GOOGLE DAYDREAM VIEW $79

VR headsets feature cloth, not plastic, cover

Google’s phone-powered virtual reality headset, introduced last week and available Oct. 20, will support YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and HBO content, as well as Google Street View.

The Daydream View is made with fabric rather than the hard plastic favored by every other headset maker. In fact, Google executives said Tuesday that they worked with clothing makers to design the headset to make it comfortable.

Its remote lets users swing their arm and click to interact with the virtual world, and tucks neatly into the front of the device when not in use.

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

BABBEL FREE

Apple Watch app syncs to your position

Babbel, the language-learning app, is also on Apple Watch, and uses a clever trick to teach new words and phrases.

The app detects where you are and shows relevant words and phrases in the form of a language quiz on the watch screen. For example, as I sat in a cafe in Portugal, Babbel set up a quiz asking what the Portuguese word “açúcar” meant. I correctly tapped “sugar.”

You are not going to become fluent using this watch app alone, but its short, context-based language learning quizzes can help words stick in your memory. Babbel is free.

NEW YORK TIMES

VIEWRANGER FREE

App helps navigate hiking, biking routes

Built-in GPS is the signature new feature on the Apple Watch Series 2, and one of the first apps to take advantage of the sensor will be ViewRanger.

This is a popular hiking and biking app that does a good job of routing you across the countryside and tracking your trekking progress.

It shows navigational information and statistics, and buzzes when you need to make a turn.

With a coming update, ViewRanger will work with the new Apple Watch’s GPS system for even more precise location awareness.

As long as you preset your route before entering the wilderness, the app will work without your phone’s needing a cellphone signal.

NEW YORK TIMES