SIMPLIFYING PAYROLL

FingerCheck 360 is a smart phone app for handling payroll. It costs $6 per employee per month. It combines time tracking and payroll so you don’t have to re-enter hours worked. When workers clock in, the payroll data gets entered automatically. Taxes are calculated as well.

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AVOIDING DISTRACTED DRIVING WITH AN APP

“DriveMode” is a free app for Android users who want to use their apps in the car without getting distracted. It gives you a blank screen for all apps — messaging, navigation, music, etc. Use voice control to change the Pandora radio station, listen to a text message and search for directions. The app creators were developers and advisors for Tesla and ZipCar.

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ORGANIZING DOCUMENTS ONLINE

“Docady” makes it easier to organize all your important documents. It pulls them from various online locations, such as email or online storage services such as iCloud and Dropbox, and sends you reminders when anything is about to expire, such as your passport.

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VIRTUAL MAKEUP

Bob has long maintained that women look fine without makeup. The world isn’t listening to Bob. “YouCam Makeup,” a free app for Android or iPhone, has now been downloaded over 100 million times. It lets you try on makeup virtually, using your own photos.

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SMART LOCKS

We got a dog and bone for our brother-in-law. It’s not a pet, but a new “smart lock” from a company called Dog & Bone.

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ENOUGH TO RAISE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE

We like the idea of wireless blood pressure monitors. But trying to get the new Qardio monitor to work was enough to send our blood pressure through the roof. The $99 device is supposed to work with your smartphone, so there’s nothing to plug in.

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SKY MATH FOR KIDS

“Sky Math” for iPad acts as a child’s virtual math tutor.

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WATCHING AMAZON VIDEO OFFLINE

“Amazon Instant Video,” for Android phones and tablets, allows you to download a movie for offline viewing, great for when you’re on a plane or train or otherwise out of range of a Wi-Fi signal.  Go to Amazon.com/GetAndroidVideo for detailed instructions.

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TURN YOUR PHOTOS INTO PAINTINGS

“Pikazo,” a $3 iPhone app, turns ordinary photos into works of art automatically, in seconds.  One might look like an Old Master, another a modern abstract.

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LEARNING LANGUAGE THROUGH SONG

Lyriko is a free app and a fun way to learn Spanish or English through songs. More languages later.

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