Make your Fourth of July weekend great with these apps

Find the best beach, learn to BBQ and make your own fireworks!

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
July 3, 2014
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I don't know why, but this year the he Fourth of July just feels more special than it usually does.  I can't put my finger on it... oh, right! It's on a Friday, which means we all get  a three-day weekend! Whoooo!

It won't be this good again until 2016, when it falls on a Monday!

So, what are your plans for the long weekend? Grilling up some barbeque? Catching some fireworks? Whatever it is you've got going on, we've got an app that can help you out!

Heading off to the beach

I don't know about you, but it's been super hot where I live, and since I come from a long line of practically translucent people, which makes me skin turn red at the mere mention of the sun, I will definitely not be hitting the beach this weekend.

For the rest of you though, you can use the Swim Guide app (, an app that will not only show you the beaches that are closest to you, but also give you the quality of the water at that beach to let you know if its actually safe to swim there.

It is run by the Waterkeeper Alliance a network of 200 water protection groups worldwide. So, if you want to know how much fecal matter and E.coli are in the water at your local beach, then this app is for you!


Learn to barbeque

Alright, so you're at the beach. You just swam in that disgusting, polluted water because you didn't bother to check the Swim Guide app like I told you to! And now it's time to eat. You've got your grill going, your meat all prepared and… you just realized you have no idea how to cook.

Fear not! For there is an app for that!

It's called Weber's On the Grill, and it has 280 recipes, plus another 40 recipes for rubs, marinades, and sauces. It also features over 100 tips on grilling techniques, as well as 27 how-to videos, a grill timer, as well as a guide for how long to grill different kinds of meat. 

The app is a bit costly at $4.99, but isn't it worth not looking ridiculous while all your family and friends wait around, looking at you while you fumble around, trying to start a light? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Show off your Presidential history knowledge!

Now that everybody's is stuffed with meat, and can't move for a while, its the perfect time to impressive everyone with your all of your knowledge about the Presidents! Because, isn't that what the Fourth of July really about? No? It's actually about which used car dealership can give you the best deal, you say? Well, whatever.

Bone up on your history with the USA Presidents app, a flash card quiz app that helps you learn facts about the all the Presidents of the United States, including their political party, the dates of their terms in office and their number.  You can also quiz yourself in six different ways to make sure you've got it all down.

Personally, I love reading about Presidents. In fact, I've made it a life goal to try to read a book by or about each one. So if you can tell me the dates that Rutherford B. Hayes was in office, I'll be pretty impressed!

Watch some fireworks

Once you're done most likely boring everyone with your history knowledge, it's time for the real excitement: fireworks!

Only, sadly, all  the fireworks went missing that day. Or something. For whatever reason, you can't see them from where you are. But all is not lost, because (say it with me now!) there's an app for that!

Rather than trying to score some on your own, because that's pretty dangerous, you can create your own fireworks by using an app called, what else, Fireworks. The app let you pick from 16 different locations, including the Eiffel Tower, the Roman Coliseum, and even the moon, to create your own fireworks, which you can also set to your favorite music.

You can also control the colors, size and density of the fireworks. Not as good as the real thing, I'm sure, but a worthy substitute.

Find your local hospital (optional)

So... they didn't have fireworks and, instead of downloading an app, you decided to get your own. Something tells me that this did not end well.

You never listen to me, do you? You're pretty frustrating, but I'm going to help you anyway, because I;m just that nice.

Try the USHospFinder, which will use your GPS location to find your location, and show you the closest hospitals nearby. It contains information on over 6000 hospitals in the United States. Good luck, I hope you're ok!

So there you have it, folks. Five apps (though I hope you only have to use four of them!) to have the perfect Fourth of July. Have fun!

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