Office and productivity

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

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

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

Top apps and services for filing taxes

One of the smartest men ever claimed that "the hardest thing to understand in the world is income taxes." Einstein may have lost some hair filling out his tax forms, but you don't have to. Here are free tools to reduce the stress and get the most back from your income-tax filings.

Tax-preparation software

Need help preparing your taxes? Try one of these free apps:

TaxAct TaxAct Free Federal Edition supports most basic tax returns, including the 1040EZ, but also just about any IRS e-filing form. Like TurboTax and H&R Block, TaxACT promises maximum return … Read more

Romantic apps for Valentine's Day

To those who don't celebrate Valentine's Day because they think it's more about consumerism than romance, I say that's why you're on your way to a lonely life at the convalescent home. Valentine's Day isn't just about gift-giving or an expensive night out. What matters most on February 14 is what these gestures represent: love and appreciation. With that in mind I've collected five Valentine's Day-themed apps to help you express affection without sacrificing any of your convictions or all of your money.

Be Mine

Even if you're not artistic, … Read more

Apps for keeping New Year's resolutions

A new year brings new goals, new aspirations, and new opportunities to grow financially, physically, and mentally. Instead of breaking your resolutions as soon as you make them, start the year off strong with these helpful apps -- and make the most out of 2014.

"The humblest tasks get beautified if loving hands do them."

Any.do

Android/ iOS

Any.do tops the list for any productivity enthusiast, thanks to its ease of use, powerful autofill, and clean design. Any.do digs deep to integrate your task with your phone's capabilities. For example, if your task is … Read more

Adobe and Java vulnerabilities leave Windows open for exploitation

A recent report by the AV-Test Institute found that exploits in Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java account for 66 percent of Windows systems affected by malware.

In a 10-year-plus study, AV-Test uncovered that one exploit for Adobe Reader had nearly 37,000 recorded variants that exploited user machines with high levels of precision. Users with outdated software or versions known to be susceptible stood virtually no chance of avoiding malware damage without some form of protective software.

The biggest offender? Java, which had a whopping 82,000 attacks spread across different versions, making it one of the most vulnerable … Read more

10 apps to be thankful for this Thanksgiving

Whether you're hosting your first Thanksgiving or are an old [chef's] hat, entertaining on T-Day is often fraught with fires, both literal and figurative. What should you prepare? Which wine should you serve? How should you get the word out? What are some good conversation topics? Which games can you play to de-stress, and how can you keep tabs on the big games during the big feast?

OK, we sense your anxiety. But before you grab another Xanax and call your mother or mother-in-law for cooking advice, try out these 10 lightweight, highly rated apps, guaranteed to keep … Read more

Apple issues Mail update for OS X Mavericks

Apple has issued an update for its Mail e-mail client program in OS X Mavericks. The update addresses a number of outstanding bugs that have been affecting users who have installed the new OS, specifically involving managing messages in Gmail accounts. In addition, the update fixes problems with inaccurate unread message counts.

This update is likely a welcome one for those experiencing these problems, but Apple does issue a few words of caution for those who are eager to install the update.

First, as with any software update, Apple recommends you make a full backup of your system, preferably using … Read more

Tab overload slowing you down? Speed up your browsing with TGS for Chrome

Tab browsing is an amazing tool for multitaskers and ADHD-prone Web surfers everywhere. But one of the most annoying things about using Google Chrome's tab feature is the massive amount of resources it sucks up. Even though we love the idea of multiple tabs, chances are we aren't looking at every one of them at the same time. And because Chrome opens every new tab as a separate process, your system is left with very little memory for anything else. The Great Suspender, a Chrome extension, aims to solve this problem by putting on hold the tabs you … Read more