The Download Blog

Star Apps: Jade Starling

Star Apps: Jade Starling

If you were old enough to fall in love in 1987, then you remember Pretty Poison's No. 1 dance hit, "Catch Me (I'm Falling)." Now a new generation of club kids can fall in love with singer Jade Starling, who has just released her solo debut, "Captive." The EDM-inspired album reflects not only her dance-pop obsession, but also her interest in the struggles we all face. "There has to be love and heartbreak, because you can't have one without the other," she says. I chatted with Starling about her comeback record, … Read more

11 apps for surviving natural disasters

11 apps for surviving natural disasters

It's shark week on TV, but for many of us danger is closer to home. Summer is the season for tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires -- do you know what to do in case of emergency? Boost your chances of survival with our top 11 natural disaster apps. (And if you want to keep an eye on the sharks anyway, try Expedition White Shark for iOS or Global Shark Tracker for iOS and Android.)

Preparation

Earth Alerts ( Windows)

Don't get caught in a hurricane. Add your location in premier weather-watching app Earth Alerts, and you'll get up-to-the-minute reports … Read more

Star Apps: Jeff Bridges

Star Apps: Jeff Bridges

Jeff Bridges may be an Oscar-winning actor and an accomplished musician, but he still gets performance anxiety every time he's forced to "deliver the goods." I chatted with Bridges about the counsel his mother gave him to combat this and the advice he's given his daughter, singer-songwriter Jessie Bridges, who's opening on his tour with the Abiders. We also talked about his upcoming sci-fi flick, "The Giver," as well as the one item that always travels with him.

What can audiences expect to see on your tour with The Abiders? You never know … Read more

Star Apps: Dean Cain

Star Apps: Dean Cain

Dean Cain plays secret-ridden basketball coach Pete Davenport on VH1's hit series "Hit the Floor." Best known for playing Clark Kent/Superman on "Lois and Clark," Cain is no stranger to playing a man with a secret. I chatted with Cain about the season finale of "Hit the Floor," "Lois and Clark," hitting baseballs with Charlie Sheen, and his favorite apps.

With the "Hit the Floor" season finale coming up, what can fans expect? The truth is that we as actors don't know the answers. They film several … Read more

7 back-to-school apps to help you make the grade

7 back-to-school apps to help you make the grade

You're already dreading the early wake-up times and the terrifying tests and term papers that are par for the coursework. While we can't excuse you from that 8 a.m. class or from the pop quiz that you're so not prepared for, we can recommend seven educational apps to ease and enrich the coming school year.

iProcrastinate ( Mac, iOS) In Intro to Psychology, you may have learned that procrastination is a sure sign of not wanting to do something. We get it. Few students are dying to write that term paper or prepare for that final. iProcrastinate … Read more

Star Apps: Steve-O

Star Apps: Steve-O

"Jackass" alum Steve-O is best known as the notorious MTV stunt show's enfant terrible, entertaining audiences with hilarious exploits such as stapling his testicles together and jumping out of a plane without a parachute. Off camera, the comedian born Stephen Glover had a life that was no laughing matter, as he struggled through substance abuse and depression. Today a sober Steve-O engages viewers with his own YouTube show. I chatted with the prankster about stunts, sobriety, the secret that never made it into his autobiography, and his favorite software.

You got your role on "Jackass" … Read more

Star Apps: Toto

Star Apps: Toto

Between their own releases and session work on other artists' records, Toto members can be heard on an astounding 5,000 albums. Keyboardist David Paich is featured on Boz Scaggs' "Silk Degrees," Michael Jackson's "Thriller," and USA for Africa's "We Are the World." Paich met blue-eyed-soul vocalist Michael McDonald in 1977, when working on a Doobie Brothers album. Toto-McDonald collaborations continued on McDonald's 1982 solo debut, "If That's What It Takes," and Toto's 1986 release, "Farenheit." The artists are reuniting for a summer co-headlining tour.… Read more

Star Apps: Cabaret Voltaire

Star Apps: Cabaret Voltaire

When electropunk trio Cabaret Voltaire performed its first show in Sheffield in 1975, Richard H. Kirk, Stephen Mallinder, and Chris Watson were assaulted by the mostly antagonistic crowd. The band fared better between 1978 and 1985, when they signed a deal with Virgin and developed a more commercial, club-friendly "pop" sound. Now down to single member, Richard H. Kirk, Cabaret Voltaire pays tribute to its golden, major-label era with the new 18-track compilation "#7885 (Electropunk to Technopop 1978-1985)," featuring boundary-pushing electronic gems "Nag Nag Nag," "Do the Mussolini (Headkick)," "Sensoria," &… Read more

8 apps for streaming foreign TV and movies

8 apps for streaming foreign TV and movies

You prefer subtitles to big Hollywood titles, Japanese anime to American animation, and Gérard Depardieu to Gerard Butler. If you hunger for more international programming but don't want to rely on pricey cable add-ons or out-of-the-way art-house theaters, then check out our software picks for streaming the best foreign cinema and TV.

1. Netflix ( iOS/ Android)

Video-streaming giant Netflix boasts an extensive catalog of foreign shows and movies. Netflix sections off its library by region, but with an easy-to-configure VPN like Hola (Android), you can check out programming that might not be available in the US.

Price: $… Read more

Star Apps: Chicago and REO Speedwagon

Star Apps: Chicago and REO Speedwagon

Before iHeart Radio, TuneIn, Songza, Pandora, and Rdio, there was FM radio. Chicago and REO Speedwagon were two of the rock bands dominating FM airwaves in the '70s and '80s. With 34 top 20 hits and numerous gold and platinum records between them, these Illinois icons are hitting the road for a 27-date tour this summer. I chatted with Chicago vocalist/keyboardist Robert Lamm and trumpeter Lee Loughnane and REO Speedwagon singer Kevin Cronin about the tour, making music in the digital age, their advice to new artists, and their favorite apps.

Why has it taken so long for both … Read more