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posted: 1/25/2014 8:12 AM

App reviews: Sunrise, Duolingo

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  • Duolingo, a smartphone app,  lets you take basic lessons in Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese.

      Duolingo, a smartphone app, lets you take basic lessons in Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese.

 
By Hayley Tsukayama, The Washington Post

Sunrise: Stay on top of things

A clean but full-featured calendar program, Sunrise aims to make sure that you're on top of your schedule to sunset and beyond. The app will let you tap into many places on the Web where you make plans, with options to display appointments from Google and iCloud calendars as well as Facebook. You can also opt to link up accounts from Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare to get more information on people with whom you have appointments. Smart typing suggestions try to predict what you're scheduling, whether it's a meeting or a call.

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The app also gives you a three-day calendar view so you can know what the next couple of days offers. The view is nice for getting a quick glance ahead -- and reducing the chance that you'll double-book yourself.

Free, for iOS devices.

Duolingo: Learn language basics

Learning a new language is never easy. But picking up the basics doesn't have to be so hard, thanks to a smartphone app from Duolingo that lets you take basic lessons in Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese. It lets you set your daily goals for study and quickly walks you through the basics.

Users can share progress with friends or even opt to test out of a level of practice if they feel that their linguistic skills are up to snuff. The more answers you get, the more points you can accrue to buy things in-game such as new outfits for your digital language coach. You won't be writing novels in another language after you complete the program, but with help from Duolingo, you should be able to get by on your next trip.

Free, for Android and iOS devices.

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