Software

Five mobile reference apps for quick access to the info you need

From identifying fonts to monitoring data usage to tracking package deliveries, these apps can simplify the job of keeping up with vital info.

One thing that's boosted the popularity of smartphones and tablets is the way they put information at your fingertips right when you need it. Yes, you can find almost anything you're looking for by using a Web browser and a little patience. But a number of reference apps can make it easier to track down all sorts types of information. Here are five apps I've found to be particularly useful.

Note: This article is also available as an image gallery and a video hosted by TechRepublic columnist Tom Merritt.

1: WhatTheFont

WhatTheFont (Figure A) is a free tool that is designed to help you to track down fonts. Just take a picture of the font you want to match and this app will analyze the characters in the photo and provide you with a list of fonts that are close matches to the font in the photograph.

Figure A

Figure A

WhatTheFont is currently available only for iOS.

2: MyDataManager

The reference data you need to look up is sometimes inside your own phone. MyDataManager (Figure B) is a free utility that can help you to monitor your data usage. It tracks cellular data, roaming data, and Wi-Fi data usage. It also allows you to configure plans and alarms so that you will know when you are close to reaching your data limit.

Figure B

Figure B

MyDataManager is available for iOS and Android.

3: GlobeConvert

GlobeConvert (Figure C) is an awesome free tool for performing just about any kind of conversion imaginable. Conversion categories include standard data types, such as time, temperature, length, and currency, but you can also perform conversions related to less common data types, like pressure and power. Each conversion type is fully configurable. For example, the Length conversion supports things like millimeters, miles, yards, inches.

Figure C

Figure C

GlobeConvert is currently available for iOS.

4: Parcel - Delivery Tracking

As someone who travels constantly, I tend to do most of my shopping online. Parcel - Delivery Tracking (Figure D) is a great app for people who get a lot of packages. As you would expect, this app helps you keep track of each package's shipment and delivery status. What makes this app really stand out is that it supports a whopping 240 couriers! The free version is limited to providing push notifications for three packages at a time, but for $1.99 per year, the premium version removes this limitation.

Figure D

Figure D

Parcel - Delivery Tracking is currently available for iOS.

5: Wikipanion

Wikipanion (Figure E) is a free utility that's designed to augment Wikipedia. But the tool doesn't just display Wikipedia articles in a mobile-friendly format — it adds some functionality of its own. For example, you can search for text within a page, download a page for offline viewing, or email someone a link to a page. The software even has a dictionary function that allows you to look up words without having to leave the article.

Figure E

Figure E

Wikipanion is currently available for iOS.

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