Leones: There are now more than 2 million apps for that

August 5, 2016

With the recent news that 2 million apps are now available for Apple devices and an estimated 2.2 million for Android devices, there’s sure to be an app to fit your needs or interests.

Apps, short for applications, are computer programs, mostly designed to use on mobile devices such as smartphones, iPads or tablet computers, and many of them are free or inexpensive. Since more than 130 billion apps have been downloaded to date, you may want to join in and see what’s out there for you to use and enjoy.

Here’s a sampling:

Grocery shopping: Wegmans, a free app from a local grocery chain, provides a broad selection of options. One lets you create and organize a shopping list by just entering the name of the item, such as “sugar,” to see a list of the varieties carried, showing types and package weights for each; select the one you want, and it’s added to the list, along with a picture of the product and its price. Even simpler, if you have a package of the item available, scan the barcode using the camera on your mobile device, and that item is added to your list. How’s that for easy? The app also saves your old lists, so you can add an item to your current list by just selecting it from one of the old lists. Or select from your list of frequently purchased items.

There’s more. Recipes are available, complete with a list of ingredients, preparation instructions and even “how to” videos for some. At the end of each recipe is an “add to list” selection if you want to have the ingredients added to your shopping list.

More yet: Your shopping list is displayed showing the aisle where each item is located, sorted in order to match the layout of the store you select. If you go to a different Wegmans, the app asks if you want to have your list match the layout of that store.

Wegmans also maintains a Shoppers Club database with coupons, special offerings and discounts. At the store, scan your “on-screen” Shoppers Club Card and the discounts are applied to your purchases. Similar apps are available for other supermarket chains, such as Kroger, Safeway and Tops.

Astronomy and space: The Star Walk 2 app turns your iPad or smartphone into a mini planetarium. Point your device at the sky, and an on-screen star map appears, displaying that part of the sky where you’re pointing, showing the planets, moon and stars (many of which are labeled). Optionally, you can have the constellations mapped out for you. Tap a star and its name, and additional information is provided. Another display gives information about rising and setting times for the sun, moon and several planets.

The NASA app showcases a huge collection of the latest NASA information, including images, videos on-demand, NASA Television, mission information, news and feature stories, latest tweets, satellite tracking, all of NASA’s current missions and live streaming of NASA TV, the High Definition Earth Viewing experiment on the International Space Station and much more. ISS sighting opportunities for your area of the country are listed as well. It’s been a thrill for us to watch the International Space Station speeding overhead. It’s only visible for three to six minutes per pass, but it’s amazing to watch.

Investing: Stock Market HD: Stocks and Shares is a simple, accurate, straight-forward stock tracker providing the information you need for stock investing, such as current stock value and percent change, daily open, high and low, volume and more. The basic app is free, but a paid version eliminates the ads and provides a bit more details about individual stocks and companies.

Keeping it level: iHandy Level Free converts your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a handy level. The app displays both a bubble level and a digital scale. Accurate, useful and always available to help install or check the position of wall pictures, decorations, shelves and more.

Which way Is north? Commander Compass Lite not only points to north but is also a GPS toolkit, waypoint tracker, speedometer and a lot more. Always right there to answer the burning question.

Health and fitness: An app such as FitStar Personal serves as a personal exercise trainer. The app starts by testing your current fitness level using a series of timed exercises. Based on the results, the app suggests a personalized program that can be worked on any time and most anywhere. Videos demonstrate the proper way to do the suggested exercises, and your fitness is tracked.

The apps listed here barely touch the surface of the amazing range and depth of apps available. We encourage you to explore what’s available for the Apple platform at apple.com/iphone/from-the-app-store, or for the Android platform at play.google.com/store/apps.