CALLING DICK TRACY

What are smart watches good for? Not much. The dirty little secret of smart watches is that you have to have a smart phone in your pocket or bag or they don’t do much. Sales, as you might expect, have been less than torrid. For the forthcoming Apple Watch, next year, for example, you’ll have to have an iPhone too.

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TRACE AND DRAW

“Trace & Draw” is a free app from Crayola for iPhone/iPad and Android devices. Place a piece of paper over your screen and a drawing underneath shines through, allowing you to trace it. The opening screen tells you to buy a $20 Crayola clip to hold your paper, but that’s unnecessary. Besides this app, you can get lots of images to trace for free from Images.Google.com. Search on “black and white clip art.” Ordinary paper works fine if you turn up the brightness setting on your tablet.

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TIMELY TUTOR

“Timely Tutor” is an app for iPod/iPad/iPhone that asks children to take a break from playing video games and take a quiz.

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DOWNTON ABBEY’S BEST QUOTES

“Downtonisms” is a 99 cent iPhone/iPad app for fans of the PBS series “Downton Abbey.” Pick a favorite character and listen to her best lines, while enjoying a slide show of snapshots from the show. Tag a line to add to favorites or share on social media. Here’s a line from Maggie Smith’s character, Violet: “I wonder your halo doesn’t grow heavy. It must be like wearing a tiara round the clock.”

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FEMALE FORCE

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CC8QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.comicfleamarket.com%2Fservlet%2Fthe-758%2FFemale-Force-cln–Sheryl-Sandberg%2FDetail&ei=GZ4-VNOKDeHO8AGQw4CADw&usg=AFQjCNFjNbZMYrgs49LpKzxIlutQHPU0YQ&sig2=Iko0H1UYOJ5CV2Wj1FSn9A&bvm=bv.77412846,d.b2U

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ARTHUR’S BIG APP

“Arthur’s Big App” is based on the PBS kids TV show and has four games, such as a music game for pounding out a tune, create-your-own smoothie, library book shelving and freeze tag. It’s $3 for the iPhone/iPad.

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OUT OF THE POOL AND INTO THE MONEY

Creating smart phone apps for your business can save big bucks. We just found out about a pool maintenance company that saved $35,000 a year.

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STORY BUG

Story Bug  lets you share an ebook with a child from afar, while video chatting together on an iPad or iPhone. It’s free for the first two books, then $5 a month. Of course you could do this in Skype for free, but it’s kind of neat to be able to look down at a story page and in a corner of the screen there’s a small video chat window.  The books are aimed at babies and on up to age 6. Nice illustrations.

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YOUR RING IS LISTENING

You’d have to be living on Mars to be unaware of all the smart watches coming out this year. But did you know you could also get a smart ring?

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WEIRD BUT TRUE!

“Weird but True!” from the National Geographic. It’s a free kids app for iPhone/iPad/iPod that lets you in on some of Nature’s strangest secrets. Like: Cheetahs can change direction in mid air while chasing prey. Or so they say.

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