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Six road-trip apps to make the miles fly by

Technology

Six road-trip apps to make the miles fly by

In this Tuesday, May 24, 2016, photo, the Roadside Presidents smartphone app directs people to the statue of George Washington on the steps of the Federal Hall National Monument, in New York’s Financial District. Heading out for a holiday weekend road trip? There are a number of apps available to entertain and educate along the way. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Hitting the road this summer? Forget Yelp and those hotel booking apps—they’re useful, but boring. Instead, pack along these apps to liven things up along the way. You might even learn something. ___
DISCOVER THE QUIRKY
Consult Roadside America’s database of offbeat tourist attractions, and you could marvel at a giant map of Chicago painted on a skyscraper or visit the post office that straddles Texarkana, Arkansas, and Texarkana, Texas.
The iPhone app costs $3 and lets you unlocks one geographic ”region” out of seven across the U.S. and Canada. Pay $2 apiece for more, or an additional $6 for all of them—a better deal if you travel a lot.
A companion iPhone app, Roadside Presidents, focuses on birthplaces, graves and other sites related to the nation’s commanders-in-chief. There’s Mount Rushmore , of course, but the $3 app can also lead you to the New York site where George Washington took the presidential oath or an eatery Barack Obama visited in Boulder, Colorado.
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LEARN SOMETHING
As you make your way across the U.S., History Here, produced by the History Channel, will alert you about nearby places where interesting things happened.
That can be serious, such as the Rodney King trial in Simi Valley, California, which led to rioting in Los Angeles after the acquittal of four white police officers charged with beating a black motorist. For something lighter, how about the New York apartment where baseball legend Mickey Mantle lived? In this Tuesday, May 24, 2016, photo, the statue of George Washington, on the steps of the Federal Hall National Monument, overlooks Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, right, in New York’s Financial District. Heading out for a holiday weekend road trip? There are a number of apps available to entertain and educate along the way. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) The free app sends location-based notifications to iPhones and Apple Watch. There’s an app for Android, but you must open it to see what’s nearby.
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ARE THEY HERE YET? ARE THEY HERE YET?
Folks you’re visiting can track you with Glympse for iPhones, Android and Windows phones. The free app sends your friend or relative a Web link to track your whereabouts. That person doesn’t need the app. By default, your location is shared for a half hour, but you can make that longer or shorter.
The iPhone’s Find My Friends feature does something similar, but sharing is continuous. Glympse lets you choose with whom and when to share, and for how long.
___ In this Tuesday, April 24, 2012, file photo, President Barack Obama greets people at The Sink Restaurant and Bar, in Boulder, Colo. Heading out for a holiday weekend road trip? There are a number of apps available to entertain and educate along the way. For example, the Roadside Presidents app focuses on birthplaces, graves and other sites related to the nation’s commanders-in-chief. There’s Mount Rushmore, of course, but the $3 app can also lead you to the New York site where George Washington took the presidential oath or the pizzeria Barack Obama visited in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) THE SLOWER WAY THERE

The best route isn’t always the quickest, something mapping apps don’t understand. For scenic drives, visit myscenicdrives.com . There’s no app, so you can use this free service on Windows and BlackBerry phones as well as more common iPhones and Androids.
Enter your city or ZIP code to see what’s nearby, or just search by state for gems such as California’s Big Sur coast and Kansas’ Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway .
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DISTRACTING THE KIDS
Search the app store, and you’ll find lots of apps devoted to classic road-trip games, such as who can find the most out-of-state license plates. The $2 Family Car Games app for iPhones gives you more than a hundred options searchable by difficulty level and categories, such as singing. This April 22, 2008, file photo shows the Mount Rushmore National Memorial near Keystone, S.D. Heading out for a holiday weekend road trip? There are a number of apps available to entertain and educate along the way. For example, the Roadside Presidents app focuses on birthplaces, graves and other sites related to the nation’s commanders-in-chief. There’s Mount Rushmore, of course, but the $3 app can also lead you to the New York site where George Washington took the presidential oath or a pizzeria Barack Obama visited in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File) Most of the games aren’t directly related to travel, but will help pass the time until your next rest stop. The travel-related ones include spotting those license plates and trying to find words on billboards starting with each letter of the alphabet.
The nice thing is these games aren’t meant to be played on your phone. Once you look up a game, you can put the phone away and just hang with your travel companions.
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WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE WE?
The GeoGuessr app isn’t so helpful while traveling, but it’s great for seeing what you’ve observed and discovered along the way. It shows you a Google Street View image of some location in the world. You then navigate for clues from road signs or vegetation, then guess where you are. Play alone or challenge friends.
The iPhone app is free, but make sure you don’t spell it ”GeoGuesser,” or you’ll get a similar game that costs $2. You can pay to focus the game on specific countries or cities. To avoid paying or to use other phones, visit geoguessr.com .
Warning: GeoGuessr is addictive, especially on a lazy Sunday afternoon at the bar. In this Monday, May 23, 2016, photo, a giant map of downtown Chicago can be seen on the west side of 300 S. Wacker Dr., in Chicago. Heading out for a holiday weekend road trip? There are a number of apps available to entertain and educate along the way. Heading out for a holiday weekend road trip? There are a number of apps available to entertain and educate along the way. For example, if you consult Roadside America’s database of offbeat tourist attractions, you could marvel at the giant map of Chicago painted on a skyscraper or visit the post office that straddles Texarkana, Ark., and Texarkana, Texas. (AP Photo/Robert Graves) In this Tuesday, May 24, 2016, photo, a giant map of downtown Chicago can be seen on the west side of 300 S. Wacker Dr., in Chicago. Heading out for a holiday weekend road trip? There are a number of apps available to entertain and educate along the way. For example, if you consult Roadside America’s database of offbeat tourist attractions, you could marvel at the giant map of Chicago painted on a skyscraper or visit the post office that straddles Texarkana, Ark., and Texarkana, Texas. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) In this Tuesday, May 24, 2016, photo, two women take a selfie with the statue of George Washington on the steps of the Federal Hall National Monument, in New York’s Financial District. Heading out for a holiday weekend road trip? There are a number of apps available to entertain and educate along the way. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Explore further:Review: The best new features coming from Apple, Google

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