Mike's NBC-TV stories

Apps for summer

With summer vacation on the horizon for many, hitting the beach at some point is likely in the cards for most.

But along with sunscreen and a towel, as PC Mike Wendland reports this week, you might want to consider three apps to ensure plenty of fun in the sun.

Swim Guide finds the cleanest beaches for swimming, surfing, and more. It draws data from more than 100 beach monitoring sources for real-time updates on water quality and cleanliness. As well as beach amenities, and even where to park. Seach by beach name or geographic area. The app is free for iOS and Android.

SunZapp gives you all the info you need to be sun safe, considering your skin type, location, environmental conditions, clothing, sunscreen and more, based on info from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. One especially useful feature is a timer that can tell you when it’s time to call it quits for the day. The app is free for iOS and Android.

A good weather app also is a necessity. The high-ranking Dark Sky app provides hyper-local forecasting, which means you’ll get fair warning about rain or shine on an hour-by-hour basis. Dark Sky even shows a time-lapse view of local cloud movements. The app is $3.99 for iOS and Android.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.