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From the Tips Box: Life after Babel Fish, Hidden Features in iOS apps, and Finding Clean Beaches with a Smartphone

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Once a week we round up some of the great reader tips that come pouring in and share them with everyone. This week we’re looking at Bing’s absorbtion of Babelfish, hidden features in iOS apps, and how to find a clean beach with your smartphone.

Yahoo! Babel Fish Folds into Bing Translate

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Steve writes in with the following tip:

I’m sure a bunch of How-To Geek readers are fans of Babel Fish (the popular translation service that’s been around forever and a day). After getting bounced all over the last couple years, it finally switched hands from Yahoo! to Microsoft and it’s now part of Bing Translate. You can check out the changes and the new interface at this MSDN blog post or just try the new Bing Translate out.

Thanks Steve! It’s been a little while since we’ve visited Babel Fish, thanks for the update.

Discover the Hidden Features in Stock iOS Apps

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Nicki writes in with the following iOS tip:

I found a great little article over at MacWorld the other day that highlights all the hidden features in the default iOS apps. Many of these features I’d overlooked and outright downloaded extra apps to perform the things my iPhone could already do. Check it out! There’s tricks for the clock, stock app, weather, and more.

Nice find, Nicki—we’re particularly fond of the “Stop Playing” trick in the clock timer menu. Thanks!

Find Clean Beaches with Your Smart Phone

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Matt writes in with a summer-centric tip:

Just this last weekend I drove out to the beach only to find that it was temporarily closed because of some issue. Like any 21st century guy with a smartphone, I decided I’d find a way to avoid this in the future. Turns out there is an app from the web site Swim Guide that monitors water quality alerts and let’s you check if the beaches nearby are open, closed, or have some sort of environmental safety flag on them. I’ll never end up driving to the beach only to find it closed again.

For our warm weather readers with beach trips on their minds, this is a very handy app. Nice find Matt! Readers should note that you can also use the main web site instead of the smartphone app to get the same results.


Have a tip or trick to share? Shoot us an email at tips@howtogeek.com and look for your tip, trick, or app suggestion on the front page.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/7/12

Comments (1)

  1. Doc

    “Bing’s absorbtion of Babelfish” *absorption* — Still haven’t improved since Lifehacker :)

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