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Unity CEO David Helgason foretells the future of gaming

Unity CEO David Helgason foretells the future of gaming

Unity builds technology to help developers build games. At GDC 2014, I chatted with the CEO of Unity, David Helgason. The gaming innovator previewed some of the latest Unity 5 features that developers will be able to use, including improvements in lighting effects and audio mixing.

Games that use Unity:

Dead Trigger (Android)

Device 6 (iOS)

Microsoft Office for iPad unveiled

Microsoft Office for iPad unveiled

Today Microsoft released Office for the iPad. New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella held a press conference in San Francisco to reveal the long-awaited -- some would say overdue -- suite of apps for the tablet.

The Office apps are standalone -- you download Word, Excel, and PowerPoint separately, and each has an icon on your iPad. The apps are also free, but you can only view documents. To edit, you must have an Office 365 subscription ($9.99 per month for home, $5-$15 per month for business). With Office 365, you can also sync your files across the cloud. … Read more

Facebook acquires Oculus VR

Facebook acquires Oculus VR

On Tuesday Facebook announced that it has completed an agreement to acquire the immersive virtual-reality tech company Oculus VR for $2 billion. Oculus VR is known for the Oculus Rift, a high-definition headset with motion-tracking capabilities and 3D display, which has been reaching record popularity in the game-development scene. The company recently came to GDC 2014 to showcase the second iteration of its Oculus development kit.

"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "Oculus has the chance to create … Read more

Use Link Bubble to open links in the background on Android

Use Link Bubble to open links in the background on Android

While many apps are starting to display in-line media (showing content of a link without opening a new window), this capability isn't omnipresent across Android. Instead, when catching up on one of your feeds, like Twitter, you have to click the link, and then wait for it to load in Chrome. Link Bubble is an app that seeks to bridge the gap between your apps and the Web by letting you queue up a link to read when you're finished catching up on social media or RSS feeds. It's similar to when you open tabs in the … Read more

Papers, Please dominates IGF Awards at GDC 2014

Papers, Please dominates IGF Awards at GDC 2014

Many great indie games and AAA titles featured at GDC 2014 were collaborative efforts from highly talented individuals. But Papers, Please proves that there is still room in the gamers' hearts for lone-wolf developers. With an usual narrative, Papers, Please captures the emotional toll of working as an immigration officer in a fictional dystopian country. Using detective skills and powers of observation, players can allow or deny refuge for immigrants trying to get into the nation of Arstotzka.

Lucas Pope drew from personal experience as an American living abroad and applied the skills he acquired at Naughty Dog working on … Read more

Video Interview: Peter Molyneux

Video Interview: Peter Molyneux

The Game Developers Conference is running full throttle this week in San Francisco. We spoke there with Peter Molyneux, creator of Fable and Godus, now available on Steam. Molyneux talked about the 22Cans studio's Kickstarter campaign for Godus, teaching players how to be a god in the game, how video games have enriched his relationship with his son, and his verdict on the XBox One and PlayStation 4.

Sony kicks off Android 4.4 KitKat rollout across Xperia line

Sony kicks off Android 4.4 KitKat rollout across Xperia line

Sony has started rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat across its Xperia line.

The company on Wednesday announced that the Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1, and Xperia Z1 Compact are getting KitKat updates starting on Wednesday, though timing and availability vary by market and carrier. Sony said the KitKat upgrade includes the standard interface improvements baked into the mobile OS, along with the company's "tweaked" Status Bar and Quick Settings features. Sony's KitKat installation also includes PlayStation 4-like user interface elements.

Like most mobile vendors, Sony customizes the standard version of Google's Android to … Read more

Steve Jobs quote app rejected by Apple, report says

Steve Jobs quote app rejected by Apple, report says

A new app has surfaced that features Steve Jobs quotes. But it turns out Apple wasn't impressed, according to a new report.

Quoth Steve has cropped up on the Web as a mobile app that users can run in the browser. The app provides daily Steve Jobs quotes that can be saved, shared via social networks, or synched to different devices. The app was initially planned for Apple's App Store, but according to co-creator John Gill, who coincidentally works as a developer at Amazon, Apple denied its entry into its marketplace.

Speaking to Recode in an interview published … Read more

3 Spritz-like speed-reading apps for Android

3 Spritz-like speed-reading apps for Android

When the Samsung Galaxy S5 was announced, details emerged about Spritz -- a speed-reading feature that comes built-in to some apps on the phone. Spritz uses rapid serial visual presentation, or RSVP, to display words one after another using a single focal point. The company calls this point the optimal recognition point, or ORP.

The technology isn't exactly new -- it dates back to the 1970s -- and it was even used in software for last decade's phones. In 2005 CNET covered a demo version of BuddyBuzz, mobile software that could display one word at a time on … Read more

File your return from anywhere with these top tax apps

File your return from anywhere with these top tax apps

Avoid the mad, end-of-tax-season scramble by getting some apps to help you calculate how much you owe Uncle Sam. Even if you've already filed, these apps can help you get organized and prepared for next year's return.

Organizing your tax records

Shoeboxed (iOS, Android)

Gone are the days of keeping all your receipts in a box above the fridge. Shoeboxed makes it easier to track your expenses -- just take a photo of your receipts, and Shoeboxed will safely store them. From there the app will archive based on dates and sort your spending into different categories (food, … Read more