iPad apps for easy summer living

Jun 14, 2010
Shine

What’s that old song about summertime? Something about “the livin’ is easy?” Well, it’s a lot easier with an iPad at hand. Here’s some apps that will help your summertime livin’ a breeze. I loved the Weber’s grill recipe app on my iPhone, but Weber’s On the Grill for iPad ($4.99) on that big, luscious screen gets my mouth watering with one tap. I […]

What’s that old song about summertime? Something about “the livin’ is easy?” Well, it’s a lot easier with an iPad at hand. Here’s some apps that will help your summertime livin’ a breeze.

I loved the Weber’s grill recipe app on my iPhone, but Weber’s On the Grill for iPad ($4.99) on that big, luscious screen gets my mouth watering with one tap. I rarely cook inside during the summer, and Weber’s On the Grill for iPad has expanded my repertoire beyond burgers and brats. When you open the app, you’re greeted with a ton of photos of delectable-looking food. Tap one, and the recipe appears. You can also browse for recipes by category.

Weber’s On the Grill for iPad also contains a slew of “How-To’s” to make your grilling even more fantastic, and a grocery list you can add to from any recipe.

Knowing what the day holds in the weather department is a must when you’re heading out for some outdoor fun. The Weather Channel Max (free), with hourly forecasts and radar, is essential.

My favorite recent iTunes App Store find is Maplets ($2.99). Using your location, the app will list a slew of maps for area attractions and recreation areas. Simply choose and download to your iPad. I grabbed the map of Brookfield Zoo, the Metra Rail System map, and the Starved Rock State Park map just to start, and in my location-based list are parks and attractions up to 156 miles away. For $3, this is a steal.

You probably already have UrbanSpoon (free) on your iPad, but if not, pick it up. It’s the ideal way to find restaurants near wherever your summer travels have taken you.

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My family and I love road trips—we’ll often hop in the car for a spontaneous day adventure or even a long road trip. iTraffic, Your Real-Time Traffic Companion ($2.99), which was just released on June 11, finds you on a map and lists traffic incidents and construction that will slow your travel time. The map shows areas of congestion (or free-flowing traffic) with color-coded roadways. With a tap, the app will estimate travel time between your current location and your destination.

If you’ve run out of imagination for planning your summer fun, grab Goby (free). It’s an awesome resource for discovering things to do, such as restaurants and bars, events, places to stay, and more, either near you or at a destination. You can search near you for “Today,” “This Weekend,” or the “Next 7 Days.” If traveling, enter your destination and travel dates and get a ton of information to help you plan.

Let your iPad help you with planning your summer fun, or with your spontaneous dashes out the door. Either way, these apps will help make your livin’ easier.

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Viki Gonia

Viki Gonia writes a column for her local paper, teaches writing at Columbia College of Chicago, and has had her iPhone surgically attached to her hand.

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