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9 Apps With the 50-Plus in Mind

These applications for phones and tablets can make life a little easier

6. Foodspotting (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android; free). What differentiates this restaurant reference guide from others — such as Urbanspoon — is that it's picture-based. Diners photograph their order, then upload the shots, along with a review. "So if you're in the middle of Baltimore and you're trying to find the best crab cake, rather than just looking around online for people's recommendations, you can actually see what the food looks like," explains Webb. You can also access guides from experts, such as the Travel Channel's Anthony Bourdain.

7. SitOrSquat (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android, BlackBerry; free). The user-generated content of this restroom finder is the ultimate resource for when you gotta go when you're on the go. "Depending on where you live in the country, this is incredibly useful. I'm in New York City a lot, and I use this all the time," Webb says. An independent group began compiling the data several years ago, but the app was recently acquired by Charmin, which accounts for the prominent toilet paper branding. Contributors often include information on operating hours and sometimes post photos of the facilities.

8. Instant Heart Rate (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android; free). Place your finger over the LED camera, and in 10 seconds you'll know how fast your heart is beating — no external hardware needed. "Because your skin is translucent, it's able to watch your blood pulsing," explains Webb. The upgraded version (99 cents for Apple, $2.99 for Android) allows you to customize an exercise routine and track your progress, and includes a target heart-rate zone calculator.

9. Siri (iPhone/iPod touch/iPad; free). "A digital concierge" is how Webb describes this task-oriented, vocal-based app. It goes through the information on your phone — your networks, your contacts — and makes recommendations based on what it thinks you'll like. "You could open up Siri and say, 'Dinner reservation tonight, Chinese food,' and it will find you, based on where you're at and what your preferences are, the best restaurants in your area," Webb says. "Then you can click to make a phone call or allow the application to make a reservation for you." Same thing with arranging taxi service and flights, accessing weather forecasts, scouting out parking garages and even locating movie locations — by genre. "It's a really neat resource — as long as you know what to ask for," Webb says.

Penny Musco is a writer in Montclair, N.J.

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