Travel and entertainment become priorities as summer approaches. Here are three smartphone applications that smooth the way.
Get around unfamiliar airports with Gate Guru, by Mobility Apps LLC. The free app for Android, Apple and Windows devices has terminal maps and a list of restaurants, shops, ATMs and other amenities, including reviews of the food, that you can filter by terminal within an airport.
To make Gate Guru a true travel companion, send your flight-confirmation emails to plansgateguruapp.com and the app will log your journey, track your car-rental information (or streamline last-minute in-airport rentals), and keep stats on your miles traveled.
Bandsintown, by Bandsintown Inc., is a way for Android and Apple users to get live concert information about musicians you actually listen to.
Bandsintown logs the artists you listen to by checking your profiles on Facebook or Twitter, or your musical choices on music-listening services
On the app, you'll see a screen full of the names of those artists. Tap a name and get concert information for where you are. Or tap "Tonight" to see if a band you like is appearing.
From the app, you can buy tickets and notify friends.
National Parks, for Apple devices, by National Geographic, is free, though you'll be offered detailed guides for individual parks for $1.99 each or a full set for $12.99.
The free material includes plenty to get you excited about a National Park excursion: park photos and maps, directions, weather reports, and camping and lodging information, with links for making reservations.
There are tips for taking great photos, such as to get started before dawn, when the animals are out and the tourists are still asleep.