WHAT’S THE FUSS?

Facebook paid 19 billion dollars to buy “WhatsApp.” What’s up with that? “WhatsApp” is an app, and it works with almost any smartphone to let you exchange an unlimited number of text messages for free. The app itself is free for the first year and a whopping 99 cents a year after that. We don’t need or use WhatsApp ourselves because we’re on a $30 a month unlimited plan from T-Mobile (with just 100 voice minutes). But we installed it anyway to try it out. A message appeared immediately warning us to uninstall two of our favorite apps, Battery Doctor and Mobile Care. Both are so-called “task killers” to prevent battery power loss. For us that’s a deal killer. Because […]

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DOG LAND

“Dog Land” for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch links dog owners from around the world in a like-minded community of pet owners. “Mark your territory” to share your location with others. Find dog parks, pet stores, vets and animal rescues. Vote on dog-friendly places. Use privacy settings to control who sees what. Their slogan: “This land is your land. This land is Dog Land.”

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SHARING A LINK

This happens a lot: Somebody will tell us about a great site, article or video they saw on the web, but don’t remember exactly where it was. Google it, they’ll say. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.

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REACHING MORE PEOPLE

We’ve sometimes wondered what time is best to post to Facebook or Twitter. We know you’re all anxious about that. “BufferApp” will take you there.

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NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORK

Nextdoor.com is a site to help you keep up with what’s going on in your neighborhood. Information categories include “crime and safety,” “classifieds,” “free items,” and “lost and found.” They verify you are you by sending an automated phone call. We got welcomed by neighbors when we tried it. If there isn’t a category for gossip, there soon will be.

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SNAP AND SEND

We were surprised to see the photos we just took with our smartphone were immediately available on Google+, a social network much like Facebook. Google’s new “Instant Upload” saves your photos and videos in a private space on Google+. Click the “share” button in Google+ to make them available to anyone, or limit viewing to your friends. If you don’t already have Google+, you can get it at Plus.Google.com. Google+ lets you upload an unlimited number of photos in standard size (2048 pixels); at full resolution it limits you to five gigabytes of storage, which is free. Video storage is unlimited for videos of 15 minutes or less. The default for photos is full resolution, but you can change that […]

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NETWORKING APP

“CanWeNetwork” is a free app aimed at uncovering new business contacts from people nearby. When we tried it, it matched us with several engineers and consultants less than three miles away. Had we wished, we could have sent them a message. Since the app tells you how close your new contacts are, if we were sitting side by side in the same coffee shop, we could say hello.

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MAKE A FACE

“iMadeFace” is a free app for iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad 2 and 3. It lets you make a cartoon face with a message, like “I love you.” Joy had fun choosing a heart-shaped face, a pony tail, arched eyebrows, nice eyes, small mouth, normal nose and glasses, before emailing it to Bob. You can make it look like yourself or not. It can also be shared on social networking sites.

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PRIVACY FIX

If you use Facebook, but worry about it sharing your personal details with strangers, we have a fix. It’s “Privacy Fix,” a free app from PrivacyFix.com.

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WHAT’S APP, DOC?

“What’s App” for the iPhone lets you exchange text messages without paying, and works no matter what phone you’re texting.

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