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Smartphone Primer

• Grocery IQ

Grocery IQ is a simple and comprehensive shopping list application for food, personal items and pet supplies. It helps you plan upcoming shopping and keeps a history of purchases. When you begin typing the first few letters of a list’s item, say “nut,” the database of more than 130,000 items provides products containing those letters: nutmeg, mixed nuts, Nutella, nutritional items. Type in more letters to refine the search or scroll through the list, touch the item you want and the program adds it to the shopping list. Search by type, brand or bar code. Check off items as you walk through the aisle, and when you’re finished, Grocery IQ records a history of your purchases. Or e-mail a list to whomever is doing the shopping this week.

$1; IP

• You Mail

Tired of wading through patchy voice mails or losing them altogether? You Mail transcribes them (almost perfectly) and then e-mails the text to your smartphone. This eliminates the problem of missing calls or not being able to pick up the resulting voice mail when you’re in a situation or place where it’s too loud to hear or inappropriate to use your phone. Forward the text to friends and family and save them indefinitely. And if your phone dies, you can hear, read and manage your voice mail from your home computer at You Mail’s website.

Free; IP, BB, AN

• Occasions

Keep all the important birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and dates that you’d like to remember in a central calendar. If you use a calendar and contact program from Apple’s Mobile Me, Google, Microsoft Exchange or Facebook on your home computer, you can import that information to your iPhone. Or you can set up custom entries from scratch. Events are clearly listed by month so you can scroll through what’s coming up. And when you get a pop-up reminder for an event, you can call, text or e-mail anyone in your Occasions database, which makes it easy to stay in touch.

$2; IP

• BillMinder Push

This application alerts you when bills are due and tracks what you owe and what you’ve spent. Enter one-time and recurring bills and account information, along with their due dates, and BillMinder prompts you when they’re due with an icon on your screen and by “pushing” notifications to your smartphone. You can set up recurring payments of variable amounts. Set a password to protect your account information.

$2 for the app and $1/year for the push notifications; IP

• AppBox Pro

This virtual toolbox is an app full of apps—21 in all. Some of the best include the tip and sale-price calculator, ruler, holidays for the next hundred or so years, foreign language translator and unit converter.

$2; IP

• SoundAMP

Turn your iPhone into an impromptu hearing aid that’s easy to use. Plug your headphones into the audio jack and the iPhone’s high-sensitivity microphone does the rest. $10; IP

Health and Fitness

• Calorie Tracker by Livestrong

Set calorie and fitness goals, and then log what you’ve done. Type in the name of a food or activity and Livestrong’s databases of foods, restaurant menu items and exercise activities help pull it up, then lists all the key nutritional information for that dish or how many calories you’ve burned. The program works together with Livestrong’s website, which includes more information about meal planning, exercise regimes and a community of like-minded users.

$3; IP, BB

• Health n Family

Health n Family streamlines and organizes your personal and family medical information safely and securely, cutting down on the onerous task of filling out the same info over and over again. Protected by a password you choose, it consolidates a huge array of information about your doctors, pharmacies and prescriptions, emergency contacts, insurance, health conditions, allergies, lab reports, surgical procedures, advance directives and immunization records. Once you’ve input the key data, it’s easy to e-mail it to whomever requests it.

$5; IP

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