Keep track of sun fun

Suntimer ($1.99; iOS)

What it is: A calculator that tells you how much time you should spend in the sun.

How it works: Use on-screen sliders to enter your skin type, the UV index of your location and your sunscreen's SPF. Suntimer calculates how long you can stay in the sun before your skin starts to suffer damage.

Why it's great: Takes the guesswork out of, "Am I getting tanned or toasted?" A minor translation goof from the German developer left "Maximum Sun Exposure for the Day" untranslated, so we see "Maximale Sonnenzeit am Tag."

Why you might hesitate: Suntimer is not for use with kids, whose skin is more sensitive.

Whom it's for: Sun seekers who want to play it safe

TrackerSavvy Free (free; Android)

What it is: Easily and conveniently track a range of measurables, from how much water you drink a day to how much you're spending on gas to categories you create yourself. TrackerSavvy Pro ($1.99) is the ad-free version.

How it works: From the home page, tap one of four icons: weight, water, expenses, time. From there, you record your progress each day — how much you've spent at the supermarket, how much time you've spent on leisure — and from there you title your activity. So your Time Records screen would show something like "Wed, June 1, 2011, 12:27-1:45, dined at Miracle, Leisure" and the total time spent in hours and minutes.

Why it's great: Quick and handy, TrackerSavvy Free takes hardly any time to use. Afterward, you get a good idea of how you spent your time/money or how much you've gained/lost/consumed. With some tasks, you can set goals, for instance, 12 cups of water a day, and see how close you came to your goal.

Why you might hesitate: No way to print out or export reports (though you can send tweets of successes/failures).

Whom it's for: Business travelers and vacationers who want their brain space to be taken up by experiences, not minutiae.

Plate Pursuit (99 cents; iOS)

What it is: A digital version of the old license plate game that's a staple of family car trips.

How it works: When you see a license plate, get points by swiping the on-screen image of the plate or press the "ABC" button to choose the first letter of the plate. Get bonus points by answering a trivia question about the license plate's state of origin.

Why it's great: It's more visual than tracking scores with paper and pencil or by memory, as in the olden days. You can start a game now and finish it later, and it's fun on short trips too.

Why you might hesitate: It's tricky to compare the number of plates you've discovered with the number of plates you haven't seen yet.

Whom it's for: Parents on road trips who want to turn their kid's iPhone music-listening/game-playing experience from an individual one to a shared event.

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