Just in time for the holiday weekend and hot summer days ahead, a new iPhone app can help you stay sunburn-free. The iPhone can do many things — remotely unlock your car, monitor home video cameras and even make a call — but it won't slather on the sun protection you need. However, a free new "app," or program from Coppertone will guide you to what level of protection you need, depending on where you are.
Coppertone's "MyUV Alert" app uses Apple's new iOS 4 operating system for the iPhone and iPod Touch to provide the following personalized information and alerts, according to the company:
- A "Custom UV Index" uses the iPhone's GPS chip and when you enter your ZIP code, you can get "daily UV Index advisories informing you on how strong the UV rays are in your region."
- "Personalized Suncare Profile" that matches your needs and those of your family. "Once the profile is established, you can click the recommend button at any time to see the best suncare options to use based on your planned activity for the day," Coppertone says.
- "Suncare Reminders " for when you need to reapply lotion or spray throughout the day so the sunscreen protection remains effective.
Coppertone's iPhone app isn't the only sun care program for Apple's popular device, but its name may be the best known among consumers.
There are several others sun care apps; some are free, others cost a few dollars. Most can be found in the App Store's "Healthcare & Fitness" section. Among them:
- Lancaster's Sun Expert free app also can help you figure out sun protection needs when you plan a vacation. Answer some questions about the destination and time of year to get a UV index for your lotion or spray needs.
- Sun Alert (99 cents) retrieves "the near-real time data of the UV radiation for your location and calculates how much time you can safely spend in the sun.
- Sunblock ($1.99) says it also adjusts a UV index based on your current altitude, as well as environment "modifiers," such as snow or beach.