t crazy about the idea of a kennel. Pets stay in the home of a loving sitter. The app lists more than 25,000 dog sitters in the U.S. and Canada. Reservations come with pet insurance and even daily photo or video updates of how things are going. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Finally there’s the app named Rover. Like DogVacay, it connects dog owners with those who are close and who bring dogs into their own homes. It offers all sorts of dog care options– from short walks to dogsitting during the day, to long term boarding for extended trips. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Apps to Pay for Stuff and Transfer Money

Whether splitting the dinner bill, chipping in on gas, or settling up any other kind of debt, everyone needs to pay their fair share.

However, fewer and fewer are carrying cash these days. That’s OK, though, because a number of apps can make transferring money to another person easy.

Square Cash is about as easy as it gets when it comes to sending money. There’s no need to even set up an account. It’s as simple as one person sending an email to another. Link a debit card and money transfers instantly to the recipient’s bank. Credit cards can be used, too, though there is a small fee. And Square Cash is secure, using the same technology as major credit card companies to protect sensitive information. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Venmo has become a verb, as in “I’ll Venmo you for dinner.” Users can instantly pay others for dinner, drinks, rent, or anything else and it’s easy to collect money from those who owe. Venmo also uses data encryption to protect financial information. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Google Wallet is an app offering easy money transfer and the backing of Google. Users connect Google Wallet to their debit card one time. Then, simply enter the amount to send and the recipient’s email or mobile phone number. The app is free for iOS and Android.