Last year I replaced my cellphone with an Apple iPhone, a smartphone that allows me to check my e-mail and go online. Tasks that once had to wait until I got home from work can now be handled on the fly. I don't have to leave the job site to exchange e-mail with clients, look up material specs, or order tools and supplies online.

Another great thing about this phone is that it can use apps. "App" is short for "application," a small program designed to perform a specific function on a smartphone. Most apps are inexpensive and many are free.

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