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The 4th of July is upon us. Whether you are planning a party, making a road trip, or tapping into your inner patriot, the iPhone and Android smartphones will free you up to organize your holiday plans. Here are some apps to help you celebrate Independence Day with a bang.
Epicurious is running plenty of holiday specials this summer, giving you recipe and menu-planning ideas specifically for the 4th of July. The free app, which is available for the iPhone and Android, lets you voice-search recipes, mark your favorites, share them and receive new recipes on your home screen daily.
Handmark's has a neat fireworks app that creates a personalized show on your iPhone. Free, the fireworks app gives you a handful of images to choose from, with patriotic music to accompany. Use music from your iPhone if you’d like, and enjoy.
The free Fireworks app will turn your Android home screen into a flashing display of bursting lights. The animated, live home screen app is familiar for HTC H2 users, among others, but for the rest of the Android users, this is one way to celebrate Independence Day every time you pull out your phone.
Sears’ shopping apps are growing in the Android Market, with Kmart2Go among the newest entries. This personal shopper tool is a free app for helping you create lists for in-store pick-up. You can also purchase items directly in the app, with home delivery options. From the grill to the swim suit, your party will be complete.
mTrip launched a new series of iPhone apps that helps you plan your city exploration. For $5.99 you can get offline navigation and view augmented reality attractions on your iPhone 4 and 3GS handsets. Share locations with loved ones via Facebook and Twitter as well.
If the holiday weekend is also your vacation, share your memories with the Trip Journal Pro Android app. For about $3.00 you can track your route, mark your stops and add photos, videos and notes. Your trips can be shared through Facebook, YouTube, Picasa, Flickr and Twitter. The app has Google Maps integration as well.
Spot the Difference has a Summer Pack available for Android, giving you a fun brain teaser for long car rides. The main app is free, as are the add-ons. Reminiscent of a Highlights puzzle, you have two minutes to find all the differences between the two pictures provided. Most packs feature scantily clad women, so you can imagine what fun the Summer Pack holds.
If you’re planning a trip to the Windy City, Chicago does a bang up job on Independence Day. While you’re in town, visit the Taste. Applitite has a free iPhone app that maps out the entire event for you. Most helpful is the food lineup, including artist and chef information. Rate all the food you taste, share your agenda with friends, and meet them for the evening entertainment.
The 4th of July holiday is a great time to learn a bit about your country. Take the US States Quiz (free for Android and 99 cents on the iPhone) to test your knowledge of capitals, state mottos and more. The app offers a series of mini quizzes, aimed at combining fun with the educational (and patriotic) experience.
As exciting as it is to celebrate our own independence, the 4th of July holiday is also a good time to learn about other countries. The Flags of the World Cup app uses the major sporting event as an opportunity to learn about others. Free for Android phones, the app shows you an image of an African flag and has you guess its country of origin.