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Android software

Star Apps: Dirty Vegas

Leading up to Dirty Vegas's SXSW appearances, vocalist Steve Smith talks about new video "Let the Night," the story behind "Days Go By," favorite software for DJing and production, and his top five apps.

British EDM duo Dirty Vegas first found fame when its debut single "Days Go By" reached the top of the 2002 club charts, won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording, and appeared in a Mitsubishi Eclipse car commercial. Three top 20 albums and five top 40 club hits later, Dirty Vegas vocalist Steve Smith chatted with me about new … Read more

WhatsApp pooh-poohs report of security flaw

The people behind WhatsApp are rebutting a report contending that the app is vulnerable because your chats can be stored on an Android phone's SD card.

Earlier this week, DoubleThink chief technology officer Bas Bosschert posted a blog alleging that hackers could use a malicious app to tap into your WhatsApp conversations by uploading the database from the SD card to a Web site. To prove his point, Bosschert said he created an app that was able to snag and read the database files.

In response, a spokesperson for WhatsApp called the report "overstated" and issued the … Read more

Star Apps: Kraak & Smaak

Dutch DJ trio Kraak & Smaak are best known in the US for singles like 2008's "Squeeze Me" and 2010's "Dynamite." A soulful house track, "The Future Is Yours," leads off "Chrome Waves" (perhaps my favorite party album of 2013) and has already topped US college radio charts. Kraak & Smaak returned to SXSW this week for three shows.

Are you excited to return to SXSW? What will you be doing there? It's great to be back again. We missed the US a lot! We will do three showcases … Read more

Hit iOS game Threes! arrives for Android

There were some absolutely brilliant mobile games released last month, not least of which was Threes! by Asher Vollmer and Greg Wohlwend. The premise of Threes is simple: pair matching numbers, beginning with threes. Your base units are twos and ones, which you push together to create a three; from there, you have to place matching numbers next to each other, then push them together to create a single, doubled number. The idea, of course, is to get the number higher and higher, until you hit the highest number achievable in the game -- 6144 -- on a four-by-four grid … Read more

Google Wallet app now tracks your online buys

Google introduced a new feature in its Google Wallet app on Wednesday, to help buyers keep a close eye on their online purchases.

The new tool for recent online orders pulls its information from receipts found in your Gmail accounts.

In addition to viewing receipts from orders placed through a variety of retailers, Google Wallet will soon also track shipments from "primary package carriers," presumably FedEx, UPS, and USPS. Google also goes the extra step to provide email and phone contacts for the merchants you deal with, if you need to follow up on a delivery.

Note that … 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

Star Apps: Les Claypool

Primus frontman Les Claypool and M.I.R.V. guitarist Bryan Kehoe were jamming around the campfire one night. Claypool was suddenly inspired by the country music forced on him as a child -- Johnny Horton, Jerry Reed, and Vernon Dalhart -- and started playing his bass in a "Luther Perkins dig digga dang, dig digga dang" while Kehoe accompanied on guitar. They tested various songs, from obvious choices like Johnny Horton's "Battle of New Orleans" and Primus' own "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" to less likely candidates such as Alice in … Read more

Star Apps: Gary Numan

Gary Numan is well aware that most Americans know him only for his "Cars" single. It's his only US hit, charting at No. 9 back in 1980. But when people call the electro pioneer a one-hit wonder, it drives me crazy. If "Down in the Park," "Are 'Friends' Electric?" "Me! I Disconnect From You," and "You Are in My Vision" (with Tubeway Army), "I Die: You Die," and "We Take Mystery (To Bed)" didn't chart in the US, it's not for lack of … Read more

Google to launch SDK for Android wearables in two weeks

Google plans to release a software development kit in the next two weeks that will allow third-party developers to create Android software for use on wearable computing devices

The announcement was made Sunday by Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of Android, Apps, and Chrome, during a panel discussion with John Battelle at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.

"In two weeks we are launching the first developer SDK for Android," Pichai said. "That will lay out the vision for developers in how we see this market working."

Likening the evolution of wearable … Read more

Star Apps: 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' cast

DreamWorks' "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" is based on the "Peabody's Improbable History" segment that appeared in the classic "Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" cartoon. The movie follows dog father Mr. Peabody and his biped boy Sherman in a race through time to repair a hole in the universe that jeopardizes the entire space-time continuum. "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" features the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert, and Allison Janney; state-of-the-art CG animation and 3D; a great score by Danny Elfman; and a smart storyline that should charm children and parents … Read more