Android software

Back up your Schemer data and use these alternatives

Google will be shutting down Schemer on February 7, 2014. After this date, all accounts and their associated data will be deleted. That means it's time to back up your schemes before they're wiped from existence.

You may have received an e-mail with a link to export your data. If you didn't, you can do the export at this link. You'll be directed to log-in to the Schemer Web site and request a copy of your schemes, which will be delivered by e-mail. Google says that the backup copy may take 24 hours … Read more

Get the handwriting feature in Evernote for Android

Update, March 5, 2014: Evernote rolled out the handwriting feature to the public today. To try it out, just make sure you have the latest version of the app from the Google Play Store. For more details on the update, check out Sarah Mitroff's Let your handwriting shine in Evernote's Android app

If you've finally pinned down the best way to use Evernote (as in tagging, categorizing, etc.) to meet your needs, forget it. Evernote just added another tool for note-taking to their beta version: handwriting input.

To get access to the new feature, you'… Read more

Star Apps: Tim Matheson

Tim Matheson is best known for playing Eric "Otter" Stratton in the 1978 cult comedy "Animal House," and VP John Hoynes on TV series "The West Wing." But the esteemed actor and sometime director has a 40-year career with many highlights. He provided the voice for "Jonny Quest" and has appeared in dozens of films and TV shows, including "Yours, Mine and Ours," "Magnum Force," "Fletch," "The Virginian," "Bonanza," and "CSI." He currently plays Dr. Brick Breeland on the CW'… Read more

Android lock-screen app turns camera into fingerprint scanner

Feeling a bit of iPhone 5S envy? After all, that built-in fingerprint sensor is pretty cool.

Small wonder, then, that rumors point to a similar sensor in the Samsung Galaxy S5. But you don't have to wait for that phone or abandon your current one just to reap the benefits of biometric security. Now, there's an app for that.

ICE Unlock Fingerprint Secure adds camera-powered fingerprint scanning to your smartphone's lock screen. That's not quite the same thing as the iPhone's scanner, and it's not nearly as efficient -- but it does work. Sort … Read more

Star Apps: Boy George

Hair, makeup, and gender-bending fashions aside, what singer/songwriter Boy George does best is write a prime pop tune. I'm thinking about chart-topping '80s singles like "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me," "Time (Clock of the Heart)," "I'll Tumble 4 Ya," "Church of the Poison Mind," "Karma Chameleon," "Miss Me Blind," "It's a Miracle," and "The War Song." His later, more dance-oriented solo material and DJ gigs won a club following.

With the March 25 release of "This Is … Read more

Emerging markets: The smartphone battleground (Smartphones Unlocked)

You don't have to look far to see evidence that the world of successful, high-end smartphone makers is shrinking to two major contenders -- Apple and Samsung -- while other important brands, like BlackBerry, HTC, and Nokia, have faded in prominence or struggle to compete.

Still, like ground cover beneath a canopy of trees, smaller or less well-known brands have a chance to grow, even thrive, in emerging markets.

Lenovo is picking up steam in China, the most important growth market there is; and even on the brink of extinction, BlackBerry phones are still selling throughout Africa, South America, … Read more

Opera's app store clears 100 million monthly users

About 105 million people used the Opera Mobile Store from Opera Software in December, a statistic big enough to rank it as the fifth largest app store, the Norwegian browser maker said Tuesday.

The company's app store offers 200,000 mobile apps for a variety of device types with a variety of operating systems -- Android, Symbian, BlackBerry, iOS, and Java.

The top type is a Java app, but in 2013, Android apps nearly matched it, accounting for with 42.7 percent of downloads, Opera said.

New users grew by a factor of 1.7 compared to 2012, Opera … Read more

That was fast: Chrome Apps ready to go mobile

The cold, hard walls between mobile native apps and HTML5 wobbled a bit on Tuesday morning, as Google announced that Chrome Apps will now work on the two most popular mobile platforms.

Chrome Apps are HTML5-based single-serving applications, more than just a mere Web site, that will work on Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS without having to open your browser first. However, because they're based in Chrome and can't function without it, they've been criticized for "breaking" the Web.

Google opened up a developer preview of the Apache Cordova "toolchain" for wrapping Chrome … Read more

Start Google Now with your voice on the Galaxy Note 3

Handsets with the Google Experience Launcher, like the Moto X, allow you to launch Google Now by simply saying "OK Google." To add this functionality to most Android phones, you'd have to install the Google Launcher, which would override the launcher currently in use (even custom ones).

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, you don't have to override your current launcher to get convenient access to Google Now; the always listening feature is built-in, it's just pointed to the wrong app (S Voice). By using one app, S for Switch Voice, you can use the … Read more

Juice Cubes: Rovio's cute take on a familiar puzzle game

So, you've completed every level of Angry Birds known to man and now you're looking for something else to while away your free time. What's next, Candy Crush Saga? For many casual gamers, that answer is yes. But, before you go down that road, take a look at Juice Cubes, a matching game from Rovio, the developers behind the wildly popular bird-flinging franchise.

Game-makers have been putting their own spin on match-three games for years. While some require players to move tiles or icons around to match up three or more like designs, others have them drawing … Read more