Whether you love reading on the beach or mixing up cocktails at an outdoor party, there are plenty of summer apps to keep you satisfied. These iPhone apps are perfect for your next summer vacation or BBQ. Some top choices include Weber's On the Grill app -- perfect for grilling novices -- or the Environmental Working Group's Sunscreen Guide app, which helps you make safe sunscreen choices.
Nothing says summer more than firing up a grill, and Weber's On the Grill App ($4.99) is a great bbq companion. The slick app includes 250 grilling recipes from published Weber cookbooks, and each recipe is illustrated with a mouthwatering photo (hint: don't try out this app on an empty stomach!). In addition to recipes, the Weber's grilling app includes a host of tips and techniques where you can learn how to trim a brisket or de-vein shrimp. There's also an integrated grill timer so you never leave the food on too long. The app is a bit on the expensive side, but grilling novices and masters alike will find something to like here.
2. iBooks App
If you love to read on vacation, you'll love Apple's iBooks app (Free). Instead of packing books in your suitcase, use an e-reader app to access thousands of ebooks from your iPhone or iPad. Most books cost between US$9.99 and $12.99, and the reading experience is excellent. Covers and photographs are displayed in full color, and you can adjust the brightness or text size to fit your reading style. Amazon's Kindle app has a better ebook selection, but iBooks has a more streamlined download process. Be sure to seek out shade or an umbrella if you're vacationing at the beach to reduce glare on the display.
Sunscreen is a summer essential, but do you know exactly what you're slathering on your skin? If not, the Environmental Working Group's Sunscreen Guide app (Free) is a helpful resource. The Environmental Working Group rates hundreds of sunscreens and identifies ingredients that are potentially harmful. The app includes ratings for 500 sunscreens in addition to a list of top-rated brands. Detail pages include a full list of ingredients and a link to buy that sunscreen online. In summary, the EWG app is a must-download for anyone concerned about the chemicals in their sunscreens.
If you need drink recipes for your next summer party or bbq, the Pocket Cocktails app ($0.99) can lend a hand. This cocktail app includes hundreds of recipes for classic cocktails, martinis, warm drinks, and shooters. There's even a dedicated section for summer cocktails. Each recipe is accompanied by a full-screen photo, which makes it easy to see what you'll be making, and the sommelier section for food-wine pairings is an added bonus. Following the recipes is a little tedious because the ingredient amounts and instructions are on separate pages, but most novice bartenders will still be happy with the Pocket Cocktails app.
The Pandora Radio app (Free) is an excellent addition to a summer party, since you don't have to spend time creating a playlist -- the app does it for you. Simply enter an artist you like and the Pandora app will create a customized playlist. If you prefer more variety, the app also includes playlists grouped by genre, including pop, rock, or oldies. Pandora has an excellent music selection, and the recommendations are usually spot on. You can also bookmark songs to buy later on iTunes.