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posted: 9/29/2012 7:33 AM

App Reviews: Google Sky Map, Droplr

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By Hayley Tsukayama
The Washington Post

Google Sky Map: Handy reference to the heavens, day or night

Make the most of early fall's cool, clear nights with Google's Sky Map app, an open-sourced guide to all that glitters above. It's particularly good for students taking astronomy courses, but it's also just a handy go-to reference to the stars. The app will overlay constellations and a star grid, and will let you either point the phone up for information on that part of the sky or let you search for particular constellations.

With the recent resurgence of interest in space exploration -- thanks largely to the Curiosity Rover -- there's no better moment to take the time to look up at the night sky. And, yes, in case you're wondering: The app still works in the daytime, or in places with too many lights to see the stars. Free, for Android.

Droplr: Takes the hassle out of file sharing

There's no reason that file sharing should be difficult. With Droplr, users can easily upload and share files by email or over social networks with just a drag, drop and click.

On a Mac, Droplr integrates right into the menu bar and lets you store up to 1 GB of information, as long as the files are below 25 MB per file. On Windows, the app goes into the system tray. The size limitation means the application isn't ideal for sharing large pictures or complex illustrations, but it makes it a snap to share smaller files and notes. If you have a link to share, you even can compose a quick note on the app and pass it along via email, Twitter, Facebook or the Droplr site.

There's also a pro edition of the app, for $30 a year, that will give you more storage space (100GB) and a higher file cap (1GB), as well as an iPhone app that lets you tap your photo and video library for items to share. Free, for Mac, Windows and iOS devices. Paid version is $30 a year.

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