Top 7 Smart Phone Applications to Make Your Life Easier

Photo: Top 7 Smart Phone Applications to Make Your Life Easier: New Apps Help Jog Your Memory, Save Money, Count Calories and More

Post-it notes and to-do lists, your days may be numbered.

A Moffet Field, Calif., start-up called ReQall launched a new service this week that stands to blow old-fashioned ways of organizing out of the water.

The company already manages a free service that lets users call a toll-free number to record memos, appointments and other errands. Speech recognition software analyzes the message and then sends reminder notes via instant messaging or e-mail.

The new service builds on that and uses location-based technology to remind you of each item as you approach the relevant place.

Need to pick up milk from the grocery store? It'll text you your entire grocery list as you move toward the store.

If you choose to share your account with friends and family, they can enter reminders for you (even if they don't subscribe to the service).

The service syncs with Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar to analyze your life and figure out what kinds of reminders you need, and when. And where.

ReQall works on both iPhone and BlackBerries, but the latest version is a little pricier than other helpful apps out there. The premium service that sends location-activated reminders costs $2.99 a month, or $24.99 a year.

There are myriad other programs (apps for short) taking advantage of the growth of wireless handheld devices (handhelds for short). The names range from Financer to iFitness to Dog Whistle to, well, you get the idea.

Have a need? Someone out there is trying to fill it now, quickly, with almost no effort (and little or no upfront cost) on your part.

Many of the apps are designed for the iPhone, perhaps the best-known of handhelds.

But as the market grows, so do the possibilities. Here's a small sampling:

Booty Caller

So you're late again. You're a woman with a busy career but you're newly married and you have hopes for a family, too.

You're trying to get to a meeting when you hear the familiar ping of your cell phone, telling you a text message has arrived.

You open it: "Your fertile window opens today and lasts five more days," it says. "Stress can get in the way of conception, so relax and get a massage, meditate or take a yoga class."

The text you just received is from -- yes, this is its real name -- Booty Caller. The app is free, offered by a parenting Web site called BabyCenter.com.

Do you really want a text to remind you this might be a good time for sex? It may not be your idea of spontaneous fun, but its makers say it may well help you squeeze some fun -- and a new baby as well -- into an overscheduled life.

"Booty Caller is definitely a sign of the times," Linda Murray, the editor-in-chief of BabyCenter.com, wrote in an e-mail. Her site, she said, "set out to create a tool that would provide fertility information as well as tips on getting pregnant in fun, digestible text messages."

Smart Phone Applications Keep You in Check

ScanLife

Look around -- through magazines, at store displays, on kids' T-shirts -- and you may see small, square black-and-white patches that remind you of bar codes. They serve much the same purpose. The idea comes from Scanbuy, a New York firm that hopes the little so-called EZcodes will become ubiquitous.

"We've been at it for a while," said Jonathan Bulkeley, the CEO of Scanbuy Inc., "and the idea's been the same: making it easier for you to navigate using the camera on your phone, instead of the keypad on your phone."

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