Mike's NBC-TV stories

Smartphone Apps to Make You Smart

Here’s the question of the day: Do our smartphones really make us smarter? They do if you keep some of the cool reference apps I’ve found for you this week on your smartphone.

Ever been stuck for just the right word? Dictionary.com just keeps getting better and has become the best one stop shop for apps for all mobile phone platforms. There are word definitions, a great thesaurus with a gazillion synonymns, local information and a great word of the day feature that will make you look super smart. The price is free.

smartphonesWant to be an expert on politics? Get the Settle It app for iPhone and Android devices. Using a huge database, Settle It! sorts truth from speculation and innuendo, whether in campaign ads or everyday conversations. Search facts by name, keyword or subject, then test your knowledge with a Truth-O-Meter challenge.

The Night Sky is one of my favorite outside apps. It lets you identify the stars, planets, galaxies, constellations and even satellites you can see above. Just stand anywhere and hold your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad up to the sky and The Night Sky will display the names of the objects you are able to see. Cost s 99-cents.

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.