With the unofficial end of summer upon us, it's a good time to download the apps that emphasize leisure over labor.
Whether you plan on firing up the grill, hitting the beach or taking in a little U.S. Open tennis, we recommend a few choice cuts to help you soak up those final summer days.
A gadget for grilling
Like many 30-something men, I consider myself naturally gifted behind the grill. I learned that my friends and family do not share that assessment when my brother ordered a pizza to my last rooftop barbecue. And, since holding a cookbook is not very manly, holding an iPhone is. Weber's on the Grill literally puts any recipe, technique or safety tip I'll ever need to know in my hand. For $4.99, the app's more than 250 recipes range from meats and veggies to starters and desert. Did you know you could whip up a Banana and Mango Napoleon in only two minutes of grill time? Don't have all your ingredients? Import what you need into the app's grocery list.
If the Weber brand is not your thing, I recommend the 99-cent Grill Guide. Need to know how long to grill a bone-in loin roast or the difference in cooking Portobello and Shiitake mushrooms? Grill Guide's easy-to-use interface details length of time, temperature, and other useful tips for grilling meat, fish, fruit and vegetables.
If you are grilling for a carnivorous crew and want a glossary of what formerly breathing being you are consuming, add Butcher to your iPhone. What the $1.99 app lacks in coverage - it focuses on beef, chicken, pork and lamb - it makes up for in depth.
Herbivores can download the 99-cent Vegetarian Recipes, which includes some grill-specific options among its 200+ dishes.
Hitting the road
If you're driving to a beach destination, there is no reason to pay more for gas if you don't have to. Before you hit the road, download Gas Buddy: Save Money at the Pump, which publishes pricing information for gas stations near you. You can either set your location (or anticipated location) by zip code or the app's geo-locater. GasBuddy, which will cost you about a gallon of gas at $2.99, also includes a map with station icons and pricing affixed on their locations, and a settings area that monitors the tank size, miles per gallon and desired fuel grade of your vehicle. One drawback: the app requires users to input data. In rural areas, this app is less useful.
There is no bigger buzz-kill for a holiday weekend road trip than traffic delays. While the iPhone cannot relieve road congestion (yet!), Inrix Traffic! does a good job keeping you out of gridlock. Part of the INRIX Smart Driver Network, this free app can warn you of traffic incidents and accidents near you. As it relies on user-generated data points, the app works better in urban areas where there is more activity. So use it to get out of the city, and then pray the highways are clear after that.
If you have young kids or loaded up on iced tea before hitting the road, Rest Area determines how far you are from your next potty break. The 99-cent app also details if there are restaurants, gift shops and other accommodations along the rest exit.
Apps for chillin'
Nobody wants to return to work or school with lobster-colored skin. So if you plan to get some rays, iSunBurn details the UV index in your area. Categorized by level of risk from low to extreme,the 99-cent app assesses the harm of unprotected sun exposure and recommends sun screen level and whether you should wear shades.
If it's Labor Day weekend, then you can bet the the U.S. Open Grand Slam Tennis Tournament will be happening. While tennis is best viewed live or on a television, CBS Sports Mobile keeps track of action. The free app's mix of news, stats and highlights will keep you updated on how your favorite players are performing.
And don't forget mindless movies! Once Labor Day hits, you know the studios will be releasing their more serious fare for awards season. While that's all-good, this might be your last weekend to see District 9 or The Hangover on the big screen. I've always been a fan of Fandango.com, and the free Fandango iPhone app gets you ready for showtime.
Happy Labor Day!