Mike's NBC-TV stories

Apps to Measure Stuff

Our smartphones and tablets are useful tools for tackling a lot of tasks, but did you know that they can be used as actual measuring tools for distance and dimension?

It’s true, as PC Mike Wendland shows you this week in his report.

AirMeasure lets users measure everything from small items, to room dimensions, to faraway buildings and structures. It has laser levels that can be added to any wall or surface, brushes for drawing or marking things in 3D, and a catalog filled with virtual furniture that can be previewed in a room. The app is 99 cents for iOS and a beta version is available for Android.

Planimeter measures distances of everything from the distance between holes on a golf course to measurements for gardens, fencing and more. Contractors, for example, could use it to measure areas for paving, asphalt, roofing jobs, and more. Measurements can be taken in a variety of ways, too, from foot to acre. The app is $7.99 for iOS.

Toolbox Pro offers a wide range of measuring options, including everything from barometer and altimeter to plumb bob, surface level and more. The app makes use of many of your devices built-in capabilities to help you take on just about any job you have in the works -$3.99 for iOS and $3.49 for 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.