THIS APP’S FOR YOU

Mo­bilede­vice tech­nol­ogy in­spires, re­veals mil­lions of ex­cit­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties

RSWLiving - - Departments - BY NICK CILETTI

There’s re­ally no ex­cuse any­more to stay cooped in­doors, plopped on the couch with one hand on the re­mote and the other in a bowl of chips. In to­day’s tech­nol­o­gy­driven world, there’s a mo­bile-de­vice ap­pli­ca­tion, or app, for pretty much ev­ery­thing, and that in­cludes get­ting out­side, be­com­ing one with na­ture and green-light­ing a fit­ness life­style. There are a few mil­lion apps to in­ves­ti­gate; Google alone has nearly 1 mil­lion. And most of them are free. We’re in­clud­ing a few spe­cial apps to ex­plore.

Dis­cover Ding It’s one of South­west Florida’s more pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions. Now ev­ery­thing you love about the J.N. “Ding” Dar­ling Na­tional Wildlife Refuge is right at your fin­ger­tips. The Dis­cover Ding app is a per­fect down­load be­fore head­ing to the refuge, al­low­ing users to check gate times and vis­i­tor cen­ter hours, and even get a head start on some sight­see­ing. There’s also a GPS com­po­nent, so you’ll know ex­actly where you are within the refuge. “You can see real-time sight­ings of what peo­ple are see­ing at the refuge right now,” ex­plains su­per­vi­sory ranger Toni West­land.

The best part is you can be a na­ture pho­tog­ra­pher, tak­ing and shar­ing pho­tos of in­ter­est­ing an­i­mals and plants snapped with your smart­phone or tablet. An im­me­di­ate wildlife post­ing, for ex­am­ple, gives oth­ers in­ter­fac­ing the app time to get in on the ac­tion. “Lots of peo­ple,” West­land says, “have phones and lots of peo­ple like to share what they’re see­ing … if you see some­thing, you can say what it is and where it is, so it’s like lit­tle field tips.” Search for “Dis­cover Na­ture” in the App Store and look for the Ding op­tion.

SkyView With SkyView there’s no need to have your head in the clouds―— this app does all the work. The app with your phone/tablet aimed at the sky iden­ti­fies the stars, con­stel­la­tions, gal­ax­ies and satel­lites within the frame. There’s even a fea­ture that sets alerts for cer­tain as­tro­nom­i­cal events such as the su­per­moon and eclipses. It’s also a great way to get fam­ily and friends in­volved on so­cial me­dia and to en­joy the grandeur of the night sky.

Na­tional Parks Field Guide The sto­ries be­hind 100 na­tional parks are right in the palm of your hands with Na­tional Parks Field Guide. From Aca­dia to Zion, this app has you cov­ered when it comes to see­ing the best the U.S.A. has to of­fer. Start off by se­lect­ing the park to which you’re head­ing. One tab lets you see all the an­i­mals and plants pos­si­bly en­coun­tered, and which species are poi­sonous or dan­ger­ous. The app also lists en­dan­gered wildlife and plants. It is lim­ited by manda­tory in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity.

MyFit­nessPal All food ques­tions are an­swered with this app. The free ver­sion has more than 5 mil­lion foods in its data­base, al­low­ing you to count calo­ries, pro­tein, fat, sugar and a whole lot more. There’s even a bar-code fea­ture that lets you scan food la­bels. MyFit­nessPal helps you keep track of how many steps you take in a day and how many calo­ries burned from all that walk­ing.

Slacker Ra­dio Hit a high note with free mu­sic while you’re work­ing out or ex­plor­ing Mother Na­ture. Slacker Ra­dio is just what the name im­plies, do­ing all the work for you. Slacker gives ac­cess to mil­lions of songs and hun­dreds of mu­sic sta­tions. The ba­sic app is free. You can even cre­ate cus­tom mu­sic sta­tions for the ul­ti­mate in­di­vid­u­al­ized ex­pe­ri­ence.

SworkIt Billed as a per­sonal trainer, SworkIt makes it so the work­outs come to you and fit into your sched­ule. The rou­tines help guide you through ex­er­cises with per­sonal-trainer demon­stra­tion videos. Got in­juries? SworkIt’s train­ers have a so­lu­tion. Users have the abil­ity to cre­ate their own cus­tom work­outs from a li­brary of more than 160 ex­er­cises. From glutes to back to bi­ceps, this app’s got you cov­ered.

Nick Ciletti is a free­lance writer for TOTI Me­dia and also a TV jour­nal­ist for the ABC af­fil­i­ate in Phoenix. Pre­vi­ously, he spent three won­der­ful years in Fort My­ers.

SkyView

Dis­cover Ding

Na­tional Parks Field Guide

MyFit­nessPal

Slacker Ra­dio

SworkIt

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