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Free App Friday (12/23/11)

Each Friday, I'm going to post about a handful of free or near-free apps that I've found that either have made my life easier or are fun.  I'm wide open to reader suggestions!  These apps can be for any smartphone device or tablet.  I currently own an Iphone, so I'm going to be a little tilted toward Iphone apps, but I'll try to cover as many devices as I can. I've got four great app suggestions this week.

But, before I get to the apps, I'm going to start off this week with a cross-post over to my friend Riva's Israeli frugal blog, Couponing in the Holy Land.  (If you live in Israel and are looking for a website that will help you save money, please check out Riva's blog.)  She recently posted about free Israeli shopping Iphone apps here.

And by the way, here are super-easy instructions for installing a Hebrew (or any other language) keyboard on your Iphone, no matter where you are:
  1. Make sure you have iOS installed.
  2. Go to your Settings, then General/Keyboard/International Keyboards/Add New Keyboard.
  3. Tap on Hebrew (or whatever language you'd like to install).
  4. To switch back and forth between keyboards (in any app), simply tap the globe icon next to the space bar on the bottom of your regular English keyboard. That's it!
Ok, back to America.  Since it's Chanukah, let's start with something fun.

Download Zen Pinball for Iphone and Ipad for free here.  This was originally a Playstation game.  I love the graphics on this app and it's very easy to play.

Here's a very potent photo-editing app for IPhone, Ipod Touch or Ipad:  Photo Power. It's normally $2.99, but it's currently free.  It's almost a mini version of Photoshop.

Then there's Dragon Dictation for Iphone, Ipod Touch and Ipad.  The voice recognition software on my Iphone is a feature that I need to take advantage of much more often (especially while driving).  Dragon Dictation allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it claims to be up to five times faster than keying!  Social media junkies can also dictate status updates directly to Facebook and Twitter.  I haven't tried this yet, but if it works as it claims, this could be my new favorite app.  Right now, it's free.

To wrap it up, here's an Android app that blows my mind, as it strike me as a the nearest thing to an imitation of true Artificial Intelligence.  Download Google Goggles here. Take a picture of something (products, famous landmarks, storefronts, artwork, and popular images) and Goggles uses image recognition technology to recognize objects, return relevant search results and identify what you have photographed.  Goggles can translate words in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese & Russian. Amazing.

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