Review: Vintage Camera for iPad offers a nice selection of vintage and retro-style filters

Vintage Camera for iPad is a photo filtering app that has been heavily stylized to obtain the look and feel of an old-timey camera. The result is fun to use, but doesn't actually transcend what other photo filtering apps already offer, nor does it give a compelling reason to use your iPad for photos rather than your phone. For those that need a basic photo filtering app on their iPad, however, it will prove effective.

When you open the app for the first time, you'll find a vintage camera and a handful of buttons. You can load an … Read more

Review: Zombie Face Maker offers a number of creepy faces for your photos

Zombie Face Maker does exactly as it sounds, allowing you to snap photos of yourself or others and convert them to zombies. The tools included are effective and the zombie faces are of decently high quality, so you can create some pretty mean and scary looking faces that can then be shared via e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook with your friends and followers.

After installation, you can open the app and choose a photo or take a new one using your camera. After selecting a photo you'll be asked to pinpoint the eyes and mouth on the photo before moving … Read more

Wispy designs from Microsoft partners breeze past Apple

commentary Psst...Microsoft laptop partners are ahead of Apple on critical design metrics like weight.

So, how will that play out in 2014? A snapshot of today's lightest, edgiest designs should give us an idea (I'll put aside a discussion of competing operating systems and pricing for this post).

Weight: Like tablets, generally the thinner and lighter the laptop, the better. That's what the popular MacBook Air is all about and the reason the ultrabook was developed -- Wintel's (Microsoft-Intel's) response to the Air.

Enter the carbon fiber-based Sony Vaio Pro 11 and 13, which … Read more

Review: Change My Face gives you plenty of ways to decorate your mug

Change My Face is loaded with ways to twist, contort, and decorate your face into a goofy masterpiece. While the app's layout isn't great and causes a few performance issues, the app is so loaded with fun decorations and editing features that these issues are easy to ignore. Most people will have no problem using this app over and over for hours of photo-mashing fun.

Change My Face lets you do all sorts of edits to your photo to make it look as funny or bizarre as possible. You can shrink or expand your features, add goofy smiles … Read more

Review: iFileExpress HD provides tools for transferring files between desktop and iPad

iFileExpress HD is designed as a file transfer tool for your iPad, but it requires you to be plugged in and using iTunes. This limits the usefulness of the app and dates it against some other apps that offer immediate transfer over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections. While the app works as described and the transfers are fast, its uses will be limited.

After installation, you'll be given a full tutorial, showing you where all of the features are located and how to set up and make your first transfer. You'll need to have the app installed on your … Read more

Microsoft-Intel 2-in-1 tablets have legs but still wobbly

Microsoft and Intel want you to buy 2-in-1 devices in 2014. I'm still uncertain about the category, though.

As I said last week, I've been using the Dell Venue 11 Pro, a Windows 8.1 tablet that's designed to be used with two detachable Dell keyboards.

So far, I see the promise but have some issues with the practicality.

The good news is: Dell has designed a fast, responsive Windows 8.1 tablet with a gorgeous display. Windows 8.1 is surprisingly smooth on top of Intel's Bay Trail Atom processor with only 2GB of memory. … Read more

Review: Dual Bible offers a mobile-friendly Bible in many languages

Dual Bible allows you to search through the Bible or browse through verses using a dual pane viewing mode that works well on a mobile screen to show two languages at once. While it doesn't have as many tools as some other Bible apps, including things like note-taking and recommended verses, it does offer dual-language display that can be changed to any of 19 different languages included in the app's library.

After installation, the King James English version of the Bible will be displayed, but you can change this at any time to any of the 19 languages … Read more

Review: Song Sergeant for Mac quickly removes duplicate songs from iTunes

Song Sergeant for Mac finds and removes duplicate songs in your iTunes library and iTunes Media folder, using a robust and highly customizable analyzer. In addition to dealing with duplicates, this app also intelligently selects the appropriate labels in the songs' metadata.

The trial edition of Song Sergeant for Mac can only detect song duplicates, but not fix them. To test the app, we let it search for song duplicates with the default settings, but it did not manage to find all the duplicates we deliberately introduced. Only after we tweaked the app's preferences were we able to use … Read more

Review: Rankings Lite for Mac shows you where your Web site ranks

Rankings Lite for Mac allows you to actively track your rankings in a number of search engines from a single interface on your desktop. After setup, which takes only a couple of minutes, you can define numerous sites, keyword lists, and search engines and keep track of how each of those sites performs over time in the rankings. With an intuitive layout and numerous tools to choose from, this offers a good surface level look at how your sites are performing at any given time.

After installation of the Rankings Lite app, you can set up a new project, multiple … Read more

HP pushing Windows 8.1 hybrids for holidays, says CEO

Hewlett-Packard is banking on "convertible" tablets to power its consumer holiday sales, CEO Meg Whitman said Tuesday.

"We've got a lot of convertibles in the market, so do our competitors, and we're advertising behind those because we think that's a really innovative form factor that's the best of the tablet and the best of the PC," she said in response to an analyst's question during the company's earnings conference call.

HP reported better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday.

Whitman said demand won't be known until after the holidays.

"I think … Read more