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Software week in review for August 1

Apple's getting closer to releasing its new OS, iOS, and iPhone. Microsoft needs to convince users to kick out the old Windows. Facebook has a new Bolt and updated Slingshot, but Messenger's on its own and there are no more Gifts. Read on for our recap of the software news, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Apple

Apple hasn't announced the iPhone 6, let alone given it a release date, but speculation says it will launch on October 14. In the meantime, iPhone owners … Read more

Software week in review, July 25

This week we're hoping to recruit William Shatner, who decided to boldly go into software reviews, evaluating Facebook Pages on his new Tumblr. In other news, Apple's next OS is now in public beta, Microsoft wants one Windows to rule them all, and everyone's talking Tor. To get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Security and privacy

Black Hat and Def Con are a little over a week away, so it's not surprising that Tor is on the minds of many. This week a Black Hat talkRead more

Software week in review, July 18

Microsoft's layoffs are bad news for Nokia, Xbox Entertainment, and Windows phones that run Android. Google is going after zero-day threats and is fixing Chrome's security and power-hogging. And vulnerabilities have been found in everything from Teslas to the stock market to hotels. Read on for more updates, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Microsoft

Last week Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella published a 3,100-word memo about "bold ambition" (or "turgid drivel," per linguist Geoff Pullum). This week another memo (also … Read more

Software week in review, July 11

Microsoft is still trying to woo users away from Windows 7 and XP; Apple's next iPhone has a sapphire screen, and the phone after that may have a smart lock; and Google is killing apps and bad site certificates. Read on for more of the week's software news, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Microsoft

Yesterday CEO Satya Nadella declared that Microsoft is no longer a "devices and services" company, but rather will reinvent productivity, with a focus on mobile and cloud. He … Read more

Google Shopping Express review

Google Shopping Express is a well-constructed, fast application that eases mobile shopping while retaining many features from Google's desktop client. The listed prices may not always be correct, but you'll receive same-day delivery on your purchases via this application.

Pros

High-quality design: Like many Google products, Shopping Express is intuitive with its grid layout and tabbed browsing system. Its bright display, sharp font, and full-sized tiles bring out the detail of each product listing.

Endless specificity: Each tab contains menu options and subsections that allow you to find exactly what you want. We purposefully misspelled search queries, but … Read more

Google Earth review

Whether you want to view a lifelike rendering of your city or town, preview your next holiday destination, or explore a famous location, Google Maps brings you outstanding world maps with several layers of information that you can customize according to your needs. This is one of those great apps that you should definitely have on your device.

Pros

Many optional layers of information: Google Maps lets you customize which layers of information you want to see: Places, Businesses, Panoramic Photos, Wikipedia, Borders and Labels, Roads, 3D Buildings, and Ocean. The ability to customize them makes the app versatile and … Read more

Google Finance review

Google Finance fails to bring to your mobile device the essential functionality of Google's online finance app, suffering from broken features and an unpolished interface. Don't expect from it more than a basic market summary and mainstream market news.

Pros

Transparent: While most financial apps bombard you with charts and numbers, Google Finance manages to keep things basic by using a straightforward interface divided into three sections: Markets, Portfolios, and News.

Stock news under stock data: Tap on Nasdaq, DOW, S&P 500 in the Markets tab and you're given not only the essential numbers, but … Read more

Google Maps review

Google Maps brings you a wealth of features that can help you find your way in more than 220 countries, including Street View, voice search, and turn-by-turn navigation, which makes it a valuable addition to your smartphone no matter how you're traveling.

Pros

Comprehensive yet accessible: Google Maps' greatest virtue is that it remains easy to use, despite providing complete mapping features for most places in the world, with an excellent amount of detail that often goes beyond mere street names to include images and essential information about places. It recognizes your location and allows you to effortlessly search … Read more

Google Wallet review

Google Wallet houses your credit, debit, and bank account information in one quick and easy application. The software performs exceptionally well, and the service is very helpful for on-the-go and online payments.

Pros

One-stop shop: Google Wallet not only enables you to use various forms of payment via your smartphone, but it also integrates with your Google account to monitor all online transactions. In a display of its thoroughness, Wallet pulled the record of a purchase made on our account two years in the past.

Faultless performance: We tested Google Wallet's functionality and found no signs of lag, crashing, … Read more

Google Voice review

Google Voice is an innovative application that connects your Google account and mobile phone service. It presents viable alternatives to standard calling and text messaging, but Google Voice's advertised features do not always function as promised.

Pros

Good integration: Google Voice had no hang-ups when integrating with our test phone and performed well as the main voicemail service. Notifications regarding missed calls and texts were immediately received on our email, text, and Google Voice account.

Fine quality: The calling and text messaging experience was comparable to our standard carrier, and the software made no errors during tests. We were … Read more