CCleaner, free for Android, gets rid of junk on your phone. We’ve used it on our computers, and the phone app is just as good. It got rid of 898 megabytes of useless files, almost a gigabyte. A $2 app for iPhone/iPad called “CCleaner Doctor” is made by a different company but does a good job too.
A reader wanted to use his phone as a garage door opener. What a great idea. That way, if you got a ride home from someone else, and don’t have the opener, you can use your phone to open the garage. So can anyone else in your family who has the app on their phone. We found out how to do this through a video tutorial on Lifehacker.com. Search on “Monitor and Control Your Garage Door with Your Phone.” Our reader said he got it going with the help of his tech-savvy son. All you need is a smartphone, a Bluetooth headset, a $1 transistor from RadioShack and a soldering iron. Oh, and you might need a smart kid.
InstantCheckmate.com turns you into a private investigator, like Paul Drake in the old Perry Mason TV shows. Besides a person’s address and phone number, you can get police records, which include everything from speeding tickets to sexual offenses, background reports, marriage and divorce info, and a history of lawsuits. You pay $23 for one month, $59 for six.
— “Next Move Quiz” is our favorite new iPhone/iPad app, free from educational book publisher Pearson. The app has fun and colorful quizzes for kids and adults in subjects like science, geography, food, sports, culture and history. Joy has a lot to learn about currency but aced the human body quiz. You can retake quizzes. “Quiz Up” for Android is similar. — FaceTune is a $5 app that goes way beyond blemish removal in photos. Want a thinner nose, a wider smile, and a forehead whose skin tone matches the rest of your face? (Joy’s bangs keeps her forehead white; like a baseball cap.) It can also sharpen facial details while blurring the background and adding other effects. This app […]
“Hanx Writer” is a free app created by well-known actor Tom Hanks. It makes your iPad or iPhone keyboard sound like a manual typewriter. When you reach the end of a line and tap “return,” you hear that old familiar carriage-return sound, but no bell. (How come no bell, Tom?) Hanks says it helps with his own writer’s block, since he wrote some of his best stuff on a manual typewriter. The $3 to $5 pro versions offer different fonts and typewriter models. Standard typeface is “Courier,” like the old typewriters.