Riviera Reporter
Riviera Reporter

4 Apps for summer

Tracking Jellyfish 

App - Jellyfish Report

It's a subject we've covered in these pages because jellyfish are a recurring problem along the Riviera coast in the summer. Some of our beaches have even installed jellyfish nets to protect bathers. Jellyfish Report is a free app (with ads) that tracks jellyfish within 10km of your GPS location or for any beach in its searchable international database which it claims to update daily. The interface is rather clunky but the app works fine. Data does depend upon user feedback so if you use this app you should also share the location of schools of jellyfish that you know of so that others can avoid them too. The app also offers treatment advice if you do get stung.

Seeking Summer

App Monaco Festival App - NiceMatin Sortir

There's no lack of summer music festivals on the Riviera and some have their own apps.

The Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival app developed by the SBM and CREM lets you search for musical events in Monaco by artist or date and book tickets from the app itself.

The Nuits du Sud Festival in Vence runs from July 12 to 10 August and you can follow dates, artists and even download paperless tickets from the free app.

For musical and other events for the Riviera there are several free apps. Nice Matin has the best one called Sortir which offers searches by place directly on a map or by date.

Busting Dams

App - Dambusters

I'm not in the habit of mentioning game apps here so let's just call it a "simulator" although a fortuitous historical reference is a good excuse for suggesting my second favourite game (after Scrabble) for iOS.

Seventy years ago (May 16, 1943) one of the most famous episodes of WWII made military history. This app replicates the mission where elite RAF pilots of 617 Squadron led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson flew 19 Avro Lancaster Bombers on a low altitude raid under heavy enemy fire over the nazi-occupied Netherlands to destroy the dams of Germany's Ruhr Valley using 19 ingenious "bouncing bombs" invented by aircraft designer Sir Barnes E. Wallis.

The success of the Dambusters mission inspired one of my three favourite British war films. (The other two are "The Cockleshell Heroes" and "The Man Who Never Was"). It might not be everyone's idea of fun but sipping a glass of evening rosé on the terrace with the Dambuster  theme music to bolster my spirits as I fly my iPad2 through the night at precisely the right speed and distance to break the dams is the stuff of real warrior games. The game can be played on recent iPhones but the iPad's bigger screen enhances the experience.

I bought my own Lancaster on the UK iTunes Store for £2.99.

Finding WiFi

App - FreeWi JWire

Summer means travel and that's one sector where there are plenty of apps. To make the most of them you'll need to be online. Connecting to the internet using 3G can be expensive, especially when abroad, so it's always a good idea to have a couple of free WiFi apps on your mobile device. I have yet to find an app that shows all free points in all countries so you'll probably need more than one.

For international travel try Free Wi-Fi Finder by JiWire. Some wifi finder apps do forget the necessity to already have a connection in order to use the app to find a connection hotspot (duh!) is somewhat nonsensical. Free Wi-Fi Finder allows you to download and update its 26MB database for consulting offline. It shows 145,000 locations in 104 countries and covers the Riviera particularly well.

When visiting the UK I use the free version of FastConnect. It draws on a very complete database which covers most of Britain but it isn't very useful in France except in Paris.

If you have an all-in subscription to a French mobile network (Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues) you'll find that the best app is the one your network provides because all their own free hotspots are indicated.

For French hotspots the best non-proprietary app I've found is WiFi Free France for 0,89€ in the iTunes Store 

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