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July 25, 2014

Lumia Apps for a Day at the Beach

Planning on hitting the beach for some well-deserved R&R? Besides packing sunscreen, shades, towels and your boogie board, download these apps to your Lumia smartphone to optimize your day in the sun and surf.


Bing Weather: Just how hot will it be when at the beach? Get the latest weather conditions, from hourly to daily to ten-day forecasts, with this free app. Not only will you get the high and low temps, Bing Weather will tell you the humidity level, barometric pressure, visibility, wind speed and direction, and UV index.

The last — UV index — is especially important if you don’t want to burn to a crisp. For you folks in the U.S., the UV Index Alert app will tell you the ultraviolet-light level based on your zip code and what steps to take to protect yourself (hint: hat and an industrial-sized can of sunscreen).

Unburn: After you’ve slathered on sunscreen, how long will it protect you from the sun’s rays? Based on your skin type (light, medium, dark), current UV index (2 through 10), and the SPF level of your sunscreen (0 to 45) Unburn will tell you how many minutes you have until you need to reapply it.


Surfline: Ready to “hang 10?” This comprehensive app gives you surf reports from thousands of locations around the world, from the Maldives to Mavericks (an especially gnarly Californian surfing spot).

The reports include surf height, wind speed and direction, tides, air and water temperatures, and sunrise and sunset times. The app is free, but if you opt for the premium subscription ($12.95/month or $69.95/year), you’ll get live high-definition video streams of the surf spots (so cool!), extended 14-day swell forecasts, and more.

Kindle: Now that you’re on break, you finally have time to catch up on your summer reading. But who wants to tote a bunch of heavy hardback books to the beach? Instead, download the Kindle app (free, but e-books cost extra) and load it up with the digital versions of the tomes and magazines you’ve been meaning to delve into.

If the sun’s glare is making it hard to read a white screen, you can set the book’s background to black (with white text) or sepia (with black text). You can also change the size and type of the text font and the width of the margins. In addition, you can bookmark pages and search by keyword.


Audible: If reading is just too laborious for you on your beach break, have your books read aloud to you instead, courtesy of Audible. Some features that I especially like: the ability to skip back and forth in a book by swiping left and right, sharing book details with friends, and using the timer function – a handy feature when listening in bed.

Just like traditional books, each audiobook can be bookmarked. Note that, while the Audible app itself is free, you must purchase books or sign up for a monthly paid subscription.

So, which beaches will you go to this summer? If you try any of these apps at your next day on the coast, let us know how they work out for you.